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For Brooklyn’s Best Day of the Year

Ahhh another holiday is upon us. But this one is only for the people of the best borough of the City; Brooklyn, New York. To say I have Brooklyn pride is to say that I draw the breathe of life each day. I need both breathe and Brooklyn to have become the woman I am today and I am damn proud of that too.

You will note other famous notables from this great borough who have made their mark on our world (see below for list). My favorite being Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who actually went to the same high school I did. As a strong lover of the law it is no coincidence I was in a pre-law program all throughout high school. To this day I am an avid follower of national politics. I suppose because politics are in the air I will also mention Bernie Sanders was born in Brooklyn although when campaigning outside of New York he is officially from Vermont.

One of my earliest memories of elementary school is about having a day off from school, for the one and only Brooklyn Day. Until this moment I had no idea why. The explanation I found only created more questions.

According to NYC Religion: “The holiday was created by the New York State Legislature in 1959 in commemoration of the organization of Sunday schools and the Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society.”

This boggles my mind as the separation of church and state is such a part of this country’s foundation.

Apparently during the nineteenth century so called Sabbath (religious) schools were the predominant way people learned how to read and write. They were the center of the education system. As they became increasingly popular there were Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish varieties. These schools were also among the first schools that were not segregated much to the opposition of their public school counterparts.

It turns out that the school closing controversy for non secular reasons was a big deal. Once the borough of Brooklyn was officially apart of NYC the school Boards were in an uproar as were the parents. This was a non starter even when it was realized that it cost approximately sixteen thousand dollars a day, in 1898 figures. Despite this clear violation of church and state, law makers were not moved. Instead in 1959 the Queens Federation of Churches wanted to unify this celebration and decided to change the name to Brooklyn Queens Day. A fact that changes the way I think about this holiday. Now I suppose I have to have semi-pride for Queens too. Since that is my title I can roll with it from now on.

As we continue on the historic timeline we reach 1996 when the Brooklyn Sunday School Union (founded in 1816) was finally recognized by Congress as the official, oldest such organization in America.

Since 2006 Brooklyn-Queens Day it has officially been known as Chancellor’s Day, but public schools remained closed. However, teachers must report to work. In light of all of the new school holidays that are now celebrated since I was a child, I suppose this one was do for an upgrade. Although I do think it should be at least a floating holiday for us grownups.

So on this year’s Brooklyn Day as all of you out there working as teachers, doctors, janitors, and what have you, try to remain upbeat and remember there is a place you can live where the pride is real and we show it on school calendars.

For More Information:

For Brooklyn Notables:


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