Jesse Helms

In Arkansas, a joint holiday for Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King coming to an end

In Arkansas, a joint holiday for Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King coming to an end

For Vivian Flowers, the two men were never on the same historical playing field.

One fought as a general in the Confederate Army. The other, a century later, sought to undo the ramifications of slavery and Jim Crow laws — inequality, poverty, lack of education, to name a few.

So she puzzled over a question when, as a child, she traveled with her family from their Torrance home to visit family in Arkansas for summer and winter vacations: Why did the state honor both Robert E. Lee and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.?

In a joint holiday. On the same day.

“It was just wrong, and as I got older — learned more about history — it was even more wrong to me,” says...

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