Carter G. Woodson was born in New Canton, Virginia in 1875 to Anne Eliza and James Woodson, both former slaves. In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn his doctorate from Harvard University (the first was W.E.B. Du Bois). The extraordinary accomplishment is even more astounding given that Woodson's formal education only began at age 20. He had been unable to initiate his studies earlier due to segregated schools, but that changed once his family relocated to Huntington, West Virginia.
From his home, located at 1538 9th Street, NW, he directed the operations of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) while pursuing his continuous study of African American history. The home is currently closed to the public, as it is in need of restoration, but interpretive and education programs dedicated to this great American are available through the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.