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Florida lawmakers seek to end Confederate holidays

There are currently three dates honoring the Confederacy on Florida's list of legal holidays.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — While they may not be widely celebrated, there are still three dates honoring the Confederacy on Florida's list of legal holidays.

A second Florida lawmaker has thrown her hat in the ring in the effort to remove them.

On Monday, Sen. Lauren Book, a Democrat from Plantation, filed a bill (SB 1116) to remove the birthdays of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, along with Confederate Memorial Day from our state's list of legal holidays.

SB 1116 is among several other bills introduced this year that will be considered during the 2021 legislative session beginning in March.

State Rep. Mike Grieco, a Democrat from Miami Beach, filed a similar bill (HB 6007) in December after a 2018 proposal by Book to eliminate the holidays was approved by one Senate committee but did not pass the Legislature. 

These Confederate holidays date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s with Lee’s birthday, Jan. 19, and Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, becoming legal holidays in 1895. Davis’ birthday, June 3, was later added in 1905.

The removal of the holidays would be symbolic of progress when it comes to racial equality. But critics of the bill argue that it would erase Southern history. 

RELATED: North Carolina stops issuing Confederate license plates

RELATED: Arkansas leaders propose bill to repeal Confederate Flag Day

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