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Lee Jackson Day in United States

Quick Facts

Lee-Jackson Day is an annual state holiday in Virginia, the United States, on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day in January.

Local names

NameLanguage
Lee Jackson DayEnglish
Día de Lee JacksonSpanish

Lee Jackson Day 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lee Jackson Day 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015
See list of observations below
Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday in Virginia, the United States, to remember two of the Civil War's Confederate leaders – Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. It is annually celebrated on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day.

Many people remember Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E Lee on Lee-Jackson Day. A statue of Lee with the Confederate flag is pictured above. ©iStockphoto.com/William Sherman

What do people do?

Lee-Jackson Day is part of a four-day weekend for many people in Virginia, as the following Monday is Martin Luther King Day. The long weekend gives people the chance to catch up with family and friends, go on short breaks, or rest and unwind from work or studies. The day’s theme is a controversial topic of debate among some groups.

Lee-Jackson Day is also a full day of celebration in some cities in Virginia including Lexington City. Those living in Lexington City take part in activities such as:

  • Parades.
  • Re-enactments.
  • Period music.
  • Special guest speakers.
  • Memorial services.
  • A luncheon.

Some people visit Robert E Lee’s and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s final home and resting places on this day.

Public life

Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday in Virginia so state offices, schools and many businesses are closed. Those planning on travelling in the state will need to check with their local transport authorities on possible amendments to public transport timetables on this day.

Background

Lee-Jackson Day honors Confederate leaders Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863). General Lee led the military and naval forces during the Civil War until he surrendered to General Ulysses Grant in 1865, which marked the end of the war. Thomas Jackson's greatest victory was when he led his troops around the Union right flank at Chancellorsville to route the 11th Corps. However, he was wounded and died eight days later on May 10, 1863.

Virginia began observing Lee's birthday on January 19 in 1889. Jackson's remembrance was added to the holiday in 1904. Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday on January 15 in 1983, which was close to Lee-Jackson Day. The days were combined in Virginia (known then as Lee-Jackson-King Day) until 2000 when they became separate holidays. It was arranged so that Lee-Jackson Day was to be held on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day.

Symbols

Various monuments and memorials are dedicated to Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. One of the most famous monuments of General Lee is a 60-foot (18-meter) statue of his likeness in New Orleans. West Virginia’s Stonewall Jackson State Park is named after Jackson.  Both Lee and Jackson have been characterized in novels, television series, movies and comic books.

Lee Jackson Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatJan 191980Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 191981Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
TueJan 191982Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 171983Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 161984Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 211985Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 201986Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 191987Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 181988Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 161989Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 151990Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 211991Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 201992Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 181993Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 171994Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 161995Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 151996Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 201997Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 191998Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
MonJan 181999Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 142000Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 192001Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 182002Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 172003Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 162004Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 142005Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 132006Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 192007Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 182008Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 162009Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 152010Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 142011Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 132012Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 182013Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 172014Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA
FriJan 162015Lee Jackson DayState holidayVA

Related holidays

Other holidays in January 2014 in United States

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