Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a fine time to dig into the trove of documents, artifacts and exhibits stashed here in Washington. On Saturday, the Museum of American History hosts a family day with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quartet, Civil War military drill reenactments and a chance to join the sit-ins at the museum's portion of the Greensboro Lunch Counter (pictured). And tonight, Maya Angelou will take part in a discussion at the Museum of the American Indian.

For the rest of February, seek out some of the unique objects from black history that you can find only in Washington, or visit some of the historic sites included in the gallery above.