The origin of Black History Month goes back to 1926. In that year, Carter G. Woodson, preeminent scholar, historian, and activist, enshrined the second week of February as "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, important figures in Black American culture, occur during this time.
In 1976, America's bicentennial year, President Gerald Ford established Black History Month in response to pressure from Black student activists, civil rights organizations, and other members of the Black community. However, it wouldn't be until 10 years later, in 1986, that Congress and then President Nixon would officially designate February as Black History Month.