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Lee-Jackson Day 2024 in the United States

Lee-Jackson Day was a state holiday in Virginia, the United States, to remember two of the Civil War's Confederate leaders – Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. It was annually celebrated on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day.

Is Lee-Jackson Day a Public Holiday?

This is a state public holiday. State government offices are closed. Some schools and businesses may also be closed on this day.

The Virginia Memorial at the Gettysburg National Battlefield features General Robert E Lee mounted on his horse "Traveller".


What Do People Do?

Lee-Jackson Day was part of a four-day weekend for many people in Virginia, as the following Monday is Martin Luther King Day. The long weekend gave people the chance to catch up with family and friends, go on short breaks, or rest and unwind from work or studies. The day’s theme is a controversial topic of debate among some groups.

Lee-Jackson Day was also a full day of celebration in some cities in Virginia including Lexington City. Those living in Lexington City take part in activities such as:

  • Parades.
  • Re-enactments.
  • Period music.
  • Special guest speakers.
  • Memorial services.
  • A luncheon.

Some people visited Robert E Lee’s and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s final home and resting places on this day.

Public Life

Lee-Jackson Day was a state holiday in Virginia so state offices were closed. Many schools and businesses (eg. stores) were open.


Lee-Jackson Day honors Confederate leaders Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863). General Lee led the military and naval forces during the Civil War until he surrendered to General Ulysses Grant in 1865, which marked the end of the war. Thomas Jackson's greatest victory was when he led his troops around the Union right flank at Chancellorsville to route the 11th Corps. However, he was wounded and died eight days later on May 10, 1863.

Virginia began observing Lee's birthday on January 19 in 1889. Jackson's remembrance was added to the holiday in 1904. Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday on January 15 in 1983, which was close to Lee-Jackson Day. The days were combined in Virginia (known then as Lee-Jackson-King Day) until 2000 when they became separate holidays. It was arranged so that Lee-Jackson Day was to be held on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day.


Various monuments and memorials are dedicated to Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. However, one of the most famous monuments to General Lee, a 60-foot (18-meter) statue of his likeness in New Orleans, was removed in 2017. West Virginia’s Stonewall Jackson State Park is named after Jackson. Both Lee and Jackson have been characterized in novels, television series, movies, and comic books.

Lee-Jackson Day Observances

Lee-Jackson Day in the United States has not been observed since 2020.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2019FriJan 18Lee-Jackson DayState HolidayVirginia
2020FriJan 17Lee-Jackson DayState HolidayVirginia

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.