Anniversary Day, on the first Thursday in June, is a New York City Schools holiday that commemorates the founding of the first Sunday schools in Brooklyn. As New Yorkers have become less religious, the holiday lost its religious meaning, but is still with us.
The tradition began as Brooklyn-Queens Day. Locals would take off the school day for a Bedford Avenue parade. The first Queens parade was in 1829. The 1890 parade drew about 75,000 children.
When Brooklyn joined New York City in 1898, the Board of Education ignored the holiday, but Brooklynites did it anyway. The celebration became African-American as Brooklyn became more African-American.
Governor Nelson D. Rockefeller formalized Brooklyn-Queens Day in 1959, although it was still only celebrated in Brooklyn and Queens. The holiday became citywide in 2005.
Anniversary Day 2022
Thursday, June 2, 2022 is another Anniversary Day in New York City.
Anniversary Day 2020
New York City schools are closed to fight the COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic. Teachers have a development day. Students are supposed to do independent study. Good luck with that!
Anniversary Day 2019
In 2019, there was a parade from Irving Square Park in Bushwick at 10am.