First February is widely known as the start of the Black History Month, but in reality, the event’s origin is very different.
February 1 is largely observed as the beginning of the Black History Month, but the actual significance of the day goes much deeper. Back in 1863, when President Abraham’s Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves, but he knew that it was not enough to put his action into motion. This is how the 13th Amendement came into being.
This Amendement abolishes slavery and was officially approved on February 1, 1865. After almost a century later, the day become to know new as National Freedom Day. It was started by Richard R. Wright, who at the time of the proclamation's signing was just 9 years old and enslaved, reports the National Constitution Center.
In future, Wright went on to have an expansive career, where he served as the first president of Savannah State University, a civil rights advocate and an author. In 1942, an 86 years old Wright began seriously lobbying for the creation of National Freedom Day.
He started by organising Grassroots celebrations honoring February 1, and even went on a national speaking tour while working with legislators to get the day recognized. But Wright never saw his dream become a reality Aam he passed away in 1947 and a day later, the day was signed as the Dederal Court.
President Harry Truman signed a bill establishing National Freedom Day on February 1. The event took place on January 25, 1949. Truman said, “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.”