• The AOE Team

What is National Freedom Day?


Red and white strips at top with blue stars below. Wording that reads National Freedom Day February 1st, AOE logo.

Why do we celebrate National Freedom Day? The purpose of this holiday is to promote good feelings, harmony, and equal opportunity among all citizens and to remember that the United States is a nation dedicated to the ideal of freedom.


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. Major Wright chose February 1 as National Freedom Day because it was the day in 1865 that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.


This amendment, an important change to our written law, outlawed slavery in the United States. Wright gathered national and local leaders together to write a bill declaring February 1 "National Freedom Day" and President Harry Truman signed the bill in 1948 making it official.

As we recognize National Freedom Day, consider this. What freedoms do you appreciate most?