Charlottesville City Council votes to remove Thomas Jefferson holiday

Published: Jul. 2, 2019 at 11:18 AM EDT
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Charlottesville City Council voted to officially remove Thomas Jefferson's birthday, April 13, as a holiday.

At a city council meeting on Monday evening, councilors voted to to remove the day as a city holiday.

To replace it, Freedom and Liberation Day has been declared a holiday on March 3. It's to commemorate the day enslaved people in Charlottesville were officially emancipated by U.S. troops at the end of the Civil War.

Removing the celebration of Jefferson was voted on four-to-one with Kathy Galvin being the only "no" vote.

"Thomas Jefferson already has 365 holidays and I do think that is the case here in Charlottesville," Councilor Bellamy previously said. "You literally can't go anywhere within our city without hearing or seeing a reminder of Thomas Jefferson."

"Doing away with Thomas Jefferson's birthday doesn't do away with the history," said Galvin, noting Jefferson's contributions to the country and Charlottesville. "That birthday is still here. What he has done in the past is there."

Adding Freedom and Liberation Day was a separate vote and was voted on unanimously.

The city council also added a floating holiday to make a total of 12 holidays, evening out with the number of holidays Albemarle County employees get.

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