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June 13, 2022, has retroactively been proclaimed as Pigeon Appreciation Day in San Joaquin County following an action by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Tom Patti said he brought the proclamation to the board (at its June 21 meeting, no less) because he was proud of the history of pigeons.

“Initially the colonials brought them over as a food source, but whether they be on the dinner table or as messengers across the spans of land they saved countless lives throughout our history,” Patti said.

Pigeons are not exactly the “unsung heroes” of history — and here’s a song that proves it. (Video via Sesame Street/YouTube)

A proclamation recognizes the significance of an effort, community or event via a public or official announcement.

In February, the supervisors had a tug of war debate about the guidelines of how proclamations should work in the county and who should have the power over them.

While Supervisor Kathy Miller argued that the process was excluding acknowledging dates such as Pride Month or Black Maternal Health Week, Patti said the process helped limit a Pandora’s box of recognitions such as National Pigeon Day.

“Supervisor Patti actually mentioned a pigeon appreciation proclamation as kind of an example of a frivolous proclamation,” Miller said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I think what’s occurred here today is a really perfect example of how these proclamations can be used to bring awareness to an important history … unsung heroes amongst us.”

Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.