Celebrating February: Black History Month, American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day!

In the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month, American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day. Read more to learn about these holidays and observances and get tips for how to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day

On February 14th of each year, we celebrate Valentine’s Day. We have all seen the modern love-themed cards, pink hearts, and candy in the stores in early February, but did you know the first Saint Valentine’s Day took place in Paris in 1400?

Read below to learn 5 fun facts about this annual holiday:

  1.  145 million greeting cards are exchanged every year for Valentine’s Day.
  2.  Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the United States.
  3.  The first valentine was reportedly a poem written by a French medieval duke named Charles to his wife in 1415.
  4. Teachers are the number one recipient of Valentines.
  5. 250 million roses are grown just for Valentine’s Day!
While the origin of Valentine’s Day and the original intent of the holiday is up for debate, find more information about the history of Valentine’s Day from the resources below:

Black History Month

According to the History channel, «Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. 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.»

Learn more about Black History Month with 5 facts below:

  1. The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  2. Black History Month honors some of the most famous Black Americans. Many celebrations feature prominent African Americans like Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and George Washington Carver.
  3. Every February, organizations honor Black History Month with commemorative events. National Black History Month sponsors include: The Smithsonian Institution, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Library of Congress, and The National Park Service.
  4. As of 2022, Black Americans account for 13.6% of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s over 45 million different lived experiences across the country. Each African American experience is honored during Black History Month.
  5. In 1926, Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week. The celebration highlighted Black Americans’ history, lives, and contributions. In 1976, Negro History Week expanded to the month-long celebration we observe today.

How can you celebrate this important month? Here are 5 ways:

  1. Support Black-owned businesses.
  2. Learn about noteworthy Black figures.
  3. Donate to charities that support anti-racism equity and equality.
  4. Purchase, read, and share books and media by Black writers and creators.
  5. Attend virtual or in-person Black History Month events.

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month. How can you celebrate this month by paying close attention to this important indicators of health?

American Heart Month:

Fast facts/statistics about heart disease:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  • One person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  • About 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2020—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths.

According to the CDC, «This Heart Month the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is expanding the reach of the Million Hearts® and CDC Foundation’s “Live to the Beat” campaign, which focuses on encouraging and empowering Black adults ages 35 to 54 to take small steps to reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as CVD mortality are increasing in working-age adults, and Black adults are among those bearing the highest burden of CVD and the related health consequences, particularly in the United States. Black adults in the United States die from heart disease at a rate two times higher than White adults.»

Visit the CDC’s American Heart Month Toolkit in addition to the resources below:

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