Freedom Day 150 Year Anniversary

Singers at Freedom Day Celebration

Singers at Freedom Day Celebration

NPS photo

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Keep the Dream Alive
Also Promotes:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

Staff at Andrew Johnson NHS presented an exhibit documenting the little known history of "Freedom Day" at a celebration in Greeneville, TN. This event, hosted by the George Clem Multi-Cultural Alliance, marked the 150 year anniversary of when then-military governor of Tennessee Andrew Johnson freed his personal slaves on August 8, 1863. At that time during the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued eight months prior, however it only applied to states still in rebellion. The site created a display highlighting the history of Andrew Johnson and Emancipation and the legacy of Andrew Johnson's slaves. The highlights of the exhibit were copies of newspaper articles about August 8 events from 1871 until the present, and the display of a cane carved by Sam Johnson for a member of the Andrew Johnson family.