Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Duel or Dual... or Triple?

Debate over celebration: Duel or Dual... or Triple?

MKL Day, Lee–Jackson Day, Lee–Jackson–King Day? What is being celebrated today?
Martin Luther King & Robert E. Lee

For most people, the third Monday of January marks celebration of not one, but two revered individuals: Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with his devotion to A Committed Life (1960s) and General Robert E. Lee as an exceptional commander of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). There is a bit of irony surrounding the celebration of these two men. It’s hard to reconcile this schism in observances between honoring a man who fought for racial equality on the same day as another who fought to keep blacks enslaved. Quite ironic - wouldn't you agree?

Debate has raged for decades. On one hand are those who seek to honor the Rev. King for his instrumentation in the civil rights movement, while on the other hand a handful of states choose to salute General Lee, the commanding officer of the Confederate Army. Thus, a conflict or duel in opinions. Different states plan different events with most states celebrating Martin Luther King Day as an independent event. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi dually celebrate proudly acknowledging Lee’s at the same time on King’s designated day.

Robert E. Lee Day
Observed by Southern United States
Type Cultural, Southern
Significance Southern Heritage
Date January 19
Next time 19 January 2015
Frequency annual
Related to Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Conflict in Virginia, Lee's home state...

In Lexington, VA, which holds the largest Lee celebration in the state, Lee’s birthday is celebrated on January 14th. But the Washington Post reports that:
When Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday (Jan. 15, 1929) became a federal holiday in 1983, Virginia marked [King and Lee’s] birthdays on the same date rather than give state workers two days off. It was an awkward situation that was finally resolved when the state joined the federal government in marking King’s birthday on the third Monday of the month.
In 1904, the Virginia legislature added the birthday of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824) to the holiday Robert E. Lee Day, thereby giving birth to Lee–Jackson Day. Later, from 1984 to 2000, Lee–Jackson–King Day was a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Because of the seemingly incongruency behind the leaders being honored—lives of Confederate generals and a civil rights icon—the holidays are now celebrated separately as Lee–Jackson Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

History is intriguing with its twists and turns if you just take the time to understand the methods behind all the human madness. Fascinating!