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National Freedom Day, the 75th “Diamond” Anniversary

History of National Freedom Day:

The 13th Amendment.  On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures. It became fully adopted on December 6, 1865, when the state of Georgia adopted it.

The U.S. Congress passed by a joint resolution approved  June 30, 1948  (62 Stat.1150) a bill Congress authorized the President to recognize and proclaim the first day of February of each year National Freedom Day in commemoration of the signing of the resolution of February 1, 1865.

President  Harry S.Truman signed the National Freedom Day Proclamation into Law on January 25, 1949.

“Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate February 1, 1949, and each succeeding February 1, as National Freedom Day; and I call upon the people of the United States to pause on that day in solemn contemplation of the glorious blessings of freedom which we humbly and thankfully enjoy.”

Major Richard Wright Sr., a former slave, began the movement to have a national observance to honor the day Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment. He worked to get the day recognized and got various leaders to support him. In 1942, National Freedom Day Association  commemorated by laying a wreath at the Liberty Bell.

President Barack Obama signs January 2010 and December 2010 the Human Trafficking Awareness Month Proclamation culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. “At the start of each year, Americans commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation, which became effective on January 1, 1863, and the 13th Amendment, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and sent to the States for ratification on February 1, 1865.

These seminal documents secured the promise of freedom for millions enslaved within our borders and brought us closer to perfecting our Union. We also recall that, over 10 years ago, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 renewed America's commitment to combating modern slavery domestically and internationally. With this law, America reaffirmed the fundamental promise of "forever free" enshrined within the Emancipation Proclamation."

President Truman enclosed in the approved Proclamation, “Whereas the Government and people of the United States wholeheartedly support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on December 10, 1948, which declared that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”

President Donald Trump signs in December 2020 the Human Trafficking Awareness Month Proclamation. “Human trafficking is a horrific assault on human dignity that affects people in the United States and around the world.

It tears apart communities, fuels criminal activity, and threatens the national security of the United States. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to eradicate this abhorrent evil, to support victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes.

Tragically, through force, fraud, and coercion, human traffickers deprive millions of victims of their unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Often referred to as “modern slavery,” this intolerable blight on society involves exploitation for labor or sex and affects people of all ages, genders, races, religions, and nationalities.

As the United States continues to lead the global fight against human trafficking, we must remain relentless in our resolve to dismantle this illicit and immoral enterprise in our cities, suburbs, rural communities, Tribal lands, and transportation networks.”

Ms. Benitez shares that there are 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reflects on Articles 2 and Articles 4.

Article 2 - Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional, or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing, or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 4 - No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

In June 2023, the Texas Senate approved and signed the Texas Senate Resolution acknowledging on February 1, 2024,  the desire to recommit to National Freedom Day, reflecting on our freedoms and liberties and providing the true story of how National Freedom Day came about. The resolution was signed by Senator Drew Springer, Jr., and State Representative Matt Shaheen.

Venita hopes to prepare for a commendable 75th National Freedom Day observance holiday to help bring awareness about the current problems of modern day slavery and injustice.

Fun Facts About National Freedom Day

The symbols of National Freedom Day include the wreath and the Liberty Bell.

In 1863, before the 13th Amendment, Abraham Lincoln gave an executive order called the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing many of the slaves.

To participate, support, or get more info on National Freedom Day, reach out and connect.



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