National Unification Day
A holiday that’s observed annually in Liberia on May 14th is National Unification Day. Also known as Integration Day—this holiday marks the Unification and Integration Policy of the country. A policy that attempted to take on social, political, and economic disparities that exist within Liberia.
This policy extended the right to vote to Liberia’s indigenous populations and to women. It was first proclaimed in 1947 and it would become established by law in 1960. Since the release of the national development plan, Liberia has seen a marked improvement in all spheres of national endeavor. Every year since then, the President of this country proclaims this holiday several days before the 14th of May.
The History of National Unification Day
Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society and thousands of free blacks were relocated to this settlement on the Pepper coast of West Africa. As new people flowed into the country, native inhabitants of the region began to feel that they were being excluded from the government.
William V.S Tubman decided to address this issue of exclusion when he became Liberian President in 1944. He soon introduced his National Unification Policy—a policy that gave indigenous people and women the right to vote. May 14th, 1947, was proclaimed to be the first day of this holiday, and the Act supporting it was passed in 1960.
Observing National Unification Day
As is the case every year, this holiday is proclaimed by Liberia’s President. This holiday is a day off for the general population, as most government offices, schools, and businesses are closed.
If the holiday falls on a Saturday, some businesses may opt to follow regular hours instead of holiday hours. People use this day to spend time with friends and family and to enjoy a day of rest for themselves. On social media, the hashtag #NationalUnificationDay spreads the word about this holiday.