7:13 P.M. UPDATE:
LITTLE ROCK — The Pulaski County Quorum Court has passed a resolution to support proposed legislation that would end the state's practice of commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day.
The court voted 13-0 Tuesday to support ending the practice in Arkansas — one of three states to jointly celebrate the black civil rights leader and the white Confederate general on the third Monday in January.
A proposal to end the practice failed repeatedly before a House committee last year, as some opponents argued that separating the holidays would diminish the state's Confederate heritage.
— The Associated Press
The Pulaski County Quorum Court will vote Tuesday night to support potential state legislation that ends the dual holiday celebrating civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“Pulaski County takes great pride in its longstanding tradition of celebrating Martin Luther King Day as a stand-alone holiday to honor his legacy and positive contribution to society and our community,” according to a court resolution.
Arkansas is one of three states, along with Alabama and Mississippi, that celebrates Robert E. Lee Day in conjunction with the national holiday dedicated to King.
The state Legislature proposed separating the holidays last year, but the bill died in committee. The legislation would have preserved the January holiday in honor of King while creating a memorial day for Lee in November.
Earlier this year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson gave his support for an independent holiday solely in recognition of King.
“Continuing this practice diminishes the work and sacrifices made during the civil rights movement," Barry Hyde, county judge of Pualski County, said in a statement. "Furthermore, it diminishes Dr. King’s legacy. With this resolution, we are showing our support of Gov. Hutchinson in his effort to encourage the state legislature to end the practice of celebrating the dual holiday.”
The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Pulaski County Administration Building.
— Jaime Dunaway