Mississippi

State agency tweets about Mississippi’s Robert E. Lee holiday. Twitter backlash is swift.

Following a barrage of negative responses, the Mississippi Department of Revenue deleted a tweet Thursday about Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

The agency posted a tweeted saying it would be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day and the birthday of the Confederate general.

“In honor of General Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will be closed on Monday, January 21,” the department tweeted.

About 500 people commented on the tweet within an hour and a half of its posting.

Mississippi just keeps on Mississippi’n,” tweeted one user.

A few hours later, the tweet was gone.

While many Twitter users were upset the state agency paired a civil rights martyr with a general who fought to uphold slavery, Lee’s birthday is a state holiday in Mississippi.

Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states that celebrate Lee’s birthday on the same day as Martin Luther King Day. Arkansas separated the holidays in 2017, according to the Associated Press.

Lee was born on Jan. 19, 1807, and his birthday is a holiday in some states. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and his birthday is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January.

The city of Biloxi faced backlash online in 2017 when it referred to Martin Luther King Day as “Great Americans Day” on Facebook and Twitter, according to the Sun Herald.

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