The City of Oakland is closed today. If you want to go pay (or fight) a parking ticket, you can’t. If you want to check something out at the the Library, you can’t. If you want to go to KTOP and place an order for a DVD copy of last week’s Planning Commission meeting, well, too bad. Perhaps, you’re thinking this must be another one of those irritating city closure days where they shut down the city to save money. Wrong! That was yesterday.
Today the City is closed for a ridiculous holiday called Admissions Day.
The first time I learned the City was going to be closed for something called Admission Day, my immediate response was “What the hell is Admissions Day?” After it was explained to me, I must have promptly forgot about it, because the second time I learned the City was going to be closed for Admissions Day, a year later, my immediate response was “What the hell is Admissions Day?” I may have tempered my language a bit the second time, since I was talking to my boss, but I’m not entirely sure.
Perhaps those of you who grew up in California are already familiar with Admissions Day. Or perhaps you know about it because you remember me complaining about it last year (which I had actually forgotten about until I was bitching about Admissions Day to Becks and she was all “Didn’t you already write a blog about that?”). But for the transplants and new readers among you, here you go.
September 9th is California Admissions Day, the day we celebrate California being admitted to the United States as a State. Hooray. Here is some more background from the State Parks website:
In February of 1848, Mexico and the United States signed a treaty which ended the Mexican War and yielded a vast portion of the Southwest, including present day California, to the United States. Several days earlier, January 24, 1848, gold had been discovered on the American River near Sacramento, and the ensuing gold rush hastened California’s admittance to the Union. With the Gold Rush came a huge increase in population and a pressing need for civil government.
In 1849, Californians sought statehood and, after heated debate in the U.S. Congress arising out of the slavery issue, California entered the Union as a free, nonslavery state by the Compromise of 1850.
California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The Golden State’s rich history has since been shaped by people of every ethnic background who traveled here seeking economic, social and educational opportunity, and a life of quality and breathtaking beauty.
I was interested to learn from the previously referenced Admissions Day website that our first State capital was in San Jose. And if I lived in Sacramento, maybe I would try to head over to the State Museum at some point for their Admissions Day Celebration. Note how somehow the State Museum manages to celebrate the anniversary of our Statehood without shutting down.
This is the stupidest holiday I have ever heard of. Admission Day is not a normal day to be closed. It’s not even kind of normal, like Armistice Day or something, where some people you know get the day off and even though you never have, you always kind of wished you could get one of those jobs that does. Or like Cesar Chavez Day, which I don’t think of it being a day things are closed for but then never feel that surpised when it is. (Except of course the one time when my office was closed on Cesar Chavez Day, and I was too thrilled about having the day off to think much about it, so I spent two hours on the BART to bus trek to San Jose so I could get some work done at the library there, only to discover upon arrival that the library was…you guessed it, closed for Cesar Chavez day. That sucked.)
But I understand those holidays, even if they are sometimes inconvenient. Admissions Day is not like that. I have never heard of anyone anywhere closing down work to celebrate such a thing. When I went to school in Texas, every day, after we finished the Pledge of Alliegance, we had to the turn to the Texas flag and all sing “Texas, Our Texas” (which includes such elegant lyrics as “Texas, our Texas/All hail the mighty state/Texas, our Texas/So wonderful, so great”). It would be a severe understatement to say that we love our State. But we did not get the day off to celebrate Texas Admissions Day. Hell, I don’t even have the faintest idea when Texas Admissions Day is and honestly, I don’t think anyone ever bothered to tell me. (Texas Independence Day, on the other hand, is March 2nd.)
Anyway, you’ve been warned. I hope you didn’t have any business you needed to take care of with the City today. It will all have to wait until tomorrow.