The holiday was established by the decree of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on November 13, 2014.

In late November 2013, the Ukrainian government's decision not to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union became the root cause for mass protests, the largest in the modern history of the state. In particular, on November 21, 2013, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers made a decision to suspend preparations for signing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, which was planned to be signed at the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit on November 28-29.

After the Berkut riot police violently broke up student protests on Kyiv's Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, on the night of November 30, 2013, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets in Ukrainian cities to stage mass rallies.

The protests, which lasted from late November until the end of February 2014, were named Euromaidan, Maidan, and later – the Revolution of Dignity.

As a result, the then President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in February, after the mass shooting of unarmed civilians in the center of Kyiv.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine took over the authority and appointed the presidential elections for May 25. Petro Poroshenko won these elections. On June 27, 2014 he signed an Association Agreement with the EU in its entirety.

Today, the Day of Dignity and Freedom is celebrated under the slogan: "Free people create the future!"