Pulaski County Officials To Vote On Show Of Support For Ending Dual MLK/Lee Holiday

Mar 22, 2016

Part of a public notice printed by the Arkansas Secretary of State's office observing Martin Luther King and Robert E. lee Day.

UPDATE 3/23: Pulaski County governance said yes Tuesday night to any move by the state legislature to take Lee off the MLK Day billing.

3/22: The Pulaski County Quorum Court is voting Tuesday night on a resolution of support for a future effort in the Arkansas legislature to end the dual holiday of Martin Luther King Kr and Robert E Lee Day. The resolution calls for MLK Day to stand alone.

In a news release, County Judge Barry Hyde said celebrating the Confederate general on the same day as the civil rights leader “casts a dark shadow on the state of Arkansas” and “diminishes” King’s legacy.

Multiple efforts to end the dual observance failed in the legislature last year though the governor wants to try again during a special session on highway funding expected in late Spring.

The quorum court meeting is at 6 and is streamed here.

Full text of Judge Hyde’s press release:

The Pulaski County Quorum Court will vote tonight to support potential state legislation that would end the dual holiday commemorating Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Confederate General, Robert E. Lee.

“Pulaski County takes great pride in its longstanding tradition of celebrating Martin Luther King Day as a standalone holiday to honor his legacy and positive contribution to society and our community,” states the resolution.

“As one of the three remaining states that still celebrates this dual holiday, it casts a dark shadow on the State of Arkansas,” County Judge Barry Hyde said. “Continuing this practice diminishes the work and sacrifices made during the civil rights movement; furthermore, it diminishes Dr. King’s legacy. With this resolution, we are showing our support of Governor Hutchinson in his effort to encourage the state legislature to end the practice of celebrating the dual holiday.”

“The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission commends Governor Asa Hutchinson’s decision to support the separation of commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day,” Commission Executive Director DuShun Scarbrough said. “We also applaud Pulaski County for their efforts to recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his special day.”