Entries in Emancipation Day (1)


D.C. Celebrates Emancipation Day, Nation Gets Extension on Taxes

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -– Wondering why your taxes are due three days later - April 18 this year? It's because city workers in D.C. have the day off to celebrate Emancipation Day.

On April 16, 1862, Washington, D.C. became the first city in America to have slavery abolished by the federal government. City employees are celebrating Friday with an unpaid furlough day.

The official celebration of the holiday is Friday, so that means no school, no parking tickets and no trash pick-up for residents of the district, but for the nation it means the tax filing deadline is pushed back to midnight on Monday. The filing deadline is only changed if it falls on Emancipation Day, a Sunday or during a presidentially-declared disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

"Emancipation Day kind of has a double meaning for D.C. It commemorates the emancipation of slaves... but also has a symbolic meaning is as far as D.C. being emancipated, eventually, from federal government control over local issues," said Rob Marus, a spokesman for the mayor's office who spoke to ABC News, despite having the day off.

Washington's unpaid furlough day is intended to help ease the district's budget problems. The city council passed an emergency budget provision in late 2010 establishing four already-celebrated public holidays, including Emancipation Day, as furlough days where city employees would not be paid. This provision will save the district $19 million in 2011.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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