If you notice lots of school-age kids roaming the streets on Thursday, chalk it up to the day off all city students get on the first Thursday in June.
Why the holiday? It’s a relic that originated way back in the 1820s as Anniversary Day (or Rally Day), which commemorated the formation of the Brooklyn Sunday School Union. Hey, Brooklyn didn’t earn its nickname, City of Churches, for being secular.
Campfire girls in middy blouses march down Bedford Avenue in honor of Brooklyn Day, around 1920.
For decades, the holiday was celebrated in Brooklyn, officially becoming Brooklyn Day in 1905. Tens of thousands of Brooklynites paraded all over the borough every year, carrying banners and listening to politicians expound on the importance of God, religion, and freedom.
By 1959, the holiday was broadened to Brooklyn-Queens Day; Queens Sunday Schools had been having parades of their own all along. In 2006 it became a day off for students in all five boroughs.