February marks Black History Month. The first celebration of African Americans’ contributions to civilization was held during the week that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in February 1926.
Following Black History Week, Black history clubs sprang up, and teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils on African American history.
In 1976, Black History Week was expanded to the whole month of February following a proclamation by President Gerald R. Ford. Since then, every American president has issued Black History Month proclamations to acknowledge, celebrate and promote the study of Black history and contributions to society.