Black History Month

Debi Thomas

Debi Thomas

SGMS Timberwolf Times

On this day February 27 in African American History:

1869 – John W. Menard spoke in Congress in defense of his claim to a contested seat in Louisiana’s Second Congressional District. Congress decided against both claimants. Congressman James A. Garfield of the examining committee said “it was too early to admit a Negro to the U.S. Congress.” Menard was the first black to make a speech in Congress.

1988 – Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the winter Olympic Games.

On this day February 26 in African American History:

Feb. 26, 1869 – Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing the right to vote sent to the states for ratification.

Feb. 26, 1926 – Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week. This week would later become Black History Month.

On this day February 23 in African American History:

Feb. 23, 1965 – Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by a black woman in a major American city. To read more about Motley click here.

On this day February 21 in African American History:

1940 – Civil right leader and US congress the honorable John Lewis was born.

On this day February 20 in African American History:

1895 – Death of Frederick Douglass. Douglass was the leading black spokesman for almost 50 years. He was a major abolitionist, lecturer, and editor.

On this day February 16 in African American History:

1923 – Bessie Smith makes her first recording, “Down Hearted Blues,” which sells 800,000 copies for Columbia


On this day February 13 in African American History:

1923 – The first black professional basketball team, “The Renaissance,” was organized. Read more about the team here.

1970 – The New York Stock Exchange admits its first black member, Joseph Searles.

On this day February 12th  in African American History:

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

(NAACP) was founded. The call for the organizational meeting was issued on 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth by

47 whites and six blacks.

1948 – First Lt. Nancy C. Leftneant became the first black accepted in the regular Army Nursing Corps.

On this day February 8 in African American History:

1986 – Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show.

On this day February 6th  in African American History:

1993 – Arthur Ashe dies. First African American tennis player to win at


1867 – Robert Tanner Jackson becomes first African American to receive a degree in dentistry

On this day February 5th  in African American History:

1958 – Clifton R. Wharton Sr. confirmed as minister to Rumania. This career diplomat was the first Black to head a U.S. embassy in Europe.

1934  Henry “Home Run King” Aaron, baseball superstar

was born. (better known as Hank Aaron)

On this day February 2nd in African American History:

1862 – District of Columbia abolishes slavery.

1897 – Alfred L. Cralle invented the ice cream Scooper

1914 – Ernest Just, genetic biologist, wins the Spingarn Medal. He received this same medal on this day in 1915 for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.

On this day February 1 in African American History:

1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress.

1926 – What is now known as Black History Month was first celebrated on this date as Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson. It became a month long celebration in 1976.