2012 Black History Month in the State of New York

 
 LEGISLATIVE   RESOLUTION  memorializing  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to
 proclaim February 2012 as Black History Month in the State of New York
 
 WHEREAS, Black History Month, previously known as  Negro  History  Week,
 was founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and was first celebrated on Febru-
 ary  1,  1926;  since 1976, it has become a nationally recognized month-
 long celebration, held  each  year  during  the  month  of  February  to
 acknowledge and pay tribute to African-Americans neglected by both soci-
 ety and the history books; and
   WHEREAS,  The month of February observes the rich and diverse heritage
 of our great State and Nation; and
   WHEREAS, Black History Month seeks to emphasize Black History is Amer-
 ican History; and
   WHEREAS, Black History Month is a time to reflect on the struggles and
 victories of African-Americans throughout our country's history  and  to
 recognize their numerous valuable contributions to the protection of our
 democratic society in war and in peace; and
   WHEREAS,  Some  African-American  pioneers whose many accomplishments,
 all which took place during the month of  February,  went  unnoticed  as
 well as numerous symbolic events in February, that deserve to be memori-
 alized  include:  John  Sweat Rock, a noted Boston lawyer who became the
 first African-American admitted to argue before the U.S.  Supreme  Court
 on  February  1,  1865, and the first African-American to be received on
 the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives; Jonathan Jasper  Wright,
 the  first  African-American  to hold a major judicial position, who was
 elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court on February 1, 1870;  Presi-
 dent  Abraham  Lincoln  submits  the proposed 13th Amendment to the U.S.
 Constitution, abolishing slavery, to  the  states  for  ratification  on
 February  1,  1865;  civil rights protester Jimmie Lee Jackson dies from
 wounds inflicted during a protest on February 26, 1965, leading  to  the
 historic  Selma,  Alabama  civil rights demonstrations, including Bloody
 Sunday in which 600 demonstrators, including  Martin  Luther  King,  Jr.
 were  attacked by police; Autherine J. Lucy became the first African-Am-
 erican student to attend the University of Alabama on February 3,  1956,
 she  was  expelled  three days later "for her own safety" in response to
 threats from a mob; in 1992, Autherine Lucy Foster  graduated  from  the
 University  with a Master's degree in Education, the same day her daugh-
 ter, Grazia Foster, graduated with  a  Bachelor's  degree  in  Corporate
 Finance; the Negro Baseball League was founded on February 3, 1920; Jack
 Johnson,  the  first African-American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion,
 won his first title on February 3, 1903; and Reginald F.  Lewis, born on
 December 7, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland, received his law  degree  from
 Harvard  Law  School  in  1968,  and  was a partner in Murphy, Thorpes &
 Lewis, the first Black law firm on Wall Street, and in 1989,  he  became
 President  and CEO of TLC Beatrice International Food Company, the larg-
 est Black-owned business in the United States; and
   WHEREAS, In recognition of the vast  contributions  of  African-Ameri-
 cans,  a joyful month-long celebration is held across New York State and
 across the United States with many commemorative  events  to  honor  and
 display the cultural heritage of African-Americans; and
   WHEREAS, This Legislative Body commends the African-American community
 for  preserving,  for  future  generations, its centuries-old traditions
 that benefit us all and add to the color  and  beauty  of  the  tapestry
 which is our American society; now, therefore, be it
   RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
 memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim February 2012 as  Black
 History Month in the State of New York; and be it further

   RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
 smitted  to  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New
 York, and to the events commemorating Black History Month throughout New
 York State.