National Heroes’ Day is a public holiday in Jamaica observed on the third Monday in October and commemorates seven national heroes from Jamaican history, who have all made significant contributions to the independence and development of modern Jamaica. Declared as national heroes in 1969:
- Paul Bogle, birth date uncertain – 1865. A Jamaican Baptist deacon and activist. He was a leader of the 1865 Morant Bay protesters, who marched for justice and fair treatment for all the people in Jamaica.
- Sir Alexander Bustmante, 1884-1977. A Jamaican politician and labour leader who in 1962 became the first prime minister of Jamaica.
- Marcus Garvey, 1887-1940, born in St. Ann. A proponent of Black nationalism in Jamaica and especially the United States.
- George William Gordon, 1815-1865. A wealthy Jamaican businessman, magistrate and politician, one of two representatives to the Assembly from St. Thomas-in-the-East Parish.
- Norman Washington Manley, 1893-1969. A Rhodes Scholar, Manley became one of Jamaica’s leading lawyers in the 1920s.
- Nanny. Queen Nanny or Nanny, Jamaican National Hero, was a well-known, 18th-century leader of the Jamaican Maroons.
- Samuel Sharpe, 1801-1832. An enslaved African Jamaican man who was the leader of the widespread 1832 Baptist War slave rebellion in Jamaica.
The day is marked by various celebrations including flag-raising and tree-planting ceremonies, concerts and services to commemorate the heroes. Award ceremonies also take place each year to honour and reward those who have made an outstanding contribution to Jamaica and Jamaican society. National Heroes’ Day was first celebrated as a public holiday in Jamaica on Monday 20 October and replaced Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday.