National Freedom Day, always observed on February 1st, celebrates freedom from slavery.  It also recognizes that America is a symbol of liberty.  The day 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.


On this day many towns host festivals and celebrations. Others reflect on the freedoms that the United States honors as well as reflect on and appreciate the goodwill of the United States. For many years, a wreath-laying ceremony at the Liberty Bell traditionally marked the day. LET FREEDOM RING.

Other ways to participate include:

  • Read about or watch a documentary about the 13th amendment.
  • Visit an art gallery or museum displaying pieces inspired by the 13th amendment.
  • Attend a forum or lecture to discuss the 13th amendment and its impact, then and now.
  • Read the 13th Amendment in its entirety.

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