Emancipation Day on the Chopping Block?

emancipationLast week, the Examiner reported that Mayor Adrian Fenty has proposed to eliminate Emancipation Day as a public holiday, which commemorates Abraham Lincoln’s decision in 1862 to free slaves in the District.

The fiscal 2010 Budget Support Act, which sets out the legislative changes needed to implement Fenty’s proposed spending plan, transforms Emancipation Day, April 16, from a legal public holiday — when schools and the government are closed — to an optional private holiday.

Since this became a public holiday in 2005, it seems to have had a rocky history during Fenty’s tenure. In 2007, he scuttled the day’s parade in favor of a voting rights rally. In 2008, the scheduled voting rights march was canceled because it conflicted with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.

Considering the less than stellar support of Emaciation Day of late, is this the last straw and final insult or the inevitable end to a holiday that probably should have not been instituted in the first place?


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