State senator plans bill to remove Florida's Confederate holidays


A legislator from South Florida is proposing to rid the state calendar of Confederate holidays.

State Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, is filing a bill that will discontinue the state’s practice of observing Confederate Memorial Day on April 26. The holiday honors soldiers who died fighting for the South during the Civil War.

Book’s bill would remove the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis as state holidays, too, according to her staff.

“I believe we must underscore diversity and undercut tributes to Confederacy, which upheld the institution of slavery,” Book said in a statement Friday.

Protesters gathered Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Va., to decry a gathering of white supremacists, who had converged on the city for a rally over the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument. A man rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, police said.

Following the events of Charlottesville, “it is more important than ever to condemn racism and hate, and reaffirm that we are indeed one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all — not just for some,” Book said.

Jefferson Davis became president of the Confederate States of America in Alabama in 1861. The state statute lists June 3 as his official birthday holiday.

General Robert E. Lee was commander of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. His birthday is celebrated Jan. 19.

Separately in South Florida, the city of Hollywood is poised to rename his namesake Lee Street as Louisville.

[email protected], 954-572-2008 or Twitter @LisaHuriash


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