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On Thursday, February 6th, the Virginia House passed a bill with a vote of 55 to 42, according to the Virginia Legislative Information System.
The bill would eliminate a holiday celebrating two Confederate leaders and instead make Election Day a state holiday. Lee-Jackson Day honored Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and was celebrated the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Now, Virginia will no longer observe Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday, but they won’t be one holiday short. Election day, which takes place nationwide on the first Tuesday in November, will become a state holiday, WTVR reports.
The bill SB 601 was first introduced by State Senator Louise Lucas and passed in the Senate in January, with a vote of 22 to 18.
Virginia is not the only state to observe a Confederate holiday. In 2019, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a proclamation declaring July 13 Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. Forrest was a Confederate general, slave trader and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
Texas also observed Confederate Heroes Day, which honors Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and other Confederate heroes, on January 19th. Last year, Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) filed HB 1183 to eliminate Confederate Heroes Day as a state holiday, according to CBS Austin. The bill died in committee.