Black History Month, which acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of African American culture, and people, started in 1926 as “Negro History Week.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week. Dr. Woodson, whose parents were former slaves, graduated from high school at age twenty and went on to earn a PhD from Harvard. While there he was disturbed that history books ignored the African American population, so he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the Journal of Negro History and launched Negro History week on Feb. 12, 1926. The date was chosen to acknowledge the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States who helped abolish slavery, and Frederick Douglass, a leader in the abolitionist movement. In 1986, Congress officially designated February as National Black (Afro-American) History Month.