Lewis fought for civil rights alongside Martin Luther King. Jr.|Wikimedia1/2 Lewis fought for civil rights alongside Martin Luther King. Jr.|Wikimedia
This Mississippi city wants to call MLK Day 'Great Americans Day.'|City of Biloxi/Facebook2/2 This Mississippi city wants to call MLK Day 'Great Americans Day.'|City of Biloxi/Facebook
The weekend before the nation honors the birth of an iconic leader in the civil rights movement, President-elect Donald Trump ranted about another such leader and a Mississippi town tried to rename the day.
In a since-deleted tweet that was captured by a local TV station on Friday, the city of Biloxi wrote that some municipal offices would be closed on Monday “in observance of Great Americans Day.”
— WLOX (@WLOX) January 14, 2017
Since 1986, the third Monday of January has been observed as Martin Luther King Jr. Day to celebrate his Jan. 15 birth. It had been signed into law by President Ronald Reagan three years earlier.
Online outrage soon ensued, and Biloxi quickly responded that Great Americans Day was “a state-named holiday.” ABC News reported that the state’s website doesn’t list MLK Day or Great Americans Day, but does note King’s birthday — and Confederate Army general Robert E. Lee's on Jan. 19.
A city statement said that Great Americans Day was created in 1985 to “honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other great Americans who have made important contributions to the birth, growth and evolution of this country.’”
Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich concluded in a tweet that as far as he’s concerned, “it’s called ‘Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
TRUMP VS. LEWIS
In an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Democratic Georgia Rep. John Lewis said President-elect Donald Trump is not a “legitimate president.”
Lewis cited Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election for “helping get this man elected.”
Trump put Lewis on blast in his preferred arena of Twitter on Saturday morning, saying the civil rights leader, who has served his district since 1987, was “all talk” and “Sad!” for “falsely complaining about the election results.”
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
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mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
Lewis, who fought for civil rights alongside King, suffered a fractured skull after being beaten on “Bloody Sunday” in March 1965. He led hundreds of marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where they were attacked by state troopers on the other side.
In response to Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi poignantly tweeted: