Starting Wednesday, the Black History Month will be observed throughout the United States in honor of the African-Americans and the role they played in the society over the years.

It has been a tradition for the sitting POTUS to announce the beginning of the annual observance and this year was no different. In a statement Wednesday, President Donald Trump acknowledged the start of the Black History Month.

“This annual observance is an opportunity to remember the challenges of our past, but also to honor countless African-American heroes who inspire us to shape our country's future,” the statement read. “This year's theme, ‘African-Americans in Times of War,’ calls our attention to the heroic contributions of African Americans during our Nation's military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to present-day operations.”

In keeping with the theme of this year’s Black History Month, the statement also delved into the long history of African-American soldiers serving in the U.S. military.

“It was not until 1948 that President Harry S. Truman ordered desegregation of the military, providing ‘equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the Armed Forces without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.’” the statement read. “It took another 5 years before the Secretary of Defense abolished the last segregated African-American military unit.”

Black History Month
President Donald Trump declared February as Black History Month in 2018. In this photo, first-grader Khatona Miller, right, investigates a circled location on a world globe with other classmates at Chicago's Stewart Elementary School, Aug. 22, 2000. Getty Images/ Tim Boyle

“These hard-won victories for justice catalyzed other victories, as they cast a harsh light on aspects of our social and civic lives that remained segregated. Those who fought against and ended segregation in the military reminded the Nation of its obligation to the self-evident truth of equality written into the Declaration of Independence,” the statement added.

Here are some interesting facts about the annual tradition:

According to History, the Black History Month originally began as the “Negro History Week,” which was created by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African-American historian, scholar, educator, and a publisher. It gradually extended to become a month-long celebration in 1976.

The month of February was specially chosen for the observance as it was the month when African-American social reformer Frederick Douglass and the first President of America Abraham Lincoln was born.

The Black History Month is the best time to brush up on your knowledge about African-Americans who went down the history for their outstanding contribution to their community and the nation. For example, did you know that John Mercer Langston became the first black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854? Or that the first African American woman was elected to the House of Representatives in 1968 when former Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) defeated her opponent to secure that position?

The 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery in 1865. The declaration read: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Historically Black Colleges and Universities came into existence before 1964. As of 2015, there were 102 such institutions located in 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.