Black History Month actually began as Black History Week in 1925, the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
The Harvard-trained Woodson wanted to raise awareness to African-Americans' history, achievements and contributions to civilization.
The event, which was initially launched in February 1926, included both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays.
The response was so overwhelming that black history clubs sprang up and teachers began adding the information to their curriculums.
The celebration was eventually expanded to a month during the nation's bicentennial in 1976.
Here are some facts that occurred during February in various years:
Feb. 1 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress. Ratification was completed December 6, 1865. Also in 1870, Jonathan Jasper Wright was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Feb. 2 - Today in 1914, artist William Ellisworth is born in Washington, North Carolina. Educated at Syracuse University, he was a student of Florida artist Augusta Savage. His works were exhibited at Atlanta University, the Whitney Museum, the Two Centuries of Black American Art exhibit, Fisk University, Hampton University, the North Carolina Museum of Art and private collectors.
February 3 - Six time All-Star Bill White was named president of National League in 1989. Former Saint Louis Cardinals first baseman Bill White is named president of the National League. He is the first African American to head a major sports league. On February 3, 1903; Jack Johnson became the first Negro Heavyweight Champion, The Negro Baseball League founded in 1920.
Feb. 4 - Today in 1986, a stamp of Sojourner Truth is issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
Feb. 5 - Henry "Home Run King" Aaron, baseball superstar was born in 1934.
Feb. 6 - on this day in 1867,The Peabody Fund for Black Education in the South established.
Feb. 7 - Negro History Week originated by Carter G.Woodson is observed for the first time in 1926.
Feb. 8 - Figure skater Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the Women's Singles of the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship competition, was a pre-med student at Stanford University in 1986.
Feb. 9 - In 1979, Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Leroy "Satchel" Paige would be inducted.
Feb. 10 - 1964, After 10 days of debate and voting on 125 amendments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by a vote of 290-130. The bill prohibited any state or local government or public facility from denying access to anyone because of race or ethnic origin. It further gave the U.S. Attorney General the power to bring school desegregation law suits.
Feb. 11 - today in 1996, Penn's Baccalaureate Speaker was the Right Reverend Barbara Clementine Harris, a Philadelphian who was the first woman ever to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion.
Feb. 12 - Birthday of William Felton Russell, better known as "Bill" Russel, he was player-coach of the Boston Celtics basketball team in 1968 and 1969. Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1934.
Feb. 13 - The first Black professional basketball team "The Renaissance" organized 1923.
Feb. 14 - today in 1936, National Negro Congress organized at Chicago meeting attended by 817 delegates representing more than 500 organizations. Asa Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was elected president of the new organization.
Feb. 15 - today in 1848, Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf. Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regained the title on September 15 and became the person to win the title three times in 1978.
Feb. 16 - Joe Frazier knocked out Jimmy Ellis in the second round of their New York fight and became the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1970.
Feb. 17 - James Nathaniel Brown, 63, Pro Football Hall of Fame Fullback, Born February 17, 1936 in St. Simons Island, GA, Michael Jeffrey Jordon, Basketball player, former minor league baseball player, Born New York, New York, February 17, 1963.
Feb. 18 - today in 1913, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated at Howard University.
February 19 - Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. She and partner Jull Brakken won the inagural women's two-person bobsled event in 2002 at Salt Lake City, Utah.
Feb. 20 - Death of Frederick Douglass (78), Douglass was the leading Black spokesman for almost fifty years. He was a major abolitionist and a lecturer and editor. Charles Wade Barkley, basketball player, born Leeds, AL, February 20, 1963.
Feb. 21 - today in 1987, African Americans in Tampa, Florida rebelled after an African American man was killed by a white police officer while in custody.
Feb. 22 - Julius Winfield( "Dr.J") Erving, former basketball player, born Roosevelt, NY, Feb 22, 1950. Also on this day DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince win the first rap Grammy for the hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand."
Feb. 23 - Baseball catcher Elston Gene Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1965, Howard signed a $70,000 contract with the NY Yankees and became the highest paid player in the history of baseball at the time in 1929.
Feb. 24 - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jimmy Ellis was born James Albert Ellis in Louisville, Kentucky in 1940. Ellis won the World Boxing Association title after beating Jerry Quarry in April 1968.
Feb. 25 - Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for world heavyweight boxing championship in 1964. Boxer Mike Tyson becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World by defeating challenger Frank Bruno of England in 1989.
Feb. 26 - Theodore "Georgia Deacon" Flowers wins middleweight boxing title in 1926. On this day in 1964., the Kentucky boxer known to all as Cassius Clay, changed his name to Cassius X as he accepted Islam and rejected Christianity. "I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and in peace...I'm not a Christian anymore." According to two biographies, Muhammad Ali by Anthony O. Edmonds and My View from the Corner by Angelo Dundee, Cassius Clay changed his name to Cassius X on the 26th. Elijah Muhammed, a black Muslim leader, announced Cassius X's name was being changed to Muhammed Ali.
Feb. 27 - Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the winter Olympic Games in 1988.
Feb. 28 - In 1932, Richard Spikes invents the automatic gear shift. Also Musician and entertainer Michael Jackson wins eight Grammy Awards. His album, "Thriller", broke all sales records to-date, and remains one of the top-grossing albums of all time.