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US National Freedom Day: Significance, history- all you need to know

 Former US President Abraham Lincoln signed the Amendment abolishing slavery on February 1, 1865.

The United States of America observes February 1 as National Freedom Day. The day honors the signing by President Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that was later ratified as the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution.

President Lincoln signed the Amendment abolishing slavery on this day in, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later on December 18, 1865.

Abraham Lincoln

Later this date was celebrated as Black History Day.

History:

In the mid-20th century, Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., who was born in slavery and freed after the Civil War expressed the need of having a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated.

Wright invited local and national leaders to meet in Philadelphia in order to discuss the plan on naming February 1 as an yearly memorial to the signing of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution by President Abraham Lincoln on this date. The amendment freed all US slaves.

An year after Wright's death in 1947, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a bill to designate February 1 as National Freedom Day. The holiday proclamation was signed into law on June 30, 1948, by President Harry Truman.

It was the forerunner to Black History Day. Later Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976. Historian Carter G. Woodson has been credited for initiating the recognition of Black history in 1926.

The President may issue each year a proclamation designating February 1 as National Freedom Day to commemorate the signing by Abraham Lincoln on February 1, 1865, of the joint resolution adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives that proposed the 13th amendment to the Constitution.— US Code 124 - National Freedom Day.

Celebrations:

The day is celebrated by many towns and cities by hosting festivals. Some citizens reflect privately on the freedoms that the United States honors and to appreciate the goodwill of the country.

In Philadelphia, wreath laying at the Liberty Bell has been a tradition since many years to commemorate National Freedom Day. Symbols of the day may feature a theme about freedom for all Americans.

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