Biloxi Under Fire After Referring to Monday as Great Americans Day

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 14, 2017 4:04 PM CST
Biloxi Under Fire After Referring to Monday as Great Americans Day
In this March 29, 2011 photo, the city hall in Biloxi, Miss., is shown.   (AP Photo/Jason Bronis)

The city of Biloxi sparked a debate about the holiday honoring the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. after announcing on social media that city offices would be closed Monday for "Great Americans Day," the AP reports. Monday is federally recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Sun Herald reports Great Americans Day doesn't exist as a holiday and is not even recognized by the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office. However, Biloxi City Council passed an ordinance in 1985 declaring the holiday "Great Americans Day."

After the Mississippi city defended the holiday reference on Twitter and Facebook, dozens of comments were posted that criticized the move. Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich called for the city to repeal its ordinance and recognize the holiday with the King name. The backlash appears to have worked: On Saturday, the city's Twitter account posted, "On Monday, before the city's annual MLK parade, Biloxi will change a decades-old ordinance: It's MLK Day." The city's website says the ordinance will be officially changed at a special meeting of the city council Monday. (Read more Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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