February 2017



Feb 1 National Freedom Day. President Lincoln signed resolution that proposed the 13th Amendment which would officially abolish slavery, 1865.
Feb 2 Alfred L. Cralle received patent # 576395 for a lever operated ice cream scoop, a design still widely used today, 1897.
Feb 3 Eric H. Holder Jr. sworn in as the nation’s first African American attorney general, 2009.
Feb 4 Rosa Parks, civil rights pioneer, who sparked the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, 1913.
Feb 5 Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron, hall of fame baseball player, was born in Mobile, Alabama, 1934.
Feb 6 Arthur Ashe Jr., hall of fame tennis player, humanitarian and activist, dies, 1993.
Feb 7 The first day of Negro History Week, originated by historian Carter G. Woodson. Negro History Week later became Black History Month, 1926.
Feb 8 Debra Janine “Debi” Thomas became the first African American to win the United States National Ladies’ Figure Skating title, 1986.
Feb 9 Bernard Anthony Harris, Jr. becomes first African American astronaut to walk in space, 1995.
Feb 10 Mary Violet Leontyne Price, internationally acclaimed opera singer, was born in Laurel, Mississippi, 1927.
Feb 11 Nelson Mandela of South Africa is released from prison after 27 years, 1990.
Feb 12 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded, 1909.
Feb 13 Edward Gay Robinson, hall of fame football coach, was born in Jackson, Louisiana, 1919.
Feb 14 Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, author and statesman, was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland, 1818.
Feb 15 Henry Lewis becomes the first African American to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States, 1968.
Feb 16 James Baskett, first African American male actor to receive an Oscar, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, 1904.
Feb 17 James Nathaniel “Jim” Brown, hall of fame football player and actor, was born in St. Simons Island, Georgia, 1936.
Feb 18 Toni Morrison, recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved was born in Lorain, Ohio, 1931.
Feb 19 Vonetta Flowers becomes Winter Olympics’ first African American gold medalist, 2002.
Feb 20 Sidney Poitier, actor, director, author and diplomat, was born in Miami, Florida, 1927.
Feb 21 John Robert Lewis, civil rights leader, politician and author, was born in Troy, Alabama, 1940.
Feb 22 James Reese Europe, ragtime and jazz bandleader, arranger and composer, was born in Mobile, Alabama, 1881.
Feb 23 William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, civil rights activist, historian and author, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 1868.
Feb 24 Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes first African American woman to receive a medical degree (New England Female Medical College), 1864.
Feb 25 Hiram R. Revels, first African American to serve in the U.S. Senate. He filled the seat once held by Jefferson Davis, 1870.
Feb 26 Civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson dies after being shot by state police in Marion, Alabama, 1965.
Feb 27 Marian Anderson, world- renowned opera singer and civil rights activist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1897.
Feb 28 Michael Jackson, musician and entertainer, wins eight Grammy Awards, 1984.
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