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Parade to honor Gen. Lee 5 days after MLK holiday

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Five days after celebrating the Martin Luther King holiday, Montgomery will have a parade marking the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans plan a parade at noon Saturday along Montgomery's Dexter Avenue to the Capitol. The parade will be followed by speakers in the Capitol auditorium and the appearance of a Lee impersonator, said Leonard Wilson, the group's Alabama commander.

The parade and program come one day after Lee's birthday of Jan. 19, 1807, but they are being held Saturday to allow more attendance.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans normally observe Lee's birthday each year with a ceremony at the state Capitol, which served as the first Capitol of the Confederacy.

But Wilson, who calls Lee "perhaps the greatest man in American history," said it was appropriate to do more for the 200th anniversary.

Monday was an official state holiday recognizing Lee and King. Several activities were held Monday to honor King, and Gov. Bob Riley included a tribute to King in his inaugural ceremony Monday at the Capitol.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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