compiled by Chris Rowan
Romans added February to their calendar around 700 B.C. February
is named after Februus, the Roman god of Purification.
the middle ages, February 14th was believed to be the
day when birds started to mate. Valentine’s Day was named after
Valentine of Rome, a Christian martyr thought to have been executed
February 14, 269 A.D.
third Monday in February is President’s Day (Feb. 18th,
2002), a legal holiday honoring our first President, George Washington
(born on February 22, 1732) and Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth
president, (born on February 12, 1809).
1865 (on February 1) President Lincoln approved the 13th
Amendment to the US Constitution, abolishing slavery. This day
is commemorated as “Freedom Day.”
1909 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) was founded by W.E.B. Dubois and Ida Wells-Barnett. Dubois,
author of Souls of Black Folk, was born on February 23,
In 1939 black contralto Marian Anderson (born Feb. 27, 1897),
was prevented from singing at the Lincoln Memorial by the Daughters
of the American Revolution because of her race. Her performance
was rescheduled, and 75,000 people heard her sing on the steps
of the Memorial on April 9 (Easter Sunday).
Events in Black History
February 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified,
guaranteeing the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race,
color or “previous condition of servitude.”
In 1895 (on February 20) abolitionist writer and former slave
Frederick Douglass died.
In 1956 (on February 22) Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks
(born February 4, 1913) were placed under arrest for organizing
a three-month-old bus boycott in Montgomery,
In 1960 (on February 1) black students in Greensboro, North Carolina,
sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter and were refused service.
This event sparked a protest across southern states that resulted
in more than 1,600 people being arrested before the end of the
year for participating in sit-ins.
In 1965 (on February 21) Malcolm X, black leader and founder of
the Organization of Afro-American Unity, was assassinated at the
Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
Events in U.S. History
1848 (on February 2) the Mexican War formally ended when Mexico
and the U.S. signed the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo.
On February 6, 1911, Ronald Reagan, fortieth President, was born.
On February 19, 1945, Marines landed on Iwo Jima, to begin fighting
the bloodiest battle in U.S. Marine Corps history.
On February 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American
to orbit the earth.
On February 21, 1972, Richard Nixon became the first U.S. President
to visit China.
1950 (on Valentine’s Day) Communist Dictators Joseph Stalin (of
the Soviet Union) and Mao Tse-tung (of China) formed a military
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