February 1st is National Freedom Day. On this day many towns have festivals, while other citizens reflect on the freedoms that the United States honors and to appreciate the goodwill of the United States. Wreath-laying at the Liberty Bell has also been a tradition to mark National Freedom Day for many years. Symbols of the day may include a theme about freedom for all Americans.
Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, fought to have a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. When Wright got his freedom, he went on to become a successful businessman and community leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
One year after Wright’s death in 1947, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a bill to make February 1 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 and later Black History Month, officially recognized in 1976, though begun by Carter G. Woodson in 1926
National Freedom Day commemorates 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.