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February 1

Freedom is the most basic of all human rights, and yet throughout history many individuals and nations have had to struggle to be free. For this reason, the first ten Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the American Constitution to guarantee basic freedoms for our new nation's citizens.

The Bill of Rights was a tremendous milestone in the pursuit of freedom for all, and yet when our nation was founded, not all Americans were allowed to be free. Slavery is the ultimate loss of freedom, and it was nearly another 100 years before Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. National Freedom Day commemorates this momentous occasion on February 1, 1865.

The first article of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the most important starting point for all human rights - "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Much progress has been made in helping to win freedom for all, throughout the world. But even though international law forbids slavery, it still exists in many parts of the world, where women and young girls and boys are trafficked as prostitutes. And even though all nations agreed to uphold basic human rights for their citizens, many people are not allowed these basic liberties. Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the victories for freedom that have been won and to re-dedicate our commitment to work for freedom for all.

World Freedom Day is observed on November 9 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, freeing the people of East Berlin and uniting the German nation. July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day commemorating when the American colonies won their freedom from Great Britain. Most nations were under the rule of another nation at some time in their history, so it isn't surprising that most nations also celebrate the anniversary of the date when they won their freedom.

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DO ONE THING for a Better World

1. Find out more about the history of slavery and human trafficking today.

2. Hold an event to raise awareness that not all are free.

3. Support organizations working for the freedom of all.


On Freedom Day

Organizations Working for Freedom

American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International
Coalition Against Trafficking In Women
Freedom House
Freedom Museum
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom





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Freedom Day - February 1

Osacr Arias


Kevin Bales

Harry Belafonte

Pearl S. Buck

Charlotte Bunch

Ralph Bunche

Jimmy Carter

Carrie Chapman Catt

The Dalai Lama

Ossie Davis

Simone de Beauvoir

Johnny Depp

Frederick Douglass

W. E. B. DuBois

Bob Dylan

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ralph Waldo Emerson

James Farmer

Benjamin Franklin

Mohandas Gandhi

William Lloyd Garrison

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Xanana Gusmao

Fannie Lou Hamer

Vaclav Havel

Hubert Humphrey

Thomas Jefferson

Robert F. Kennedy

Coretta Scott King

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dennis Kucinich

Aung San Suu Kyi

Abraham Lincoln

John Locke

Kenny Loggins

Bob Marley

Justice Thurgood Marshall

George Mason

Russell Means

Edward R. Murrow

Barack Obama

Thomas Paine

Rosa Parks

William Penn

Thorolf Rafto

A. Philip Randolph

Paul Robeson

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Amartya Sen

Leo Tolstoy

Harriet Tubman

Desmond Tutu

Abdoulaye Wade

Walt Whitman

Elie Wiesel

Simon Wiesenthal

Wendell Wilkie

Frank Lloyd Wright

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Back Cover


Do One Thing Calendar

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Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
Hero portraits are included for illustration purposes only - no celebrity endorsement implied

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