Black History Month was begun by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Woodson, the son of former slaves, formed what is now The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and initiated Black History Week in February of 1926. He chose February because the month contains the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, Black History Week was expanded to Black History Month. Every American President since the 1970's has issued proclamations endorsing the Association's annual theme.