In honor of our Celebrating the Classics, Best of D.C. issue, I present to you an early, blog-only category: Classic D.C. Moment.
This one goes to—drum roll please—Moment when you discover that District government employees have the day off for some unknown holiday when everyone else in the city is clearly at work.
Congratulations D.C. government! Way to be.
What holiday is it? Well, I discovered the answer as I walked into the eerily quiet District Superior Court this morning. A security guard stoically greeted me. “Where you headin’?” he asked. He listened to my answer. “Closed.”
Mmmm. Had someone else died in the bathroom (thereby causing the building to shutdown)? I thought.
The guard offered a one word explanation: “Holiday.” He was quickly onto dismaying the next Court visitor. After pressing some more, I got a fuller response. “It’s Emancipation Day.”
No. Way. Over the next few hours, I asked a few (working) others if they knew why today was a special day.
“No,” said David J. Walker, Advertising Director at the Washington City Paper. “Count me as a loser on that one.”
“It’s National Pope Day,” offered a family member. Now, that would make sense! But, again, not right. At all.
“It’s emancipate day or something,” said a METRO bus driver. Someone in District government had informed her of the holiday yesterday.
“Nothing’s on my calendar,” said City Paper account executive Nick DiBlasio. So, we’ll take that as a no too.
“Today slaves were emancipated. I read it in the newspaper,” said Terri Holtz, senior account executive at the City Paper.Wait, wait! “Strike that from the record!” says Holtz. Someone mentioned it to her yesterday; Holtz loses bragging rights for simply being an informed citizen.
“It’s a emanci-$%^&*-pation day,” according to City Paper photographer Darrow Montgomery. “My kid’s skateboarding. He’s free.”
But, did anyone know the true meaning of Emancipation Day? Do you?
(A) The day District slaves were freed.
(B) The day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
(C) The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, effectively abolishing slavery for good.