William Wilberforce Day – August 24: History, Facts & Quotes

William Wilberforce Day, celebrated on August 24th, commemorates the life and achievements of a remarkable British politician, philanthropist, and a key figure in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. This day is an opportunity to reflect on his legacy and contributions to social justice.

History of William Wilberforce Day

William Wilberforce was born on August 24, 1759, in Kingston upon Hull, England. He became a prominent member of the British Parliament and is best known for his relentless efforts to abolish the slave trade. His advocacy for humanitarian causes was rooted in his deep Christian faith. Wilberforce’s dedication and unwavering commitment led to the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which marked the first step towards ending the brutal practice.

Wilberforce died in 1833, just three days after the Slavery Abolition Act was passed. He is remembered as one of the most important figures in the fight against slavery, and his legacy continues to inspire people around the world.

The first William Wilberforce Day was celebrated in Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1869. The town was founded in 1835 by a group of abolitionists who were inspired by Wilberforce’s work. The day is now celebrated in many other places around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.


  • The House of Commons is one of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
  • It is composed of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are elected by the public.
  • The House of Commons plays a crucial role in proposing and debating new laws.
  • Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) is a weekly session where MPs question the Prime Minister.
  • The Speaker of the House of Commons maintains order during debates and ensures parliamentary rules are followed.

How to Observe William Wilberforce Day

Educate Yourself:

Take the time to learn about William Wilberforce’s life and the abolitionist movement.

Visit Historical Sites:

Explore museums, libraries, or exhibitions that showcase his contributions.

Engage in Conversations:

Discuss Wilberforce’s legacy with friends and family to raise awareness.

Read His Works:

Dive into Wilberforce’s writings to understand his thoughts and motivations.

Support Social Justice:

Take action against modern forms of slavery and injustice by supporting relevant organizations.

10 William Wilberforce Day Quotes, Wishes & Messages

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” – William Wilberforce

“Real Christianity is lovely in its nature.” – William Wilberforce

“Let everyone regulate his conduct… by the golden rule of doing to others as in similar circumstances we would have them do to us.” – William Wilberforce

“Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” – William Wilberforce

“Almighty God has set before me two great objectives: the abolition of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” – William Wilberforce

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.” – William Wilberforce

“We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So we will do them anyway.” – William Wilberforce

“Tolerating evil leads only to more evil.” – William Wilberforce

“The only true and real power a man can have in this world is the power of independent thought.” – William Wilberforce

“You can never believe in God until you believe in yourself.” – William Wilberforce

Why Is William Wilberforce Day Important

William Wilberforce Day serves as a reminder of the power of perseverance and dedication in the face of injustice. Wilberforce’s tireless efforts to end the transatlantic slave trade demonstrate that individuals have the capacity to create meaningful change in society. His legacy continues to inspire generations to fight for equality, human rights, and social justice.


What did William Wilberforce achieve?

William Wilberforce played a pivotal role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade through his advocacy and leadership in the British Parliament.

How did William Wilberforce influence modern social movements?

Wilberforce’s dedication to ending slavery and promoting humanitarian causes set a precedent for future activists and social justice movements.

What is the significance of August 24th for William Wilberforce Day?

August 24th marks the birth anniversary of William Wilberforce, providing an occasion to honor his contributions.

Did William Wilberforce only focus on the abolition of slavery?

While his efforts to abolish the slave trade were central, Wilberforce also championed other social causes, including animal welfare and education reform.

How can I get involved in promoting social justice on William Wilberforce Day?

You can participate by educating others, supporting organizations dedicated to social justice, and engaging in conversations about human rights.


William Wilberforce’s legacy continues to inspire people around the world to take action against injustice and fight for a more equitable society. His determination to bring about positive change serves as a beacon of hope and a testament to the impact that a single individual can have on shaping history. As we observe William Wilberforce Day on August 24th, let us remember his words and deeds, and strive to carry forward his spirit of compassion, perseverance, and advocacy for social change.

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