Death Anniversary of Dessalines in Haiti Date in the current year: October 17, 2024

Death Anniversary of Dessalines in Haiti The death anniversary of Dessalines is a public holiday in Haiti. It is observed annually on October 17 to commemorate the death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a former slave and prominent figure in the fight of Haiti for independence from France.

Jean-Jacques Dessalines was born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) into a family of African slaves. Dessalines became a prominent person when he led the Haitian Revolution during the struggle of Haiti for independence from France. He was also a key figure in the promulgation of the Declaration of Independence in 1804 and declared himself the emperor of Haiti.

His rule lasted from September 2, 1804 to October 17, 1806, when he was assassinated in Port-au-Prince. His reign as an emperor was rather autocratic and featured a massacre of the white population of Haiti and the enforcement of harsh working conditions on plantation. Although slavery had been abolished, many plantation workers felt as if they were enslaved again.

Haitians mainly remember Dessalines for his achievements during the struggle for independence rather than for his reign. The government of Haiti organizes street parades to observe the anniversary of Dessalines's assassination every year. Since 2020, his birth anniversary (September 20) has also been observed as a public holiday.

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