Black History Month originated in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson and was created to celebrate achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.

1. 1902: Opera singer Todd Duncan was born on this day. He origniated the role of Porgy in ‘Porgy & Bess’ and helped to desegregate American Opera. In 1945, he became the first Black to appear with the New York City Opera. He later became a concert singer, with more than 2,000 performances in 56 countries, and taught in the music department of Howard University for many years. He continued to give singing lessons in his home well into his 90s. He passed away in 1998 at age 95. (Photo: YouTube)

2. 1912: Herbert Mills of the Mills Brothers was born on this day. Herbert, along with his brothers Donald, Harry and John became one of the most successful American groups of all time, with 71 chart singles. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. (Photo: YouTube)

3. 1915: Biologist, academic and Science writer Ernest Just received the first Spingarn Medal for pioneering research on fertilization and cell division. (Photo: AP)

4. 1924: Saxophonist, bandleader & composer Sonny Stitt was born into an extremely musical family on this day in Boston. His father a music professor, his mother a piano teacher, his brother a concert pianist and his sister a singer. It is said that he was a true road warrior and blowing demon to the end and never failing to provide a lesson to any young player who dared to test him on the bandstand. He passed away in 1982. (Photo: YouTube)

5. 1936: Actor Duane Jones was born on this day in New York City. He was the first African American to have a starring role in a mainstream horror film – Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Jones was a former English professor who directed at the Maguire Theater at the Old Westbury campus of New York State University, and he additionally served as artistic director at the Richard Allen Center in New York City. He died in 1988 from heart failure. He was only 52. (Photo: YouTube)

6. 1937: Clarence Quick, founding member of the Del-Vikings was born on this day. The Del-Vikings were formed in 1955 by members of the US Air Force stationed in Pittsburgh, PA and is one of the first integrated vocal groups. (Photo: YouTube)

7. 1948: Guitarist, songwriter, producer and former member of Earth, Wind and Fire member Al McKay was born on this day in New Orleans, LA. (Photo: TJMS/YouTube)

8. 1956: The Coasters signed with ATCO Records on this day and went on to have 19 hits in 15 years. The pre-eminent vocal group of the early rock ‘n’ roll era, was built on a remarkable collection of cleverly written comedic R&B songs. (Photo: YouTube)

9. 1959: Dexter Manley, nicknamed the ‘Secretary of Defense’ was born on this day in Houston, Tx. Considered to be the greatest defensive end in Redskins history and one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL during the 1980s. (Photo: AP)

10. 1959: The Coasters released the tune “Charlie Brown” on this day. It went on to become a big hit and stayed three weeks on the New Billboard Hot 100 Pop Chart at number 2. (Photo: YouTube)

11. 1989: Former MLB player and Yankees’ Broadcaster Bill White was elected to serve as president on the National League on this day becoming the first African American to do so. His base memoir ‘Uppity’ was published in 1991. (Photo: AP)

12. 1990: South African President F.W. de Klerk publicly promised to free imprisoned political prisoner Nelson Mandela and lift his country’s ban on Black membership in the African National Congress on this day. (Photo: AP)

13. 1995: Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. became the first African American to walk in Space on this day.

14. 2007: Singer and member of The Spinners, Billy Henderson, passed away on this day in Daytona Beach, Fl. Henderson (r) with The Spinners. (Photo: AP)

15. 2007: Motown’s first bandleader and a three-time Grammy winner with the Funk Brothers, Joe Hunter, passed away on this day in Detroit. He was 79. (Photo: AP)

16. 2010: Jamaican Rhodes Scholar and choreographer who cofounded the national Dance Theater Co. in 1958, Rex Nettleford, passed away on this day in Washington, DC where he was attending a fund-raiser. He was 76. (Photo: AP)