African American / Black History Month

  • Published
  • By Commentary by Debbie Reddecliff
  • 21st Space Wing
As 2018 begins, the 21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity Office hopes that individuals remain professional and respectful throughout the new year. When everyone treats each other in this manner, complaints are far and few.

During the month of February we celebrate Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. This is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role they have played in the history of the United States.

The observance of African American/Black History Month was established by Public Law 99-244. In 1948, President Harry Truman enacted Executive Order Number 9981, which directed equality of treatment and opportunity in all of the United States Armed Forces. This order, in time, led to the end of racial segregation in the military forces.

On March 6, 1960, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, prohibiting discrimination in federal government hiring on the basis of race, religion, or national origin and establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC. They were directed to scrutinize and study employment practices of the U.S. government and recommend additional affirmative steps for executive departments and agencies.

Since 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
Here is the list of Federally Mandated Observances and the dates they are observed in 2018:


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Observance (15 Jan)
African-American Heritage Month (1-28 Feb)
Women's History Month (1-31 Mar)
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (1-30 Apr)
Holocaust Days of Remembrance (TBD)
Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month (1-31 May)
LGBT Pride Month (1-30 Jun)
Women's Equality Day (TBD)
Hispanic Heritage Month (15 Sep-15 Oct)
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (1-31 Oct)
National American Indian Heritage Month (1-30 Nov)