It’s Anniversary Day! You might notice more schoolchildren running around today, thanks to this little-known holiday. Public school students from all five boroughs get the day off and though we doubt they’ll be spending their free time pondering the history of this day, we at The New York World want to know: What are the origins of Anniversary Day?
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What we found
Anniversary Day dates back to the 1800s and celebrated the founding of Sunday schools in Brooklyn. It began with a Protestant group known as the Brooklyn Sunday School Union Society that would lead a parade of students through Brooklyn each spring. In 1905, the state legislature made the first Thursday in June an official holiday for Brooklyn public schools and then, in 1959, extended the holiday to Queens — hence the holiday’s former status as “Brooklyn-Queens Day.” In 2005, the United Federation of Teachers negotiated a new contract and in it required the day off to be extended to students in all five boroughs. The change took effect the following year.
However, teachers got no such break today. The city’s Department of Education called today Chancellor’s Conference Day, to be used for staff development related to the regents exams.