I had no idea.
National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring 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, although it was not ratified by the states until later.
According to americaslibrary.gov National Freedom Day is defined as:
“[t]he 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…. The 13th Amendment 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.”
In these times we’ve learned, all too painfully, how fragile our freedom is and the necessity of safeguarding it. Especially from those who would take it from us without our being aware we ever lost it. Aspects of the Patriot Act, which citizens aren’t allowed to know about, come to mind.