The city of Biloxi, Mississippi is facing harsh backlash after they took to Twitter on Friday and referred to Martin Luther King Jr. Day as “Great Americans Day.”
The tweet, which has since been deleted, read: “Non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed on Monday in observance of Great Americans Day.”
The message sparked an almost immediate uproar as thousands of people flooded the city’s social media accounts with questions about why it was not honoring the national holiday named for the famed civil rights leader.
City officials responded hours later, initially trying to deflect the blame by saying “Great Americans Day” was “a state-named holiday," before deleting that tweet as well.
A list of holidays on the state's website does not include Martin Luther King Jr. Day nor “Great Americans Day.” It does mention plans to celebrate King's and Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee’s birthdays on the same day, the third Monday of January.
In a statement responding to the controversy, Biloxi mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said the city council should update the ordinances to call the holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“This city’s longstanding support of our annual MLK celebrations speaks volumes about our support for this holiday. In fact, we’ve always celebrated this day as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day," the mayor said.