HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --
Originally “Negro History Month,” National Black/African American History Month commemorates Black and African Americans’ contributions, sacrifices, and impact on this nation.
Carter G. Woodson, a Black historian and educator, designated the second week of February as “Negro History Week” to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In the 1960s, the celebration was extended the whole month of February and in 1976, President Ford recognized Black History Month as a national observance.
Throughout history, Black/African Americans have continually contributed to the innovative success of this country. Their inventions transcended time, and many are still relevant today. These are just a few of those innovations:
• Gas Mask – Garrett Morgan
• Home Security System – Mary Van Brittan Brown
• Three Light Traffic Light – Garrett Morgan
• Color IBM PC Monitor and Gigahertz Chip – Mark Dean
• Automatic Gear Shift – Richard Spikes
• Clothes dryer – George T Sampson
• Lawnmower – John Albert Burr
• Lawn Sprinkler – Joseph A. Smith
• Modern Toilet – Thomas Elkins
You can find more inventions at https://dailyhive.com/seattle/inventions-by-black-people.
In addition, Black/African Americans have fought in every conflict since the Revolutionary War. Giving birth to many notable regiments and groups such as the Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, and the Golden Thirteen, Black/African Americans continue to serve courageously in the nation’s armed forces today. There are approximately 447,000 Black/African American Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, and DoD civilians.
This year’s theme, “Inspiring Change,” lends to the words of former enslaved American abolitionist and political activist, Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have with you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Each one of us can inspire our sphere of influence to exact change, but we must first remember, it starts with self.
Hill AFB events
Join us throughout the month as we celebrate the contributions, sacrifices, and achievements of Black/African Americans.
• Black History Month opening event at the Base Exchange on Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Judas and the Black Messiah Movie Event on Feb. 27 from 2-4:30 p.m.
• Black History Month Mentor Panel on Feb. 28 from 1-2 p.m.
You will also see some employee spotlights throughout the month, highlighting Hill AFB civilian employees and service members.