NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY: FEBRUARY 1, 2012

NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY IN THE UNITED STATES

Quick Facts

National Freedom Day in the United States is observed on February 1 each year.

Local names

Name Language
National Freedom Day English
Día Nacional de la Libertad Spanish

National Freedom Day 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

National Freedom Day 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

National Freedom Day is an observance in the United States that honors the signing of a resolution that proposed the 13th amendment of the nation’s constitution on February 1, 1865. Abraham Lincoln, who was the president at the time, signed the resolution to outlaw slavery. This anniversary is annually observed on February 1.

National Freedom Day remembers when Abraham Lincoln (image pictured above) signed a resolution for the United States Constitution’s 13th amendment in order to abolish slavery. ©iStockphoto.com/Eric Foltz

What do people do?

Many people in the United States reflect on and remember the importance of freedom on National Freedom Day. The United States president may annually issue a proclamation on the day. Some educational institutions may incorporate themes relating to National Freedom Day as part of class discussion, readings, and other learning activities that explore the importance of the day and its history.

Information on local celebrations or events that center on National Freedom Day may be publicized prior to and on February 1. For some people, it is a time to promote good will, equality, and to appreciate freedom. Wreath-laying at the Liberty Bell has also been a tradition to mark National Freedom Day for many years. Other events include annual breakfasts, luncheons, musical entertainment, film screenings, and literature meetings that explore the theme about freedom.

Public life

National Freedom Day is an observance but it is not a public holiday in the United States.

Background

National Freedom Day commemorates the date – February 1, 1865 – when Abraham Lincoln, who was the nation’s president at the time, signed a joint resolution that proposed the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment was made to outlaw slavery and was ratified on December 18, 1865.

Major Richard Robert Wright Senior, a former slave who founded the National Freedom Day Association, played a crucial role in creating the observance. Major Wright was deemed as a community leader in Philadelphia and was active in education, the media, business and politics. He hoped to see a day that would be dedicated to celebrating freedom for all Americans.

The first commemoration of such a day took place on February 1, 1942, although it was not made into law yet. A tradition of laying a wreath at Liberty Bell also began. On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman signed a bill to proclaim February 1 as the first official National Freedom Day in the United States.

Symbols

National Freedom Day’s theme is about freedom for all Americans.  Wreath-laying at Liberty Bell, which symbolizes freedom or liberty, has also occurred on this day over the years.

National Freedom Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Feb 1 1980 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 1981 National Freedom Day Observance
Mon Feb 1 1982 National Freedom Day Observance
Tue Feb 1 1983 National Freedom Day Observance
Wed Feb 1 1984 National Freedom Day Observance
Fri Feb 1 1985 National Freedom Day Observance
Sat Feb 1 1986 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 1987 National Freedom Day Observance
Mon Feb 1 1988 National Freedom Day Observance
Wed Feb 1 1989 National Freedom Day Observance
Thu Feb 1 1990 National Freedom Day Observance
Fri Feb 1 1991 National Freedom Day Observance
Sat Feb 1 1992 National Freedom Day Observance
Mon Feb 1 1993 National Freedom Day Observance
Tue Feb 1 1994 National Freedom Day Observance
Wed Feb 1 1995 National Freedom Day Observance
Thu Feb 1 1996 National Freedom Day Observance
Sat Feb 1 1997 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 1998 National Freedom Day Observance
Mon Feb 1 1999 National Freedom Day Observance
Tue Feb 1 2000 National Freedom Day Observance
Thu Feb 1 2001 National Freedom Day Observance
Fri Feb 1 2002 National Freedom Day Observance
Sat Feb 1 2003 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 2004 National Freedom Day Observance
Tue Feb 1 2005 National Freedom Day Observance
Wed Feb 1 2006 National Freedom Day Observance
Thu Feb 1 2007 National Freedom Day Observance
Fri Feb 1 2008 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 2009 National Freedom Day Observance
Mon Feb 1 2010 National Freedom Day Observance
Tue Feb 1 2011 National Freedom Day Observance
Wed Feb 1 2012 National Freedom Day Observance
Fri Feb 1 2013 National Freedom Day Observance
Sat Feb 1 2014 National Freedom Day Observance
Sun Feb 1 2015 National Freedom Day Observance
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