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African American History Month:

Celebrating February as African America History Month was first established in 1815 by Dr. Carter Woodson the founder of The Association for the Study of African American Life. The 2016 theme Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories is meant to remember and honor the places from which African American history unfolded. Bringing attention to the sites of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom which are engraved into the fabric of American history. To read more about this years theme go to read more about the history and this years theme go to:


Read more on our Heritage Month Guide.

1. Langston Hughes (1902-1967): African American

Hughes emerged as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and became the most influential African American writer of his time. His poetry, which drew on the traditional Black art forms of spirituals, blues, and jazz, won an especially wide audience, but Hughes also distinguished himself as a writer of fiction, drama, essays, and history.

6. African American Pioneers in Aviation Family Day

The National Air and Space Museum celebrates African American contributions to flight and space exploration. To find out more go to

11. Nelson Mandela released from prison: South Africa

A leader of the anti-apartheid revolution in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was freed from prison after 27 years of confinement February 11th, 1990. He was then elected as the first black chief executive and President of South Africa in 1994 and served until 1999. A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and champion of equality. To read more about Nelson Mandela's life and legacy go to

12. Lincoln's Birthday: United States

Commemorates the birth of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), one of the greatest presidents of the United States, who changed the course of history by preserving the American Union during the Civil War, thereby preserving American democracy. Lincoln issued the historic Emancipation Proclamation, which evolved to become the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ending slavery in the United States.

13. Absalom Jones (1746-1818): African American

An abolitionist, Jones and his friend Richard Allen, walked out along with the other Black members when Philadelphia’s interracial St. George’s Methodist Church voted that Blacks must be segregated to the balcony in 1786. A year later, Jones and Allen founded the Free African Society, helping newly freed Blacks adjust to urban life, advocated against slavery, founded schools, and lobbied before Congress for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act. Jones and Allen established the first Black church in Philadelphia, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in 1792, where Jones became the first Black priest in America. Jones died on this date.

14. Frederick Douglass (1817-1895): African American

Frederick Augustus Bailey escaped slavery at the age of 21, changed his name, and became a renowned campaigner for the abolition of slavery. He published his autobiography in 1845, after which he gave lectures on a tour of England where friends raised money to buy his freedom. Returning to the United States, he founded a newspaper, the North Star and urged President Lincoln to free the slaves and arm African Americans during the Civil War. After the war Douglass held a variety of federal offices.

16. Washington's Birthday (Presidents' Day): United States

Birthday of George Washington (1732-1799), hero of the Revolutionary War, president of the Constitutional Convention, and first president of the United States of America, is observed on this day. His Birthday became an official federal holiday in 1885. As a number of states also celebrated the February 12 birthday of Abraham Lincoln, some legislators advocated combining the two holidays into a single holiday called Presidents' Day. That proposal was rejected by Congress and the official name of the holiday remained Washington's Birthday.

21. Barbara Jordan (1936-1996): African American

Born in Texas, Jordan graduated magna cum laude from Texas Southern University and Boston University Law School. She was the first Black woman to be elected to the Texas State Senate (1966), and later became the first woman and first African American elected to Congress from Texas.

23. W[illiam] E[dward] B[urghardt] Du Bois (1868-1963): African American  

A scholar, writer, and editor, Du Bois proved to be the most important leader of the effort to secure basic civil and human rights for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. He wrote a number of scholarly works about the social conditions of Blacks in America, the the most famous, The Souls of Black Folk, attacked Booker T. Washington's strategy of accommodation and urged a more activist approach to improve the conditions of Black Americans. He founded the Niagara Movement in 1905 (Black intellectuals working for civil rights), and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. He resigned from the NAACP in 1934 to devote his time to teaching and writing.


The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Electronic Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

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