Virginia Senate advances bill to scrap Lee-Jackson holiday

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate on Tuesday advanced legislation to scrap the state’s Lee-Jackson holiday celebrating two Confederate generals.

The Democratic-led Senate voted largely along party lines to pass legislation that would make Election Day a state holiday instead of Lee-Jackson Day.

The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.

Lee-Jackson Day, established over 100 years ago, is observed annually on the Friday preceding the third Monday in January. It honors Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, both native Virginians.

Critics of the Lee-Jackson holiday view it as a celebration of the state’s slave-holding history that’s offensive to African Americans. Many cities and counties have opted not to observe it.

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