February is the birthday month for many famous people including four Presidents (George Washington, William Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan). February is also Black History Month, an annual observance in the United States honoring African-Americans.
What began as Negro History Week, in 1926 by Historian Garter G. Woodsen, evolved into Black History Month. In 1976, under the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Negro History Week was expanded to the entire month of February and was designated Black History Month.
Booker T. Washington
There are a number of National Parks & Historic Sites dedicated to preserving African-American history. These sites are located throughout the United States from Massachusetts to Mississippi and celebrate the achievements of notable African-Americans such as Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr. Although most are familiar with these famous Black Americans , there are also sites commemorating less well-known figures.
William Johnson House, Natchez, Mississippi
Once such site is the Natchez National Historic Park, in Natchez, Mississippi. The William Johnson House was a home and business owned by William Johnson, a free black man, whose diary tells the story of everyday life in antebellum Natchez.
Armchair travelers may make a virtual visit to Historic Sites dedicated to preserving African-American History here.
A lot of great things happen in the month of February, even though it is the shortest month of the year. Although this is not a Leap Year, when we think of February that thought often does come to mind. A few other notable events that occur this month are Black History Month, Valentines Day, the beginning of Lent, Presidents Day, and American Heart Month. Although not always in February, this is the Year of the Tiger, and the Chinese New Year Day is on February 14th.
While some were hoping for an early spring this year, it appeared that February 1st was not a good start for many because weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and therefore a prediction of six more weeks of winter was made. Were you aware however that there are more (prognosticator) ground hogs out there? Did they too predict six more weeks of winter? General Beauregard Lee, who resides at the Yellow River Game Ranch located near Atlanta, Georgia, did not see his shadow. We presume this means the Daffodils will be blooming a little earlier this year. So who are those other groundhogs, and how did this all start? The tradition began in Germany where it was said if a hibernating animal (such as a groundhog) saw its shadow, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter would last for another six weeks. By the way, Buckeye Chuck and Staten Island Chuck (Buckeye is a cousin of Punxsutawney Phil), did not see their shadows, so the folks in Ohio and New York (respectively) are jumping for joy. Folks in Wisconsin say that Jimmy the Ground hog is usually 80% right, so his predication of an early spring in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin is good news!
Since 1959, fans have gone along on the wild 500 mile ride during The Daytona 500! No matter if you are sitting in the stands, in the middle of the infield, or glued to your TV set, if you are a NASCAR fan, the month of February signals kick off for a year of car racing competition.
For many, The Daytona 500 is considered the most important and prestigious race of the NASCAR calendar, and unlike most sports, the best is not saved for last. The Super Bowl of stock car racing is usually held the second or third Sunday in February, the culmination of numerous activities and events held during ‘Speedweek’.
This is one of the busiest weekends for Daytona Beach. If you are unable to find lodging near the Daytona International Speedway, you might consider nearby Ormond Beach where you can tour the Harley Davidson Showroom, or a short drive north is the oldest city in America, St. Augustine, with numerous family-type attractions, like Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. Many attractions are located within walking distance of one another in St. Augustine.
For more information on activities and events in the Daytona Beach area, You may want to visit the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce and view their calendar of events.