February 1 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress. Ratification was completed December 6, 1865. Also in 1870, Jonathan Jasper Wright was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
February 2 - Today in 1914, artist William Ellisworth is born in Washington, North Carolina. Educated at Syracuse University, he was a student of Florida artist Augusta Savage. His works were exhibited at Atlanta University, the Whitney Museum, the Two Centuries of Black American Art exhibit, Fisk University, Hampton University, the North Carolina Museum of Art and private collectors.
February 3 - Six time All-Star Bill White was named president of National League IN 1989. Former Saint Louis Cardinals first baseman Bill White is named president of the National League. He is the first African American to head a major sports league. On February 3, 1903; Jack Johnson became the first Negro Heavyweight Champion, The Negro Baseball League founded in 1920.
February 4 - Today in 1986, a stamp of Sojourner Truth is issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
February 5 - Henry "Home Run King" Aaron, baseball superstar was born in 1934.
February 6 - On this day in 1867,The Peabody Fund for Black education in the South established.
February 7 - Negro History week originated by Carter G.Woodson is observed for the first time in 1926.
February 8 - Figure skater Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the Women's Singles of the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship competition, was a pre-med student at Stanford University in 1986.
February 9 - In 1979, Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Leroy "Satchel" Paige would be inducted.
February 10 - 1964, After 10 days of debate and voting on 125 amendments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by a vote of 290-130. The bill prohibited any state or local government or public facility from denying access to anyone because of race or ethnic origin. It further gave the U.S. Attorney General the power to bring school desegregation law suits.
February 11 - Today in 1996, Penn's Baccalaureate Speaker was the Right Reverend Barbara Clementine Harris, a Philadelphian who was the first woman ever to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion.
February 12 - Birthday of William Felton Russell, better known as "Bill" Russel, he was player-coach of the Boston Celtics basketball team in 1968 and 1969. Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1934.
February 13 - The first Black professional basketball team "The Renaissance" organized 1923.
February 14 - Today in 1936, National Negro Congress organized at Chicago meeting attended by 817 delegates representing more than 500 organizations. Asa Phillip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was elected president of the new organization.
February 15 - Today in 1848, Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school integration suit on her behalf. Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for heavyweight boxing championship. Ali regained the title on September 15 and became the person to win the title three times in 1978.
February 16 - Joe Frazier knocked out Jimmy Ellis in the second round of their New York fight and became the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1970.
February 17 - James Nathaniel Brown, 63, Pro Football Hall of Fame Fullback, Born February 17, 1936 in St. Simons Island, GA, Michael Jeffrey Jordon, Basketball player, former minor league baseball player, Born New York, New York, February 17, 1963.
February 18 - Today in 1913, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated at Howard University.
February 19 - Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. She and partner Jull Brakken won the inagural women's two-person bobsled event in 2002 at Salt Lake City, Utah.
February 20 - Death of Frederick Douglass (78), Douglass was the leading Black spokesman for almost fifty years. He was a major abolitionist and a lecturer and editor. Charles Wade Barkley, basketball player, born Leeds, AL, February 20, 1963.
February 21 - Otis Boykin, Inventor, patented the Electrical Resistor. He is responsible for inventing the electrical device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus 26 other electronic devices including a control unit for an artificial heart stimulator (pacemaker).
February 22 - Julius Winfield( "Dr.J") Erving, former basketball player, born Roosevelt, NY, Feb 22, 1950. Also on this day DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince win the first rap Grammy for the hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand."
February 23 - Baseball catcher Elston Gene Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1965, Howard signed a $70,000 contract with the NY Yankees and became the highest paid player in the history of baseball at the time in 1929.
February 24 - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jimmy Ellis was born James Albert Ellis in Louisville, Kentucky in 1940. Ellis won the World Boxing Association title after beating Jerry Quarry in April 1968.
February 25 - Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for world heavyweight boxing championship in 1964. Boxer Mike Tyson becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World by defeating challenger Frank Bruno of England in 1989.
February 26 - Mary McLeod Bethune delivered the last speech she would ever give at a Brotherhood Lunch held in her honor. In her speech she stated, “I have been the dreamer, but oh how wonderfully you have interpreted my dreams.” Her words honored the women who helped make her dreams a reality and addressed the women who would continue her mission through the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) which she founded. She also founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904, which later became Bethune-Cookman College.
February 27 - Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the winter Olympic Games in 1988.
February 28 - In 1932, Richard Spikes invents the automatic gear shift. Also Musician and entertainer Michael Jackson wins eight Grammy Awards. His album, "Thriller", broke all sales records to-date, and remains one of the top-grossing albums of all time.
February 29 – Actress and radio performer, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940 for her supporting role in “Gone with the Wind.”
Visit Florida: African-American History in Florida
Florida Black Heritage Trail