National Freedom Day
When : Always February 1st
National Freedom Day celebrates freedom from slavery, and recognizes that America is a symbol of freedom.
National Freedom Day was established in 1948 to remind us that America stands for, and is a symbol of freedom for all people. The roots of this special day come directly from the end of slavery and the signing of the 13th amendment outlawing slavery.
Celebrate this day by reflecting upon your own freedoms that you enjoy by being fortunate enough to be in America. Millions of people in the world are not free.
Origin of National Freedom Day:
Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, created National Freedom Day. He believed that there should be a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865. So, February 1st was chosen to celebrate National Freedom Day.
On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman signed a the bill proclaiming February 1st as National Freedom Day.
This Day in History February 1st
In New York City, the Supreme Court of the United States convenes for the first time. (1790)
The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York. (1796)
American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States. (1861)
President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. (1865)
A murder conviction effectively forces the violent Pennsylvanian Irish anti-owner coal miners, the "Molly Maguires", to disband. (1876)
The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published. (1884)
Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey. (1893)
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police begins operations. (1920)
World War II: U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater. (1942)
Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, begins broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers. (1942)
Trygve Lie of Norway is picked to be the first United Nations Secretary General. (1946)
North Sea flood of 1953 (Dutch, Watersnoodramp, literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of Sunday, 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland. (1953)
Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. (1960)
Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Eddie Adams. This image helped build opposition to the Vietnam War. (1968)
Canada's three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces. (1968)
The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form the ill-fated Penn Central Transportation. (1968)
Director Roman Polanski skips bail and flees the United States to France after pleading guilty to charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. (1978)
Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence is commuted by President Jimmy Carter. (1979)
The Communications Decency Act is passed by the U.S. Congress. (1996)
Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral. (1998)
Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors. (2002)
Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard. (2003)
Janet Jackson's breast is exposed during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, resulting in US broadcasters adopting a stronger adherence to Federal Communications Commission censorship guidelines. (2004)