City of Biloxi in hot water after referring to Martin Luther King Day as “Great Americans Day”


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The City of Biloxi is facing massive nationwide pushback after it sent an official tweet on Friday evening in which it referred to the upcoming the upcoming federal holiday officially known as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” by the alternate name of “Great Americans Day” instead. The tweet brought widespread accusations of racism, and sent the city scrambling to explain away the tweet — including a claim which is contradicted on its own website.

The trouble began when the Twitter account @CityOfBiloxi sent a tweet at 6:18pm eastern time on Friday which read “Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Monday in observance of Great Americans Day.” That set off controversy, because Monday January 16th is actually Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday established by President Ronald Reagan in the eighties. That was widely seen as an intentional slap in the face of MLK and/or a racist gesture, and the phrase “Great Americans Day” quickly began trending on Twitter.

That led the City of Biloxi to tweet at 7:42pm that “The city did not name this holiday In fact, Biloxi touts MLK celebrations in our city.” That tweet also encouraged people to “Visit http://www.biloxi.ms.us” so we did precisely that. And on the city website it states “MLK Day: Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed Monday in observance of “Great Americans Day,” the official city name for the holiday.”

So what is Biloxi’s official stance? “The city did not name this holiday,” or that Great Americans Day is “the official city name for the holiday”? This can’t end well for tourism in the city. In any case, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this Monday.

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