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When Is Robert E. Lee's Birthday? - United States Holiday

by Mike Wang on March 12, 2019

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Robert E. Lee’s birthday, also known as Robert E. Lee Day, is a state holiday in some parts of the United States. In some states it is an annual shared state holiday with Martin Luther King’s birthday on the third Monday of January.

Is Robert E. Lee's Birthday a Public Holiday?

Robert E. Lee's Birthday is a public holiday in 4 states, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Different Dates

Robert E. Lee’s birthday may not be an official public holiday in all states, but many remember his life and achievements on either the third Monday of January or January 19, which is his actual birthday.

Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday in Virginia on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day to honor both Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

In Georgia, they commemorate Lee's birthday on the day after Thanksgiving, which is a state holiday in another 22 states, and is on the same day as Black Friday.

Who Was Robert E. Lee?

Robert E. Lee was a commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). He was born in Stratford, Virginia, on January 19, 1807. His father was known as “Light Horse Harry Lee”, a Revolutionary War hero. Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point, earning no demerits for discipline infractions during his year there.

Lee is also remembered as part of Confedeate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Heroes Day, which falls in different times of the year, depending on the states.

Buinesses Open or Closed?

Robert E Lee's birthday is a state holiday in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi. It is a legal day but it is not a paid holiday for state branches or agencies in Florida. Some states combine the holiday with Martin Luther King’s birthday, but state holiday regulations may change over the years.

How Do People Celebrate?

Robert E. Lee’s birthday is celebrated in different way, such as marches, parades, wreath laying ceremonies and musket salutes. Many publications run editorial notes to commemorate the commander's achievements. It is also customary for some state governors to proclaim the holiday to the general public.

Robert E Lee's Achievments

Robert E. Lee’s first military action after graduation from West Point was in the war with Mexico, in 1845. He met and worked with later key players in the Civil War, including James Longstreet, Ulysses S. Grant, George Pickett and Thomas J. Jackson. Lee worked as an army engineer prior to the Civil War. He helped build the waterfront in St Louis and coastal forts in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia. He was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1852 and is considered one of the best superintendents in the institution's history.

Abraham Lincoln, who later became president of the United States, offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but Lee refused. He would not raise arms against his native state. Lee resigned his commission and headed home to Virginia, where he served as adviser to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, and then commanded the Army of Northern Virginia.

After four years of death and destruction, Robert E. Lee met Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, where the generals ended their battles. Lee told his comrades, “Go home and be good Americans”.

Lee was appointed president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia in 1865. The school was later renamed to include his name in his honor. He died of a heart attack at Washington-Lee College on October 12, 1870, and he is buried in a chapel on the school grounds with his family.

Various monuments, heritage sites, and institutions (including schools) are named after General Robert E. Lee. Political leaders in modern history have been quoted to honor him. For example, Winston Churchill once said that Robert E. Lee was one of the noblest Americans who ever lived. Lee's motto is known to be “Duty, Honor, Country.”

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type Area
2015 Mon 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday AL, AR, MS
2015 Mon 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2015 Fri 27 Nov Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Georgia
2016 Mon 18 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday AL, AR, MS
2016 Tue 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2016 Fri 25 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2017 Mon 16 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday AL, AR, MS
2017 Thu 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2017 Fri 24 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2018 Mon 15 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2018 Fri 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2018 Fri 23 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2019 Sat 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2019 Mon 21 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2019 Fri 29 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2020 Sun 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2020 Mon 20 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2020 Fri 27 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2021 Mon 18 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2021 Tue 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2021 Fri 26 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2022 Mon 17 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2022 Wed 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2022 Fri 25 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2023 Mon 16 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2023 Thu 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2023 Fri 24 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2024 Mon 15 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2024 Fri 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2024 Fri 29 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
2025 Sun 19 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Florida
2025 Mon 20 Jan Robert E. Lee's Birthday State holiday Alabama, Mississippi
2025 Fri 28 Nov State Holiday State holiday Georgia
Custom unique gift for Robert E. Lee's Birthday

Custom unique gift for Robert E. Lee's Birthday

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