Google apologizes for displaying Robert E. Lee’s birthday instead of MLK Day

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Google has apologized for displaying “Robert E. Lee’s Birthday” instead of “Martin Luther King Day” in some business listings in three states including Alabama that recognize the confederate Civil War general’s birthday as a holiday, according to our newspartners at AL.com.

Many people were upset after Google’s holiday hours feature stated that “Robert E. Lee’s Birthday might affect these hours” when they searched for businesses in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The two men weren’t even born on the same day of the month; Lee was born on Jan. 19, 1807, while King was born on Jan. 15, 1929.

We apologize for any offense this may have caused. Our teams are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible.

A Google spokesperson explained that the tech giant is working to fix the situation in a statement emailed to AL.com Monday afternoon.

“The holiday hours feature lets people know when a business could be closed or its hours could be different due to a holiday,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, in the three states where Robert E Lee’s birthday is recognized as well, the feature is not surfacing Martin Luther King Day as it should be. We apologize for any offense this may have caused. Our teams are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible.”

MLK Day is a federal holiday and has been observed on the third Monday in January since 1986.  Robert E. Lee Day has been celebrated as a state holiday in several southern states dating back to 1889.