This Month in History, February: Black History Month


This Month in History
February: Black History Month
February 1, 1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery in the United States. February 1 is known as National Freedom Day in its honor.
February 3, 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified.
The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race and was intended to ensure civil rights for those who were formerly enslaved.
February 7, 1926 Negro History Week is celebrated for the first time.
Conceived by historian Carter G. Woodson, this precursor to Black History Month was selected to be held this week in February for its proximity to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
February 1976 Negro History Week becomes Black History Month.
President Gerald Ford encourages Americans to observe Black History Month by celebrating Black history and culture. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Black History Month has been celebrated at public schools, universities, and museums and has been sponsored at a national level by organizations like the Library of Congress.