George Washington Carver (1860-1943)
If an honest history of the deep South is ever written, Dr. George Washington Carver will stand out as one of the truly great men of his time. Born of slave parents in 1860 in Diamond, Missouri, Dr. Carver almost single-handedly revolutionized southern agriculture. From his small laboratory on the campus of Tuskegee Institute flowed hundreds of discoveries and products from the once neglected peanut. From the peanut Dr. Carver discovered meal, instant and dry coffee, bleach, tar remover, wood filler, metal polish, paper, ink, shaving cream, rubbing oil, linoleum, synthetic rubber, and plastics. From the soybean he obtained flour, breakfast food, and milk. It is highly doubtful if any person has done as much for southern agriculture as Dr. Carver. Dr. Carver died in 1943 and was buried next to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute. On July 17, 1960 the George Washington Carver National Monument was dedicated at Dr. Carver’s birth site. This was the first U.S. federal monument dedicated to a African-American.