Thursday marks the beginning of Black History Month. For the next 28 days (and beyond), we will provide a daily dose of inspirational stories and videos to help explain the complex history of the black experience and black identity in America.
Historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, and 11 years later the organization created Negro History Week, which originally occurred the second week in February. During the 1960s, it was expanded into a month on many college campuses, and in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford designated February as Black History Month.
Below are a few notable things that have taken place on Feb. 1.
1865 – First African-American admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.
John Swett Rock was an American teacher, doctor, dentist, lawyer and abolitionist and one of the first African-American men to earn a medical degree. He was the first African-American to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1865 – Ratification of the 13th Amendment
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress. Ratification was completed on Dec. 6, 1865.
1960 – Sit-in movement in Greensboro, North Carolina
Four students from North Carolina A&T College started a sit-in movement in Greensboro, North Carolina. By Feb. 10, the movement had spread to 15 cities in five Southern states.
1965 – Selma demonstration ends in 700 arrests
More than 700 demonstrators, including Martin Luther King Jr., are arrested in Selma, Alabama.
1978 – The first Black Heritage USA Series stamp is issued
The first stamp of the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage USA series honors Harriet Tubman, famed abolitionist and “conductor” on the Underground Railroad.
1990 – U.S. Postal Service celebrated Ida B. Wells as part of the Black Heritage Series
The commemorative 25-cent stamp, the 13th entry in the series, was released at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
1997 – First 24-hour black movie channel, BET/Starz, was launched
BET Holdings and Encore Media Corp. launched BET/Starz, the first 24-hour black movie channel.