In honor of National Peanut Day (September 13th) we thought it appropriate to celebrate the many accomplishments of George Washington Carver.
George Washington Carver was an American botanist and inventor who was celebrated and well-known throughout all communities. This was quite an accomplishment considering the era of very high racial polarization.
Carver was born into slavery in Missouri but the exact date of his birth is unknown. He was known for his promotion of alternative crops to cotton like peanuts and sweet potatoes. Carver felt strongly that about wanting poor farmers to grow these alternative crops in order to not only provide other sources of food for them but also as a way to improve their lives. He wrote 44 practical bulletins for farmers and by far the most popular one consisted of 105 food recipes using peanuts.
George Washington Carver was also a leader in the promotion of environmentalism and received many honors for his work such as the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP. Carver applied to many colleges and was turned down because of his color until finally being accepted to Iowa State Agricultural College where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He then taught for 47 years at the Tuskegee Institute as the head of the Agricultural Department.
Always concerned with his students’ character development, Carver wrote a list of eight virtues for his students to achieve:
- Be clean both inside and out.
- Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
- Lose, if need be, without squealing.
- Win without bragging.
- Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
- Be too brave to lie.
- Be too generous to cheat.
- Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.
Carver died on January 5, 1943 in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Guided Tours & Museums
Today you can take a guided tours to learn more about George Washington Carver. In Diamond, Missouri, you can take a guided tour of the historic 1881 Moses Carver House. For more information about this tour click here! In Tuskegee, Alabama, you can visit the George Washington Carver museum located at the Tuskegee Institute. For more information about the museum click here.