District Holidays: Emancipation Day

15 Apr

Apparently people can die when the District of Columbia has its random holidays, such as Emancipation Day.  For those not in the know, DC is completely messed up, as it’s not a state and has no voting rights in Congress (“Taxation without Representation“).  As such, it really does its own thing, including having random holidays that no one else observes.  It changes traffic patterns, cancels trash pick-ups, and causes the District government to protest itself.

Emancipation Day is similar to the more well known Juneteenth, and it celebrates the day in 1862 that President Lincoln freed all the slaves working in the District.  This was nine months before the official Emancipation Proclamation, making DC residents the “First Freed” by the federal government.  This spurred the final push to freedom from slavery.

I didn't know he had such nice hair!

If you didn’t notice, Tax Day, which is usually today, was pushed off until Monday.  This is because the District holiday falls on Saturday the 16th, and thus it is being observed today, April 15th.  To “celebrate”, The D.C. government and schools are closed for the holiday, and for city workers, today is an unpaid furlough day intended to help ease budget woes. [WaPo]

Because the District is always furious that they don’t have a proper government, and are pretty much at Congress’ beck and call, in 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty dedicated Emancipation Day to the “continued pursuit for full Democracy with a Voting Rights March to the United States Capitol demanding equal representation for DC residents in Congress.” To that end, Mayor Vincent Gray is scheduled to attend a mid-day protest for D.C. voting rights in Northeast today. Gray and D.C. Council members were arrested at a protest over the federal budget on Monday, which will restrict their governing rights. [WaPo]

This'll work... I know it will!

This'll work... I know it will!

Emancipation Day seems now to be more about district rights than freedmen.  Is this a sign of times? Is it disrespectful, or is this the natural continuation of what Lincoln started?

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One Response to “District Holidays: Emancipation Day”

  1. Elvia Gladhart 15 April 2011 at 1:54 pm #

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