City faces backlash over 'Great Americans Day' -- instead of MLK Day

Not everyone in the country marks federal holiday


MIAMI – City of Biloxi faces backlash after referring to Martin Luther King Day as the "Great Americans Day" in a tweet on Friday

Most of the U.S. knows the holiday as MLK Day, but Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas have a weird hybrid. Those states commemorate the birthdays of two icons -- a famous civil rights leader and a defender of the institution of slavery -- on the same day. 

Tariq Nasheed was among the many to react  to the city's tweet on social media. 

"Apparently the city of Biloxi can't bring themselves to celebrate a black man," Nasheed said in a tweet

Congress passed the bill to observe the MLK federal holiday every third Monday of January in 1983. Amid opposition, Arizona didn't adopt the holiday until 1992 and New Hampshire until 1999. Biloxi passed an ordinance to "commemorate the contributions of certain great Americans" in 1985.

Mississippi officials announced the state was going to celebrate the birthdays of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee on the third Monday of January. 

Some were tweeting the city a link to a performance of "Mississippi Goddam" by Nina Simone. About five hours after the city's tweet, Biloxi Mayor Andrew Gilich released a statement with a typo. The holiday, he said, should be known as the "Birthday of Dr. Martin Luthern King, Jr."

"That is the appropriate step to take, for the holiday to have the same name as the federal holiday," Gilich said in the statement

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