February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month

These drivers of the 666th Quartermaster Truck Company, 82nd Airborne Division, who chalked up 20,000 miles each without an accident, since arriving in the European Theater of Operations. (Photo: National Archives)

The roots of Black History Month can be traced back to black historian and journalist Carter G. Woodson helped found Negro History Week in 1926.

The event coincided with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass during the second week of February.

Honoring the contributions of black Americans expanded from black communities in the 1950s and 1960s to schools and city halls across the country, as teachers and mayors took part, too. The celebration was expanded to the entire month of February in 1976.

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"Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history," President Gerald R. Ford said at the time.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. opened in 2016 and is a popular destination during Black History Month.

Black History Month resources: