“Presidents’ Day” to Replace J. J. Roberts’, Tubman’s Birthdays?

The late Joseph Jenkins Roberts, whose birthday is commemorated on March 15 every year, was Liberia's 1st and 7th President.

Authoritative reports circulating within the corridors of the Senate state that there are frantic consultations for the passage of a bill seeking to repeal legislation declaring as national holidays the birthdays of presidents Joseph Jenkins Robert and William V. S. Tubman.

The source told our reporter that those involved in the consultations are requesting that instead of separate birthdays for the two former leaders, there should be a single national holiday for all present and former presidents to be called Presidents Day; and because of the importance attached to the birthdays of both presidents Roberts and Tubman, their birthdays can be observed as public (working) holidays.

The bill, which is currently before the Senate, was first introduced by former Bong County Senator (now Vice President) Jewel Howard-Taylor during the 53rd Legislature, but has been resubmitted by River Cess County Senator Francis Paye.

When contacted by our reporter on the possible passage of the Act before the Legislators’ annual break, the senator confirmed that such lobbying is ongoing and the likelihood of Senate’s action may not be far.

It can be recalled that the 42nd National Legislature at its 3rd sitting, declared March 15 of each year a national holiday in commemoration of the birthday of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the first President of the Republic of Liberia. During that sitting, an Act was also passed declaring November 29 as national holiday for the birth anniversary of the 18th President of Liberia, the late William V. S. Tubman.

In his communication to the Senate plenary early this month, Senator Paye recognized the continued contributions of past and present presidents to the development of the country.

Requesting the repeal of the two national holidays, the River Cess County Senator is asking for the third Friday in November each year to be declared as National Holiday to be observed throughout the Republic of Liberia as Presidents’ Day, in recognition of sacrifices and services rendered by all who served and are serving as President of the Republic of Liberia.

A motion was proffered by Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay, requesting plenary to accept the communication and send same to the committees on Judiciary and Internal Affairs to report within two weeks.


  1. Makes sense to me. Just like in USA a President is observed. That way, you choose to honor and commemorate the president of choice. I pray that the senate see reason to PASS and CODIFY the presidents day bill.

  2. Most probably, Papay Albert Porte in Heaven is musing: What took them so long to figure that out, no wonder, then, they are always cornered by cascading crises.

  3. This makes sense as there are too many past presidents who contributed to the building Liberia, and we can’t go about legislating holidays for all of them. I think October 5th is a good date to celebrate “Presidents’ Day” since the first presidential election was held on October 5, 1847, or January 3rd, when the first presidential inauguration was held on January 3, 1848.

  4. We don’t need a president day. Must we do everything that America does? I see America finger prints all over this but my concern is why? I will find out the details.

  5. I have been arguing for such a holiday for a very long time. In 2017 when I argued that Tubman’s birthday should not be celebrated all by itself, I was accused by some responders as being anti-Tubman. It really makes no sense whatsoever for presidents WilliamTubman and Joseph Roberts to be given the honor of separate holidays. A day needs to be set aside for all presidents. On the other hand, maybe the Liberian lawmakers are beginning to listen to their constituents. For now, the Liberian lawmakers will get a grade of C from me. Once everything finalizes, I will act in good faith and give them another grade, maybe a C+.

    The Liberian lawmakers suffer from a kind of fatigue that call “energy of persistence”.
    Some of the lawmakers come up with brilliant ideas that could improve and enhance the quality of lives of the Liberian people. But, instead of pressing on with their ideas, the lawmakers sometimes drop their energy of persistence without cause. It’s been a shame. But in this particular situation, I will swim with the sharks and give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Just one national holiday is good for all presidents!

  6. “Energy of persistence”. Maybe it can be applied in sound economic reform and attracting investment from Liberians abroad through dual citizenship

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