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Each February, the United States celebrates Black History Month, (Open external link) a national commemoration of the contributions and achievements that Black people have made throughout the history of the United States. Every president since Gerald Ford in 1976 has recognized this monthlong celebration, but the beginnings of Black History Month date back even further, to the first “Negro History Week” in 1926, an event created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a founder of an organization that was then-called the Association for Negro Life and History. At the time, few people studied Black history, and it was largely absent from textbooks and the classroom, and Dr. Woodson intended to bring awareness to often overlooked historical events and important figures from the Black community.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

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