Celebrating J. J. Roberts: Liberia’s First President and National Hero


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Happy Birthday to J. J. Roberts!

Did you know that Friday, 15th March is not just any ordinary day? It is a special day for the people of Liberia as they celebrate the birthday of one of their most important figures in history – J. J. Roberts.

A Public Holiday in Liberia

In Liberia, J. J. Roberts’ birthday is recognized as a public holiday. This means that schools, offices, and many businesses will be closed on this day, allowing Liberians to come together and honor the legacy of their first president.

Who is J. J. Roberts?

J. J. Roberts, whose full name is Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was born on March 15, 1809. He played a crucial role in the history of Liberia as he was the first president of the country. Roberts served as the president from 1848 to 1856 and again from 1872 to 1876.

Roberts was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States. He was of mixed race and was born free. In 1829, he emigrated to Liberia, which was then a colony for freed African-American slaves. Roberts quickly became a prominent figure in Liberian society and played a vital role in the country’s struggle for independence.

Under Roberts’ leadership, Liberia declared its independence from the American Colonization Society in 1847, becoming the first African republic. He was then elected as the country’s first president the following year. Roberts’ presidency was marked by efforts to establish Liberia as a stable and recognized nation.

Why is J. J. Roberts’ Birthday Celebrated?

J. J. Roberts’ birthday is celebrated in Liberia to honor his contributions to the country’s establishment and growth. As the first president, Roberts laid the foundation for Liberia’s political system and helped shape its identity as an independent nation.

Roberts’ leadership was instrumental in navigating the challenges that Liberia faced during its early years. He worked to strengthen diplomatic ties with other nations and promote trade and economic development. Roberts also focused on expanding education and infrastructure within Liberia.

By celebrating J. J. Roberts’ birthday, Liberians pay tribute to his vision and dedication to building a prosperous and united nation. The holiday serves as a reminder of the struggles and achievements of the past and encourages citizens to work towards a brighter future for Liberia.

How is J. J. Roberts’ Birthday Celebrated?

The celebration of J. J. Roberts’ birthday in Liberia is marked by various activities and events. These may include parades, cultural performances, speeches, and ceremonies held in honor of the former president.

During the festivities, Liberians come together to reflect on their history and the progress made since the country’s independence. It is also an opportunity to recognize the contributions of other national heroes and to promote unity and pride in Liberian identity.

Many people take advantage of the public holiday to spend time with family and friends, enjoying traditional foods and engaging in recreational activities. It is a day of joy and celebration, filled with a sense of national pride and gratitude for the achievements of J. J. Roberts and the nation he helped build.


As Liberians prepare to celebrate J. J. Roberts’ birthday on Friday, 15th March, it is a time to reflect on the importance of this historical figure and the legacy he left behind. Through his leadership and dedication, Roberts played a vital role in shaping Liberia into the nation it is today.

On this public holiday, let us join the people of Liberia in honoring J. J. Roberts and celebrating the progress and achievements of the country. Happy birthday, J. J. Roberts!


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Home » Events & Holidays » Celebrating J. J. Roberts: Liberia’s First President and National Hero



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