One of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate from Harvard was Carter G. Woodson. Born in 1875 in New Canton, Va., Woodson dedicated his career to the field of African-American history and lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide institution, giving him the name “Father of Black History Month”. Woodson lobbied schools and organizations to participate in a special program to encourage the study of African-American history, which began in February of 1926 with Negro History Week. The program was later expanded and renamed Black History Month. Woodson had chosen February for the initial weeklong celebration to honor the birth months of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. Woodson died in 1950.
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