George Washington Carver (January 1864 – January 5, 1943)

Event: 8

January, 1864

George Washington Carver was born somtime in January, 1864 and passed away January 5, 1943. During his life he Carver managed to obtain a high school education. He was admitted as the first black student of Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa. He then attended Iowa Agricultural College while working as the school janitor, he received a degree in agricultural science in 1894. Two years later he received a master’s degree from the same school and became the first African American to serve on its faculty. Within a short time his fame spread, and Booker T. Washington offered him a post at Tuskegee. Carver revolutionized the southern agricultural economy by showing that 300 products could be derived from the peanut. By 1938, peanuts had become a $200 million industry and a chief product of Alabama. Carver also demonstrated that 100 different products could be derived from the sweet potato.
Carver never patented most of the many discoveries he made while at Tuskegee. In 1938 he donated over $30,000 of his life’s savings to the George Washington Carver Foundation and willed the rest of his estate to the organization so his work might be carried on after his death.

Dear Diary,

Today when momma was trying to cook, she said I “was getting under her feet” whatever that means! So she sent me down to my grandmaw’s house, to stay out of her way. When I walked inside she was reading the news paper. I asked her what she was reading. At first I could tell she didn’t want to tell me. Every time she reads I ask her that and when she tells me I always have a lot of questions. I have many memories of this happening, when I think of them I smile because it reminds me I was a little bit smarter in the moment. Grandmaw does not feel that way though. She told me anyway of a man named George Washington Carver. He had been born into a hard life but managed to get himself through school and collage. He had worked on campus as a janitor, but still graduated with a masters degree. Then he made a living for himself by making a $200 million industry off peanuts and he was giving a large amount to charity. What a man! I didn’t have a lot of questions for grandmaw only one; Could I do that? 

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