Every February, we celebrate Black History Month.

Located in Sweet Auburn, we have great pride in our district and the role it has in our country’s rich black history. In fact, in 1956, Fortune magazine called Sweet Auburn “the richest Negro street in the world,” a phrase originally coined by civil rights leader, John Wesley Dobbs.

So in celebration of Black History Month, we wanted to share some fun and interesting black history trivia:

The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Did you know that potato chips were invented by a black man in 1853? After a restaurant manager had sent his French fries back for being too thick, Chef George Crum cut the potatoes as thin as possible and deep-fried them. And the potato chip was born!

The U.S. isn’t the only country that celebrates Black History Month; Canada and the United Kingdom celebrates theirs in February and October.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling it a moment for the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Interracial marriage in the United States was banned in 1664 and not overturned until 1967.

The gas mask was invented by Garrett Morgan, an African-American inventor. Additionally, he was the first person to patent the traffic signal.

The iconic cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by a black jazz singer in Harlem. Introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, the caricature of the singer, Esther Jones, was the first and most famous sex symbol in animation.

Martin Luther King Jr. improvised the most iconic part of his “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Black History Month started as a weeklong celebration. “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926.

The idea of a blood bank was pioneered by Dr. Charles Richard Drew. Dr. Drew was an American medical doctor and surgeon who started the idea of a blood bank and a system for the long-term preservation of blood plasma which he discovered kept longer than whole blood.

Since 1928, every Black History week or month has had a theme that recognizes crucial events or topics that should be highlighted during the year’s celebration.

Come on over to Sweet Auburn and celebrate Black History Month with us at Room Escape Atlanta!