Fleet Street News

National Freedom Day, February 1st

Piper Schutter, 1st Year Reporter

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Most of us just let it pass by like any other holiday that we know nothing about. Well let me tell you. National Freedom Day was made for us to recognize the United States signing the resolution that proposed the 13th amendment of the nation’s constitution.

The 13th amendment is the piece of the United States constitution that abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. Therefore, leaving February 1st to be the very first day of a United Nation without slavery.

It all began when Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, got his freedom. He went on to become a successful businessman and community leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Major Wright chose February 1st as National Freedom Day because it was the day in 1865 the President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th amendment to the Constitution.

Wright gathered national and local leaders together to write a bill declaring February 1st “National Freedom Day” and President Harry Truman signed the bill in 1948 making it official.

Aside from celebration of slavery’s abolition, African American activists have continued to push for reparations over the inhumane institution. Basically, it means that African Americans have been trying to make things completely equal between them and Caucasians.

So you can ask yourself, do you believe that this is another holiday that you think you should just move past like it doesn’t matter? Or should you stop and think about what it really means?


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