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The Washington Informer Celebrates BHM

2/1/2012, 11:24 a.m.

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.