NorCal Staff | May 1, 2017
Black History Month
February marks Black History Month, an annual celebration that began in 1926. Originated by Carter Godwin Woodson, the son of slaves who went on to earn prestigious degrees at both the Sorbonne and Harvard University, the month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln both of whom were born that month.
The remarkable contributions made to our everyday world in the face of extraordinary obstacles is what so poignantly and powerfully defines much of the African American experience and sets an inspirational example for all Americans. We at USTA Northern California are proud to lead the tennis community in honoring these fine coaches, players, parents and/or volunteers who bring tremendous value, insight and richness to the sport of tennis. ADVERTISEMENT
Women's History Month
Women’s History Month, now celebrated annually in the United States, grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1979. The idea quickly caught on within communities, schools and organizations across the country. In 1981, the U.S. Congress made it official, passing a resolution establishing Women’s History Week. Six years later, the event was expanded into the entire month of March.
USTA recognizes the many women who have made remarkable contributions. They rallied against the odds, have broken through barriers in what was at one time considered a male only sport and have set a true definition of inspiration for all players regardless of gender.
Asian American Heritage Month
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869.
In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a month long celebration. Per a 1997 Office of Management and Budget directive, the Asian or Pacific Islander racial category was separated into two categories: one being Asian and the other Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.
LGBT Pride Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan.
The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible.
In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world.
Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month was created via presidential proclamation in order to recognize and explore the achievements of a people that have contributed so much to American culture. Its national observance was authorized by Public Law 100-402 which states: The President is hereby authorized and requested to issue annually a proclamation designating the 31-day period beginning September 15 and ending on October 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month" and calling upon the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe such month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
The observation was initiated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week but was expanded in 1988 to include the entire 31-day period. The hard work, values, and devotion to community of Hispanic Americans set a positive example for all Americans.
Native American Heritage Month
The term "American Indian" incorporates hundreds of different tribes and approximately 250 languages. Starting in 1976 as Native American Awareness Week, the period was expanded by Congress and approved by President George H. W. Bush in August 1990 by designating the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month. In his proclamation for 1996, President Clinton noted, "Throughout our history, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have been an integral part of the American character. Against all odds, America's first peoples have endured, and they remain a vital cultural, political, social, and moral presence."