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. Frederick Douglass

1895: Frederick Douglass died on this day. He was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. (Photo: AP)

2. Sidney Poitier

1927: Academy Award winning actor and film director Sidney Poitier was born on this day in Miami, FL. (Photo: AP)

3. Wallace Thurman

1929: Writer Wallace Thurman’s play ‘Harlem’ opened in New York City on this day. (Photo: Tumblr)

4. Nancy Wilson

1937: Grammy Award winning singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a consummate actress and the complete entertainer, Nancy Wilson, was born on this day in Chillicothe, OH. (Photo: YouTube)

5. Willie Mays

1963: Willie Mays signed a $100,000 contract with the San Francisco Giants and the following year he became the first African American to be named Captain of a major League baseball team. (Photo: AP)

6. Charles Barkley

1963: Retired NBA Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold medalist, Charles Barkley, was born on this day in Leeds, AL. Since retiring, he has had a successful career as a color commentator on basketball. (AP Photo)

7. Willie Thrower

2002: NFL’s first black quarterback, Willie Thrower, died this day at age 71. He became the leagues’ first black quarterback when he played in one game for the Chicago Bears in 1953. (Photo: AP)

8. Troy Jackson

2011: Streetball Legend Troy “Escalade’ Jackson died on this day at age 35. (Photo: NewsOne)

9. Rihanna

1988: Grammy Award winning singer, actress and model Rihanna was born on this day in Barbados. (Photo: AP)

10. Katie Hall

2012: Former Indiana US congresswoman and a key sponsor of the 1983 legislation that established a national holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Katie Hall, died this day. She was 73 years old. (photo: AP)