National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. That statute became the basis for the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and led to freedom of religion for all Americans.
Religious Freedom Day is officially proclaimed on January 16 each year by an annual statement by the President of the United States.
Here is part of the 2012 Barack Obama Religious Freedom Day Statement:
Each generation has seen people of different faiths join together to advance peace, justice, and dignity for all," the president's statement read. "Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace.