February is Black History Month
Compiled from both on-line and old-fashioned sources such as hard copy books!
compiled by Phyllis Barr, 2016
February 1, 1898 - The Travelers Insurance Company issued the first automobile insurance policy in the United States.
February 1, 1926 - Carter G. Woodson established Black History Month which is still celebrated.
February 2 - Groundhog Day. There are many theories as to why both the United States and Canada celebrate it. The lore says that if the groundhog comes out of its burrow and doesn't see its shadow, then winter will end early. If it does see its shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter.
Note: Various groundhogs are shown each year on local news shows in the tri-state area. Quite cute!
February 2, 1867 - Howard University, an historically black university, was chartered.
February 2, 1902 - Author Langston Hughes was born. He was the premier African-American author during the Harlem Renaissance. He was a founder of the artists and writers movement during the "Harlem Renaissance" after World War I.
Editor's Note: My aunt worked for his publisher and knew him and I inherited a few of the autographed books he gave her. She also met other legendary writers who met at the Algonquin Hotel "Round Table."
February 2, 1912 - Grand Central Terminal opened.
February 3, 1781 - Congress created the Departments of Finance, War and Marine. They were created under the Articles of Confederation. The former colonies were still at war with Great Britain until The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.
The Articles pre-date the Constitution of the United States which replaced them.
February 4, 1789 - George Washington was elected the first President of the United States. John Adams was the first Vice President. He was inaugurated on April 30th on the site of what is now Federal Hall on Wall Street. Manhattan was then the Capital of the New Nation.
February 7, 1862 - The New England Freedman's Aid Society was founded in Boston.
February 7, 1867 - Frederick Douglass and an African-American delegation visited President Andrew Johnson in the White House, a first
February 7, 1964 - The Beatles arrived in the United States. When they appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV show they were greeted with shouts and screams as they were at all appearances both
on TV and in concert.!
February 8, 1850 - Frederick Douglass published an attack on the Compromise of 1850. Thirteen years later, during the Civil War, on February 13th he gave a speech at Cooper Union in Manhattan
entitled "Mission of War."
February 8, 1910 - The Boys Scouts of America was chartered.
February 11, 1802 - Lydia Marie Francis Child, who was an abolitionist and suffragette, was born. Women won the right to vote in 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
February 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln was born. In 1861 he was elected the 16th President of the United States.
He signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
February 12, 1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- known as the NAACP - - was formed. It is one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the United States. Its mission is "to insure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of minority group citizens" of the United States. The organization's name is one of the last remaining uses of the term "colored" people which is retained in keeping with tradition. The organization was integrated from its earliest days. Members included women's rights activists Jane Addams and Lillian Ward.
February 16, 1827 - Freedom's Journal, the first African-American newspaper began publication.
February 18, 1933 - Prohibition was repealed when the 21st Amendment was ratified. It repealed the 18th Amendment.
February 22, 1732 - George Washington was born. He commanded the American troops during the American Revolution and was the first President of the United States of America. Washington did not want to be President and wrote to a friend that he would be facing "an ocean of difficulties."
Martha did not want him to be President either!
February 22, 1980 - The American hockey team was victorious over the then USSR team in the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. It was called "The Miracle on Ice."
February 23, 1868 - William E. B. DuBois was born. He was the founder of the NAACP.
February 26, 1869 - Congress proposed the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting
African-American suffrage for men.
The Amendment was ratified on March 30, 1870.
Women did not get the right to vote until the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920.
February 28, 1842 - Charles Lennox Redmond, an African-American journalist, testified before the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He spoke against segregation in transportation. He was also an anti-slavery debater.
February 29, 1796 - Proclamation of Jay's Treaty otherwise knows as the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation between King George III and the United States of America came into force. Nevertheless in 1812 war broke out again between England and the United States over land and other issues
and lasted until 1815.
Note: March is Women's History Month.