Vignette > Admission Day

On June 14, 1846, Americans seized the administrative capital at Sonoma, and the Bear Flag Republic was born.  On September 9, 1850, California was admitted into the union as the thirty-first state.  Admission Day, September 9, became a legal holiday in California in 1889. Five years later, in 1894, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, became a federal holiday. In the early 20th century Marin County celebrated both these holidays with parades and other festivities.  In 1908, Admission Day was Wednesday, just two days after Labor Day. San Rafael capitalized on this by holding a carnival lasting two weeks. Admission Day was reportedly the banner day of the entire Carnival. In 1909, the Mill Valley Record reported that there was a Labor Day parade and celebration in San Rafael, but the most pretentious affair of the week was the Admission Day celebration in Sausalito. In 1933, the story was, “Stores Will Close for Admission Day. Banks and most stores in Mill Valley will be closed all day tomorrow, in observance of Admission Day, and weekend buying will have to be done today.”  In 1984, California Governor George Deukmejian signed legislation eliminating the traditional observance of Admission Day on Sept. 9.