City officials voted to scrap the holiday in honor of the slave-owning third president of the United States and instead adopted Liberation and Freedom Day, to be celebrated each March 3. The holiday commemorates the day U.S. Army forces arrived in Virginia in 1865, near the end of the Civil War, the Washington Times reported.
The city council’s decision came just days after James Fields Jr., the 22-year-old driver convicted of killing a woman and injuring dozens of other people at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, was sentenced to life behind bars.
Attorneys for Fields asked a judge two weeks ago to spare him from a life sentence, citing their client’s age as well as his traumatic childhood. Fields pleaded guilty in March to 29 federal hate crime charges in the car attack in which he deliberately drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters.
The vote to end the Jefferson holiday is just the latest of several setbacks for the Founding Father's legacy in recent months.
In March, some students at Hofstra University near New York City called for the removal of a Jefferson statue from the campus, claiming Jefferson represents racism and slavery.
In May, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said he backed the Indiana Democratic Party's decision to rename its traditional Jefferson-Jackson Dinner because both presidents were slave owners.
Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the same day as John Adams, the nation's second president.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.