Charlottesville City Council Votes To Remove Jefferson's Birthday As An Official Holiday

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Posted: Jul 02, 2019 11:30 AM
Charlottesville City Council Votes To Remove Jefferson's Birthday As An Official Holiday

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Despite the contributions from Thomas Jefferson to the city of Charlottesville, VA and the American people, such as the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of one of the world's greatest universities, the University of Virginia, the city's government voted on Monday to officially unrecognize his birthday as a holiday. 

According to NBC 29, "councilors voted late Monday, July 1, to remove April 13 from the city’s holiday schedule." In order to keep the amount of paid holidays,  the city has added March 3 as "Liberation and Freedom Day" in order to "commemorate the day U.S. troops officially emancipated enslaved people in Charlottesville following the end of the Civil War." 

Supporters of the new holiday, such as Ben Doherty, argue that the decision "will be a big step towards more accurately presenting the history of Charlottesville and recognizing the importance and value of the lives of the black residents who made up the majority of the population in the city and county at the time of the Civil War."

Critics, however, say that the decision downplays the historical significance that Jefferson has in America. 

“He [Jefferson] was the nation’s first secretary of state, he was the second vice president of the United States, he was the third president of the United States,” Scott Warner said in a statement. “With all of these incredible accomplishments it's inconceivable for our area not to honor his birthday as a holiday."

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To steal from James Robbins, author of Erasing America, the city's decision to do away with Jefferson Day proves "a point President Donald Trump made a year ago, that erasing honors to the Confederacy is only the starting point in a general assault on American memory. 'Is it George Washington next week' he said, 'and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?' Liberal historians tut-tutted at the president for even suggesting such an absurdity."

Now, it seems that the President was absolutely correct.