Niagara Foundation Commemorates National Freedom Day

By: Kathy Bolano, Communications Intern

National Freedom Day is a national day of observance remembering the signing of the 13th amendment by Abraham Lincoln on February 1,1865, which effectively abolished slavery.

Major Richard Robert Wright, Sr. founded the National Freedom Association and spearheaded the National Freedom Association’s campaign for a day celebrating freedom. Born into slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation freed Major Wright and his mother. Wright went on to receive an education and pave the way for others in the name of freedom. He became an American military officer, educator, college president, politician, civil rights advocate and banker. His story is a testament to the importance of freedom and an extraordinary show of perseverance and accomplishment.

The first National Freedom Day occurred on February 1, 1942, and the day was signed into law by President Harry Truman on June 30, 1948, one year after Major Wright’s death.

Today, we here at the Niagara Foundation recognize the importance of freedom and equality for all. We remember the life and work of Major Wright, and preserve his legacy of social inclusion, equality, dialogue and advocacy in the name of freedom.

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