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Happy President's Day & Daisy Bates Day



Dear Citizens:

Today in Arkansas and across the nation, we celebrate George Washington's Birthday as part of President's Day, along with Daisy Bates Day.  President's Day is popularly recognized as a day honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Presidents' Day began in the 1880s, when the birthday of George Washington first president of the United States was first celebrated as a federal holiday.  In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill which moved a number of federal holidays to Mondays, the change allowed for workers to have a number of long weekends throughout the year.  The holiday has sense became known as President's Day, which celebrates all president's past and present with ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country.

President's Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February in conjunction with Daisy Bates Day, recognizing an iconic civil rights activist that worked extremely hard to put an end ton segregation in education.  Born in 1914, Bates was a native of Huttig, Arkansas, where she experienced racism first-hand as an infant after her mother was murdered.  The killing of her mother inspired Bates to dedicate her life to ending racial injustice, starting with the press. At a time when segregated schools were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, Bates organized African-American students to attend all-white schools, which included the Little Rock Nine that notably entered Central High School.  The Arkansas Weekly, the only African-American newspaper solely dedicated to the civil rights movements was launched by Bates and her husband, L.C. Bates. In 1964, Bates worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson on anti-poverty programs.  Bates, who passed in 1999 became the first African American laid to rest in state.  She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton.  In 2020, Arkansas announced Daisy Bates would be one of two people to represent the State of Arkansas in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.   

Happy President's and Daisy Bates Day!!!
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Lafayette Woods, Jr.