D.C. Budget Proposal Would End Emancipation Day

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The latest budget cut in the District: a four-year-old holiday for city workers called Emancipation Day.

Under Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's proposed fiscal 2010 spending plan, the April 16 holiday, which commemorates the day in 1862 when President Lincoln freed the District's 3,000 slaves, would be discontinued next year. The reason? Not having to pay workers who work that day holiday rates would save the city about $1.3 million, the mayor's office said.

Emancipation Day was the brainchild of then-D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. (D) and signed into law by then-Mayor Anthony A. Williams in 2005.

"Creating this holiday will help to make this day of remembrance a permanent part of the District's civic culture and an appropriate celebration of those who sacrificed in fighting slavery," Williams said at the time.

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