Charlottesville won’t be celebrating Jefferson’s birthday

"Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question."-Thomas Jefferson, March 4, 1801 (White House Historical Association)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, will not honor the birthday of Thomas Jefferson this spring for the first time since World War II.

The Washington Post reports that the city will instead celebrate the demise of slavery this coming Tuesday.

The holiday is known as Liberation and Freedom Day. It will commemorate when Union troops arrived in the city in March 1865 and freed enslaved people.

The change is the latest example of this southern city reckoning with its history. It began when the city tried to remove its Confederate monuments. That inspired white supremacists to stage the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally.