J. J. Roberts Birthday

J.J. Roberts’ Birthday is a national holiday that’s observed in Liberia annually. Joseph Jenkins Roberts was born free in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States on March 15, 1809. In 1829, he emigrated to the settlement created by the American Colonization Society (ACS). The ACS believed that Black Americans would have a better chance of freedom in Africa than they would in the U.S.

On July 26, 1847, Liberia gained its independence from the U.S., and Roberts was elected as the first president of the Republic of Liberia. He served until 1856 but was elected again as president in 1872. Two months after the end of his second term, on February 24, 1876, Roberts died at the age of 66.

Interesting Facts About Liberia

Let’s step away from the analysis of this holiday for a moment and take a few moments to turn our attention to Liberia. Liberia is an interesting country, and one that we feel deserves a few cool facts being dropped in here on its behalf. Let’s take a look at these facts before moving on to how J.J. Roberts’ Birthday is observed.

  • Liberia has a population of over 5 million people and an area of 111,369 square kilometers.
  • The capital city of this country is Monrovia.
  • English is the official language of this country, but there are also a variety of regional languages spoken.
  • From 1989 to 2003, a civil war killed over 250,000 people.
  • From 2013 to 2016, there was an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia and a few other African countries.
  • Liberia’s flag is modeled after the flag of the U.S.

Observing J.J. Roberts’ Birthday in Liberia

Liberia’s President issues a proclamation every year declaring March 15th as J.J. Roberts’ Birthday. This day is celebrated as a national holiday in Liberia and remembers everything that Roberts did for the country. Political speeches and other events are also observed on this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Liberia (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 15 Friday
Next year (2025)
March 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
March 15 Wednesday