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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Postcard Thursday: Anniversary Day

Anniversary Day 1915, courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society
If you've noticed that kids aren't in school today, that's because it is Brooklyn-Queens Day, an offshoot of a much older holiday known as Anniversary Day.

The anniversary in question was the founding of the first Sunday School in Brooklyn in the 1800s. In 1829, a parade was held to commemorate the event, and by 1901, the New York Times estimated 90,000 children participated in Anniversary Day festivities.

Then, in 1905, the State of New York passed a law declaring the first Thursday in June a holiday--but only in Brooklyn. In 1959, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signed a bill that converted anniversary day to "Brooklyn-Queens Day" and both Kings and Queens county kids got the day off. When, exactly, the holiday was added to the calendar for students in the other three boroughs is unclear, but it is now known as "Chancellor's Conference Day" within the DOE.

Anniversary Day, ca. 1905, in a postcard issued by the department store Abraham and Straus.
More images for twentieth-century Anniversary Day parades can be found at http://www.tapeshare.com/Parades2.html
* * * *
Read more about fiercely independent Brooklyn in
Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers

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And, of course, Inside the Apple is available at fine bookstores everywhere.



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