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Feb 01

February 1st is National Freedom Day

Posted on February 1, 2016 at 8:55 AM by Victoria Mulherin

February 1st is National Freedom Day!
National Freedom Day, always observed on February 1st, celebrates freedom from slavery. It also recognizes that America is a symbol for freedom. It honors the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865. It was not ratified by the states however, until later on December 18, 1865.

A former slave by the name of Major Richard Robert Wright, Sr. created National Freedom Day. Major Wright was looked upon as a great leader in the community. It was believed by Major Wright, that this day needed to be celebrated. Because of Abraham Lincoln’s signing the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, February 1st was chosen as the day for National Freedom Day. On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming February 1st as the first official National Freedom Day in the United States.

Stop by and visit the Mansion at Smithville to celebrate African-American History Month. View collages, paintings, drawings, mixed media, sculptures, and photography representing, African-American culture. You may submit paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures. Open to all artists, 18 years and older. This is a free exhibition starting February 6th to February 28th. Opening reception starts on Saturday, February 6th at 1 PM at the Smithville Mansion Annex Gallery, 803 Smithville Road, Eastampton.

For more information on the African-American History Month Art Exhibit, please call the parks department at 609-265-5858 or email at


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