Thursday, 4:30 PM
State and city offices in Boston are closed because of what?
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
All Boston schools, libraries, and city and state offices are closed today because of Bunker Hill Day, an only-in-Suffolk-County holiday that commemorates the 1775 battle with the British on a hill just north of downtown.
It is not to be confused with Evacuation Day, the other only-in-Suffolk-County holiday, which commemorates a battle that didn't take place on a hill south of downtown. (The Continental Army sneaked 50 cannons up Dorchester Heights and the Red Coats left Boston without a fight on March 17, 1776.)
The holidays are celebrated only in Boston and the other three municipalities that comprise Suffolk County, leaving offices dark on Beacon Hill and at City Hall. Add Patriots Day -- the statewide holiday observed the third Monday in April -- and civic employees who work in Suffolk County get 13 holidays a year, three more than the 10 mandated by the federal government. But that doesn't mean that other states and counties donít have a special holiday or two of their own.
Vermont takes a holiday each Aug. 16 for Bennington Battle Day to honor its most famous conflict of the Revolutionary War. On the second Monday in August, Rhode Island celebrates Victory Day to remember Japanís surrender in World War II.
Each July 24, Utah takes a vacation for Pioneer Day, to commemorate when Brigham Young and other Mormon trailblazers first entered Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and other Southern states donít let a June 3 pass without celebrating the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederacy.
Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes' Day (Jan. 19), Cesar Chavez Day (March 31), Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (Aug. 27), and three other only-in-the-Lone-Star-state festivals. But, unlike in Suffolk County, state employees in Texas don't get a day off for what are designated as optional holidays. Texas does, however, close state, city, and local offices the Friday after Thanksgiving.