TRENTON, NJ – Legislation commemorating the chosen birthday of abolitionist Frederick Douglass cleared the full Assembly on Monday, 70-0. It will now go to the Governor’s desk.

The resolution (AJR-180/SJR-93) will declare February 14 as ‘Frederick Douglass Day’ in New Jersey.

Frederick Douglass, a renowned African-American abolitionist, human rights activist, author, and public speaker, was born into slavery in or around 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. Douglass’ exact birthdate is unknown, but during his lifetime he chose to celebrate his birth annually on February 14. After years of slavery and abuse, he escaped from slavery in 1838 at the age of 20 and began attending and giving speeches at abolitionist meetings.

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Douglass was chosen, in 1843, to become part of the American Anti-Slavery Society’s Hundred Conventions Project, which was a six-month tour across the United States. He shared his experiences with slavery and spoke publically about the importance of abolishing slavery and ensuring equality for all Americans.  

The full Senate approved the measure in January, 32-0