Black History Month is an outgrowth of Negro History Week, an event created in 1926 by Carter Woodson, an African-American scholar and historian. In 1976, the annual event was extended to last for one month, during which achievements of African-Americans are honored.
Black History Month happens in February to commemorate the birth dates of President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, a former slave, intellectual and abolitionist. Other facts relating to black history include John Mercer Langston passing the bar exam and becoming the first black lawyer in Ohio's history. Later, Langston was elected as town clerk in Brownhelm, Ohio, becoming one of the first African-Americans to achieve elected office in the United States.
Hiram Revel became the first black U.S. senator with his election in 1870, representing Mississippi. Shirley Chisholm made history when she ran for the U.S. presidency in 1972. Not only was Chisholm the first African-American presidential candidate in a major political party, but was the very first female presidential candidate.
One of the most celebrated black American scientists, George Washington Carver, developed hundreds of peanut-derivative products. These included cosmetics, milk, dyes, soap and flour, to name a few. 1967 saw another milestone in black history with the appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. Appointed by President Johnson, Marshall served with distinction until 1971.