February Factoids


February 1-28

February is Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated every February to honor the achievements of African Americans who have shaped American history. The idea was started in 1915 by historian Carter G. Woodson who created Negro History Week during February.

During February, be sure to visit the African American History Collection


February Observances (Week)

National Girls and Women in Sports Day (First week in February)

View our Women in Sports Collection under Women in Leadership. 


February Observances (Day)

Click on a date below to find more factoids and related content.

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First Negro History Week observed.

On February 1926, the first Negro History Week observed. 50 years later in February 1976, Negro History Week expanded by Congress to National Black History Month. Learn more about Carter G. Woodson, the father of African American History. (Periscope)

National Freedom Day

This day celebrates freedom from slavery. View resources about slavery on KnowItAll here

Space Shuttle Columbia

On February 1, 2003, sixteen minutes before it was scheduled to land, the space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) broke apart over the skies of Texas. All seven crew members perished in the accident. Columbia is the second space shuttle lost in flight, the other being the shuttle Challenger. Dr. Laconte Cathey discusses the risks involved with space travel. (Carolina Journal) More on the Challenger disaster is available here




Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, signaling the end of the Mexican American War. In exchange for $15 million, the U.S. acquired the areas encompassing parts or all of present day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas.  Learn more about some of the South Carolinians who fought in the conflict, such as Governor Pierce Mason Butler and the Palmetto Regiment. They both participated in the Battle of Cherubusco. (History In A Nutshell, History of South Carolina Slide Collection)

National Job Shadow Day

National Job Shadow Day is a day that encourages working professionals to provide students of all levels with opportunities to follow, or shadow, them in their work environments to gain invaluable knowledge and experience about the professional world. 

Take a peek at our Career Explorations Collection!




15th Amendment

On February 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment passed, granting right to vote to African Americans. (Periscope)

The 15th Amendment was one of the Reconstruction Amendments. (History In A Nutshell)





World Read Aloud Day

The LitWorld holiday was created to shine a light on the art of reading aloud and encourages people to grab a book and an audience and read aloud. The holiday is global with over 100 different countries participating. The holiday promotes literacy, community gathering and sharing stories.

Visit our Libraries, Literature and Learning collection to discover new authors and books or check out our Storytelling collection to listen to stories read aloud.




Orangeburg Massacre

On the evening of February 8, 1968,  three young African American males, were killed and twenty-eight other protesters were injured at South Carolina State University. This event became known as the Orangeburg Massacre. (Collections)

General William Tecumseh Sherman

On February 8, 1820, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general during the American Civil War, was born in Lancaster, Ohio. 




Capture the Island of Guadalcanal

On February 9, 1943, during World War II in the Pacific, U.S. forces capture the island of Guadalcanal. This was a costly victory for U.S. forces. Some South Carolina veterans recall their experiences at Guadalcanal. (South Carolinians In WW II)




Thomas Edison

Inventor Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio.

National Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day promotes a positive attitude even when things might not be going your way. We thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight our content on a favorite beverage - milk!

International Day of Women and Girls in Science 

The United Nations observes February 11 as a day to commemorate and honor those women and girls who advance themselves and progress in science and/or the STEM fields. The UN use this day to draw attention to the fact that STEM industries are still severely unequal in representation of women and girls and therefore are holding themselves back from true progress. 

The 9th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly will take place on 8-9 February 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York City.

View our Women in Science collection.




Abraham Lincoln

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born February 12, 1809. (Periscope)

The Friendship Nine

On February 12, 1961, black students known as "The Friendship Nine," from Friendship Jr. College in Rock Hill, had the first of many sit-ins at McCrory's Five & Dime lunch counter. The practice of "Jail, No Bail" proved to be effective in the fight for civil rights. (Carolina Stories)


On February 12, 1909, the NAACP was founded becoming the largest and oldest civil rights organization in America. (Periscope)




Frederick Douglass

Also former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born February 14, 1818. (Periscope)

Valentine's Day

A day to celebrate love. Check out our Valentine's Day collection to find out more about the holiday and to download printable cards.




Bill T. Jones

Dancer Bill T. Jones was born on February 15, 1952, in Bunnell, Florida. (Artopia)

Susan B. Anthony

February 15, 1820: Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer for women's rights, was born in Adams, Massachusetts. She tirelessly advocated for women's suffrage in the U.S. Unfortunately, she did not live to see the passing of the 19th Amendment. (Periscope)

U.S. Battleship Maine

On February 15, 1898, the sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine occurred in Havana, Cuba. 260 crew members perished, signaling the beginning of the Spanish-American War. One of the Maine's cannons is on display at the S.C. State House grounds. (The SC State House)




Burning of Columbia, SC

  • On February 17, 1865, General Sherman and his troops entered Columbia, South Carolina. (Mary Long Yesteryear)
  • By the morning hours of February 17, 1865, much of the city of Columbia was in flames, accompanied by a riot that had built steadily, so that most control was lost over the city. (Burning of Columbia)

The Hunley




Burning of Columbia

By February 18, 1865, over one third of the city of Columbia lay in black, burnt ruins. (Burning of Columbia)




Constantin Brancusi

Sculptor Constantin Brancusi was born in Pestisani, a village in Southern Romania, on February 19, 1876. (Artopia)

Battle of Iwo Jima

On February 19, 1945, during World War II, United States Marines land on the Japanese occupied island of Iwo Jima, and the Battle of Iwo Jima begins. The fight lasts well over a month, with both American and Japanese forces suffering heavy losses. The battle was a bloody victory for the U.S. Some South Carolinian veterans recall their experiences at the Battle of Iwo Jima (South Carolinians In WW II) 




John Glenn

February 20, 1962: Mercury astronaut John Glenn made history as the first American to orbit the earth, aboard "Friendship 7."  Learn more about John Glenn, and the Space Race, with S.C. astronaut Charles Duke, and History In a Nutshell! (Conversations With Scientists And Astronauts)

World Day of Social Justice 

World Day of Social Justice is an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections.




Malcolm X

On February 21, 1965, American civil rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a speech in a New York City ballroom. (Roadtrip)




George Washington

On February 22, 1732, George Washington, general during the American Revolution, one of the Founding Fathers, and the first President of the United States, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. 
A monument to George Washington can be found on the steps of the S.C. State House. (The SC State House)




W.E.B. Du Bois

Author and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois was born February 23, 1868. (Periscope)




Tell a Fairy Tale Day

This holiday celebrates the creativity and ingenuity in the storytelling in fairy tales. Listen to Gullah Tales in English and Gullah by Aunt Pearlie Sue or visit the Storytelling collection to listen to more stories.




International Polar Bear Day

February 27 marks the day to learn more about the majestic and mysterious creatures that are polar bears. The creatures are losing their habitat and population day by day, and the World Wildlife Foundation uses this day to encourage people to discover more about this animal and find out more about what they can do to help.

View our resources on polar bears!




Shakespeare's The Trojan Women

This scene from The Trojan Women was shot in the studio at South Carolina ETV in February 2004. (Artopia)

Learn more about William Shakespeare





Revised by Eva Chillaru, 2021 ETV Endowment Intern, June 2021

Revised by Andrew Davis, Media Production Assistant, 2019.