February is Black, African American History Month

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Black/African American History Month is a national annual observance for remembrance of significant contributions and accomplishments to our nation.

On Feb. 6, 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated the celebration of "Negro History Week," for the second week in February, to coincide with marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

This year's theme is The History of Black Economic Empowerment. The 509th Bomb Wing Equal Opportunity Office is providing Black History Facts for every day of February to highlight the significant contributions.

Feb. 1:
1997 - Black Entertainment Television Holdings and Encore Media Corp. launch BET Movie/Starz, the First 24-hour Black Movie channel.
1997 - Black Facts Online, the premiere spot for Black history goes online.
1978 - The first stamp of the US Postal Service's Black Heritage USA series honors Harriet Tubman, famed abolitionist and "conductor" on the Underground Railroad.
1974 - "Good Times" premiers on CBS.
1887 - J. Robinson patents a food carrier (a dinner pail) Patent No 356,852.

Feb. 2:
1989 - In Tampa, FL, a rebellion followed the suspicious death of Edgar Allen Price, a police suspect who died during an arrest. Police contended that Price "hit his head on the ground several times."
1915 - Biologist Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn medal for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.
1897 - Alfred L. Cralle invented the ice cream (mold) scooper, patent #576,395.
1862 - District of Columbia abolishes slavery.
1839 - Edmond Berger patented the spark plug.
Feb. 3:
1989 - Tennis professional Lori McNeil defeated Chris Evert in the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
1989 - Former St 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.
1988 - Confederate Flag Protest: In Montgomery, Alabama, Thomas Reed, president of the Alabama chapter of the NAACP, was arrested after he and 11 others attempted to strike a Confederate flag flying atop the state capital building.
1956 - Autherine J. Lucy becomes the first African American student to attend the University of Alabama. She was expelled three days later "for her safety." In 1992, Autherine Lucy Foster graduated from the University with a master's degree in education and that same day, her daughter, Grazia Foster, graduated with a bachelor's degree in corporate finance.

Feb. 4:
1996 - J.C. Watts becomes the first black selected to respond to a state of the union address.
1986 - A stamp of Sojourner Truth is issued by the US Postal Service.
1971 - National Guard mobilized to quell rioting in Wilmington, North Carolina. Two people are killed.
1913 - Rosa Parks (born Rosa Louise McCauley) is born in Tuskegee, Alabama

Feb. 5:
1990 - Columbia University graduate and Harvard University law student, Barrack Obama, became the first African American to be named president of the Harvard Law Review.
1962 - Suit seeking to bar Englewood, New Jersey from maintaining "racial segregated" elementary schools are filed in US District Court.
1950 - Singer Natalie Cole, daughter of legendary singer Nat Cole, was born in Los Angeles, California. She began singing professionally at age 11 and by 1976, Cole has won Grammys for New Artist of the Year and Best R&B Female Vocalist.
1935 - Henry (Hank) "Home Run King" Aaron, baseball superstar was born.

Feb. 6:
1993 - Tennis player Arthur Ashe dies. Ashe was the first African American to win at Wimbledon.
1972 - Robert Lewis Douglass, founder and coach of the Rens, is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame
1867 - The Peabody Fund for Black education in the South is established.
1820 - United States population is 9,638,453. Black population is 1,771,656 (18.4%)

Feb. 7:
1967 - Comedian, author, recording artist, actor and talk show host Chris Rock was born in South Carolina.
1926 - Negro History Week was originated by Carter G. Woodson is observed for the first time. In 1976 it became Black History Month.
1871 - Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College ) located near Lorman, Mississippi opened.

Feb. 8:
1986 - "Oprah's On!" Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.
1978 - Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight boxing championship.

Feb. 9:
1996 - Astronaut, Bernard Harris, African American astronaut takes a space walk.
1971 - Satchel Paige is inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Feb. 10:
1992 - Alex Haley, renowned author, dies. American biographer, scriptwriter, author who became famous with the publication of the novel ROOTS, which traces his ancestry back to Africa and covers seven American generations as they are taken as slaves to the United States.

The book was adapted to a television series, and woke up an interest in genealogy, particularly among African-Americans. Haley himself commented that the book was not so much history as a study of mythmaking. "What Roots gets at in whatever form, is that it touches the pulse of how alike we human beings are when you get down to the bottom, beneath these man-imposed differences."

1940 - Singer Roberta Flack was born in Asheville, North Carolina. She was discovered singing and playing jazz in a Washington nightclub by pianist Les McCann, who recommended her talents to Atlantic Records.

Flack achieved huge success with a poignant version of folk-singer Ewan MacColl's ballad, 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. Recorded in 1969, it was a major international hit three years later, following its inclusion in the film Play "Misty for Me." Further hits came with "Where Is the Love?"(1972), a duet with Donny Hathaway, and "Killing Me Softly With His Song" (1973).

She was shattered when her partner committed suicide in 1979, but in the 80s Flack enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Peabo Bryson that reached a commercial, if sentimental, peak with "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" in 1983.

Feb. 11:
1990 - Nelson Mandela is released from prison. Mandela accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as an accolade to all people who have worked for peace and stood against racism.
1976 - Clifford Alexander, Jr. is confirmed as the first African American Secretary of the Army. He held the position until the end of President Jimmy Carter's term.

1971 - Whitney M. Young, Jr. was Executive Director of the National Urban League from 1961 until his tragic, untimely death in 1971. He worked tireless to bring the races together, and joined the tenets of social work, of which he was an outstanding practitioner, to the social activism that brought the Urban League into the forefront of the civil rights arena.

Feb. 12:
1962 - Bus boycott started in Macon, GA.
1956 - Arsenio Hall, the first black late-night talk show host was born.
1952 - Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to Sgt Cornelius H. Charlton for heroism in Korea.
1948 - First Lt Nancy C. Leftenant became the first African American woman accepted in the regular army nursing corps.
1939 - Augustus Nathaniel Lushington became the first African American to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), earning the doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1897; died on this day.

1934 - William "Bill" Felton Russell born. Better known as "Bill" Russell, he was player-coach of the Boston Celtics basketball team in 1968 and 1969. Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana.

1909 - NAACP founded in 1909 in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's largest and strongest civil rights organization.

The NAACP's principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes.

This mission is accomplished by seeking the enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights, and by informing the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination.

Feb. 13:
1970 - The New York Stock Exchange admits its first Black member, Joseph Searles.

1957 - Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized at New Orleans meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. as president.

1923 - The first African American professional basketball team "The Renaissance" is organized. (The Rens)

Source of information was found on www.blackfacts.com