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Robert E Lee's Birthday in United States

Quick Facts

Robert E. Lee’s birthday is an annual official state holiday that is shared with Martin Luther King’s birthday in some parts of the United States.

Local names

NameLanguage
Robert E Lee's BirthdayEnglish
Día de Robert E LeeSpanish
רוברט לי יוםHebrew
روبرت إي لي يومArabic
로버트 E. 리 데이Korean
Geburtstag von Robert E. LeeGerman

Alternative name

Robert E Lee Day

Robert E Lee's Birthday 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014 (local in Florida)
Monday, January 20, 2014 (local in AL, AR, MS)
Friday, November 28, 2014 (local in Georgia)

Robert E Lee's Birthday 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015 (local in AL, AR, MS)
Monday, January 19, 2015 (local in Florida)
Friday, November 27, 2015 (local in Georgia)
List of dates for other years

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.

Statue of Robert E. Lee - Civil War General on the famous Monument Avenue of Richmond

Robert E. Lee (statue pictured above) is remembered on the third Monday of January.

©iStockphoto.com/DoxaDigital

What do people do?

Robert E. Lee’s birthday is celebrated by many Americans every year. Events may include: marches, parades, wreath laying ceremonies and musket salutes. Many publications run editorial notes to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s achievements on or around the holiday. It is also customary for some state governors to proclaim the holiday to the general public.

Robert E. Lee’s birthday may not be an official public holiday in all states but there are many people who 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. Robert E. Lee is also remembered as part of Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Heroes Day, which falls in different times of the year, depending on the states.

Public life

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.

Background

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.

Robert E. Lee’s first military action after graduation from West Point was in 1845, in the war with Mexico. 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. Lee 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 both generals ended their battles. Lee told his comrades, “Go home and be good Americans”.

Lee was appointed as 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 is buried in a chapel on the school grounds with his family.

Symbols

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.”

Robert E Lee's Birthday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonJan 151990Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 211991Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 201992Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 181993Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 171994Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 161995Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 151996Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA
MonJan 201997Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 191998Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 191998Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 181999Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
TueJan 191999Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 172000Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
WedJan 192000Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 152001Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
FriJan 192001Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
SatJan 192002Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 212002Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
SunJan 192003Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 202003Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 192004Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 192004Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 172005Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
WedJan 192005Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 162006Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
ThuJan 192006Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 152007Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
FriJan 192007Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
SatJan 192008Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 212008Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 192009Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
MonJan 192009Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 182010Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
TueJan 192010Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 172011Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, GA, MS
WedJan 192011Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 162012Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
ThuJan 192012Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
SunNov 252012Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
SatJan 192013Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 212013Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
FriNov 292013Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
SunJan 192014Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 202014Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
FriNov 282014Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
MonJan 192015Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
MonJan 192015Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
FriNov 272015Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
MonJan 182016Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
TueJan 192016Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
FriNov 252016Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
MonJan 162017Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
ThuJan 192017Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
FriNov 242017Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
MonJan 152018Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
FriJan 192018Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
FriNov 232018Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
SatJan 192019Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 212019Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
FriNov 292019Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia
SunJan 192020Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayFlorida
MonJan 202020Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayAL, AR, MS
FriNov 272020Robert E Lee's BirthdayState holidayGeorgia

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Other holidays in November 2014 in United States

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