Liberian President W. V. S. Tubman's Birthday

Liberian President W. V. S. Tubman's Birthday

November 29
The influence of William V. S. Tubman (1895-1971), Liberia's president for 27 continuous years, was so great that his birthday was established an official holiday while he still held office. The national legislature declared the holiday in response to a citizens' appeal made in 1952. Decades after his death, Liberians still celebrate the national hero's birthday, also known as Goodwill Day .
Tubman was a popular leader for a number of reasons. Born in Harper, he was the first president not to claim allegiance to the elite power center of Monrovia, a fact that endeared him to the country's indigenous majority. His Unification Policy extended the vote to women and to indigenous people. Perhaps his greatest political achievement, however, was his Open Door policy, which attracted much-needed foreign investment to Liberia.
The most elaborate festivities for Tubman's birthday have always taken place in his native city, Harper, where activities may extend for three days. One Tubman Birthday tradition that has endured for decades is the Queen Rally. This beauty pageant also doubles as a fund-raiser, in which contestants representing civic groups compete for money prizes, which are awarded for public works projects.
CONTACTS:
Liberia Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT)
110 United Nations Dr.
P.O. Box 10-9021
Capitol Hill, 1000
Monrovia, Liberia
www.micat.gov.lr
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