Carter G. Woodson is given credit for laying the foundation of what later became Black History Month. He helped found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History on Sept. 9, 1915, which expanded Negro History Week to Black History Month in 1976.
Earlier in 1915, Woodson travelled to Chicago in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of slavery. The excitement and enthusiasm he experienced there gave him the idea to form the ASNLH. In 1926, Woodson promoted the idea of Negro History Week to coincide with the birthdays of two prominent figures in the shaping of black history: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Fifty years later on the anniversary of Negro History Week, the ASNLH expanded it to a month-long celebration.