A California bill introduced by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D) seeks to replace either Abraham Lincoln or George Washington’s paid holiday with International Worker’s Day.
The bill would unify both Lincoln and Washington’s holiday into a single school holiday which would be called Presidents’ Day. In addition, the bill, if voted into law would adopt International Workers’ Day as a paid holiday.
Historically, International Socialist Workers’ Day, or ‘May Day’ was celebrated and observed in countries that were under Communist rule. May Day was also an official holiday in the Soviet Union.
Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R) vehemently opposed the bill and stated; “Are we in competition to be the laughing stock of the United States, are we going that far to the left, that we are going to substitute ‘Internationalist Socialist Workers Day,’ May Day, and lower and maybe delete Lincolns birthday and or Washington’s Birthday. This is ridiculous; this is insane, this is un-American.”
Harper’s response to the bill can be seen in the video below.
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Harper further stated that; “I’m aghast that a bill like this would be able to get through committee.”
Some of the bill’s text can be seen below; to read the legislature in its entirety, please see here.
AB 3042, as amended, Santiago. School holidays: “International Workers’ Day” and “Presidents’ Day.”
Existing law designates holidays on which all public schools and educational institutions shall close. Existing law designates the Monday or Friday of the week in which February 12 occurs as “Lincoln Day” and requires all public schools and educational institutions throughout the state to hold exercises in memory of Abraham Lincoln on the day that school is in session prior to the day on which schools are closed for that purpose. Existing law designates the third Monday in February as “Washington Day” and requires all public schools and educational institutions throughout the state to hold exercises in memory of George Washington on the Friday preceding.
This bill would authorize a school district, county office of education, or charter school, instead of observing “Washington Day” and “Lincoln Day” as separate school holidays, to designate the 3rd Monday in February as a single school holiday to be known as “Presidents’ Day,” if the school district, county office of education, or charter school designates May 1 as “International Workers’ Day” and closes its school, or schools, as applicable, on the Monday or Friday of the week in which May 1 occurs to observe “International Workers’ Day.” The bill would require schools that elect to observe “Presidents’ Day” and “International Workers’ Day,” pursuant to the bill’s provisions, to hold exercises in memory of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and to commemorate and direct attention to the history of labor movements in the United States.