The city of Biloxi, Mississippi is really trying it—they recently “renamed” Martin Luther King Day to “Great Americans Day.”
In a now-deleted Tweet, officials wrote on Friday: “Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Monday in observance of Great Americans Day.”
According to ABC News, this was an apparent attempt to also honor the birth of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. And of course Twitter clappedback:
Despite the city’s claims that “Great Americans Day” is just what Monday is called in their state, it doesn’t appear on any Mississippi news sources, or in the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, ABC reported. So while MLK is a federal holiday that’s on the books, Biloxi has yet to make that happen.
Vincent Creel, the city’s public affairs manager, explained the issue.
“For whatever reason, the state couldn’t bring itself to just say ‘Martin Luther King Jr. Day,’” Creel said. “Somewhere along the lines, that evolved into ‘Great Americans Day,’ unfortunately. And yes, I did say ‘unfortunately.’
But the “Biloxi Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich set it straight:
In a statement, Gilich said that the Biloxi City Council “should take steps to update the city’s Code of Ordinances to reflect the official federal name of the holiday, ‘Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,’ commonly known as ‘Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
Gilich added, “In my opinion that is the appropriate step to take, for the holiday to have the same name as the federal holiday. This city’s longstanding support of our annual MLK celebrations speaks volumes about our support for this holiday. In fact, we’ve always celebrated this day as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”