In A Flash

Louisiana Legislature agrees to get rid of Confederate state holidays

By: - June 5, 2022 5:54 pm
Aerial view of Louisiana State Capitol building

(Photo credit: Wesley Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)

Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Memorial Day haven’t been celebrated in Louisiana in decades, but they still exist on the state’s calendar of official holidays.

That will change after House Bill 248, authored by Rep. Matthew Willard, received Senate approval. It removes Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Memorial Day from the state’s legal holiday calendar. Senators voted 28-4 in favor of the bill Friday. The House of Representatives previously approved it, 62-20.

Willard said to the Senate Judiciary A Committee last month that he has received death threats over his legislation but continued to carry the bill “because it’s the right thing to do.”

Critics of the proposal said they believed the Confederate holidays should stay in the books so that future generations don’t forget the negative aspects of the country’s history.

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Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, who carried the bill in the Senate for Willard, said Louisiana can remember “the darkest time in our history” without celebrating it as a holiday.

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Willard’s bill moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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JC Canicosa
JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is a former Louisiana Illuminator reporter. Prior to working with the Illuminator, Canicosa worked for Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon. Canicosa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.

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