As everyone knows, today is usually tax day but thanks to Emancipation Day – a recognized public holiday in the District of Columbia, home of the IRS, since 2005 – we get an extra weekend to put off plugging our earnings into our 1040s.
The official holiday is April 16th but since Emancipation Day falls on a Saturday this year, the District gets Friday off. Buses run as usual but those heading to Tax Day events around DC (Federal Reserve Board protest, anyone?) can rest easy knowing the DC Parking Gestapo will not be out circling the streets for blood, er, expired meters.
Fact: slavery was legal in the U.S. from 1619 until 1865. By 1860, there were about four million slaves in the United States. On April 16, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. Slavery did not officially end in the United States until the end of the Civil War in 1865 when the 13th Amendment was ratified by 30 of the then 36 states. Bet you didn’t know that Mississippi only ratified the 13th amendment in 1995!
This holiday is especially near and dear to my locale, which boasts itself as the wealthiest majority African American county in the entire country. Though don’t believe everything you read in Ebony, PG is far from the luxurious country club the magazine painted it as in this 2006 article.
April 15th falls on a Sunday next year so you’ll also get an extra couple days in 2012 but Honest Abe doesn’t get credit for that, maybe Copernicus or whoever came up with the 365 + 1 every four years calendar year.
Happy Emancipation Day!