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Black History month starts today.

An alumnus of the University of Chicago with  many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from  Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth  anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Thousands of African Americans traveled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the  destruction of slavery.  Awarded a doctorate in Harvard three years  earlier, Woodson joined the other exhibitors with a black history display.

Read: Our History Makers: Rosa Parks

Despite being held at the Coliseum, the site of the 1912 Republican convention, an overflow crowd of six to twelve thousand waited outside for their turn to view the exhibits. Inspired by the three-week celebration, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of black life and history before leaving town.  On September 9th, Woodson met at the Wabash YMCA with A. L. Jackson and three others and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH).

Read:GALLERY: Landmark Year In Black History, 1967

How Did Black History Month Get Started?  was originally published on

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