George Washington Carver was a African American scientist who showed many intriguing thoughts of nature throughout his life span of being one of the most dedicated scientist. George was born in Diamond Missouri, but his exact date of birth is not known by people. Never the less, one of the most remarkable inventors was born. Many people speculate that he was born sometime in January in 1964, while others believe he was born in June. George was born as a small and weak baby, and he had his first challenge of overcoming various obstacles as a baby. Possibly one of his biggest goals that he had to overcome was growing up without having any parents. His father was killed in an accident while he was just a baby. George lived in a small cabin with his mother and brother James. Everything was going fine for George until one night when a raiding group of people came breaking into there home. They kidnapped George, along with his mother, while James went in the woods for a place to hide so he wonít be captured. James would be leaded by his ownerís Moses and Susan Carver.
Eventually George would escape from the people who capture him, and join his brother again as they would be guided by there owners. As being a black slave, they never adopted the last name from there parents. Only after the end of the Civil War, both James and George picked Carver to be their last name. George would stay with his ownerís that took care of him, and he would help out with the chores to show his appreciation. He became very fond of plants and at a early age George would plant and maintain the garden on the farm. He became so good at planting and gardening, his ownerís would give him the name ďThe Plant Doctor.Ē The Carverís taught George many of the basic things that every child should know at the ealy age. George learned how to read and write with no problems. Many people thought and knew that George had an excellent future ahead of himself due to the fact that he has a quick ability to pick up on new traits that he learns.
At first things didnít look to bright for Carverís future, he tried to enlist into the school in Diamond Grove, but was turned down because of racism. They told Carver that African Americanís were not permitted to attend the school. With the news of this, George left home on his own, to attend a color school in the community of Neosho. He had to find someone who was willing to take him since he didnít have no family, or knew anyone there. He would eventually find a black family that would accept him and take him in. In exchange Carver would do house chores as well as anything else for food and a place to sleep while he attended school. While going through school, Carver always maintained his interest in plants. He would go to various gardens that were around the area and do research on any rare plants that he saw. George was always in search and willing to learn something new everyday, thatís what made him standout from everyone else. From the age of 13 until the age of 20, he was moving from place to place, living with mostly African American families as he was seeking and wanting to learn more. Carver was looked at as not just an ordinary child by people. He was very talented and always kept busy in his spare time, he never believed in having free time. If the opportunity would present itself, and if Carver had free time, he would sing, play music, and paint/draw whatever was in his mind at that time.
In 1885, Carver applied to Highland College in Kansas, and was accepted into the college with no problems. When he went to begin class, he was turned down from the school, because they did not accept African Americanís into the school. Carver wanted to go to school in Kansas, but every school that he would go to would turn him down because of his ethnic background he has. He never gave up though, Carver was on a mission to continue his search for education. In 1889, Carver went to a small town in Iowa called Winterset, Carver kept his interest in drawing and kept on drawing sketches of different wild flowers during art class. He enrolled in Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Carver was accepted by the college despite that he was an African America, and they looked forward to having him attend the college.. Teachers along with students admired his intentions that he brought forth to the college. They never saw someone that has been through so much as Carver has and be so successful at everything that he has done. While he was at the college, a teacher notice that Carver always drew sketches of plants, and suggested to him that he should enroll in Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which was located in Ames, Iowa.
Carver was surprised that so many people looked at him as someone important and with talent, and that there was people willing to help him further his education. George Washington Carver was the first African American to enroll in the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and to be accepted by them. Carver was very productive at this school, he started an experiment in the cross breeding of plants, he believed that that he could help farmers raise more productive crops. Carver graduated from Iowa in 1894 with a B.S. in botany and agriculture. He wasnít happy with just having a B.S. so Carver went back to Iowa for an additional two years to complete his masterís degree in the same fields. While back at the college, he taught botany to people who were attending the school, and conducted extensive experiments on plants while going for his masterís degree. The school felt that Carver has done so much for them, that they should give something back to him, so they let him manage the universityís greenhouse.
After graduating, Carver was happy at Iowa State, but he wanted to help the African American living conditions. He was a very unselfish man, and didnít want to see other African Americanís have to endure what he has went through. In 1896, Carver accepted an invitation from Booker T. Washington to head the agricultural department at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes. As soon as Carver arrived at Tuskegee, he had a handful of challenges awaiting him. There was no money for the agricultural department, which at the time only had a few animals and a barn. In order for Carver to be a successful person he knew that he would need to create a laboratory, so he arranged a small group of people that would find and collect essentials that he can use to build and construct his laboratory.
After the creation of the laboratory, Carver viewed yet another problem that he had to fix. There was not a big hype or interest set out for the study of agriculture, because most of the students showed much interest in sharecropping and poverty. People would rather learn an industrial trade that would get them a living not working on a farm, since most of these people been on a farm all this time. The type of person Carver was though, he never gave up. He kept pushing and showing his true love for agriculture and kept with it and eventually he attracted students with the will that he possessed. In such a little time span, Carver made a tremendous impact at Tuskegee. Carver showed farmers if they alternate planting spots for cotton and peanuts, they would see a significant change in the cultivation of these products.
Carver wanted to make a change everywhere that he could, so he created a program where he would go to Alabama once a month to give farmers instructions on planting and other farming techniques that he knew about. All of a sudden the widespread of peanuts hit, as everyone was growing them. Peanuts flooded the market and prices dropped on them as there was nothing to do with them, and know one was buying them since they could grow there own. Carver took it upon himself to explore and find other alternatives for the peanut that would increase its market value. Carver was very successful in alternatives for the peanut. He found over three hundred different uses for the peanut, which included : oil, stain remover, and butter just for a few examples. While exploring for new uses, Carver also found over one hundred different ways to use the sweet potato and the pecan. The exploration of the peanut made Carver a famous man, and was asked by people all over the country and United States to speak.
In 1921, Carver helped the United Peanuts Grower Association persuade Congress to pass a bill which called for a protective tariff on all imported peanuts. The peanut carved the road for Carver as it helped him resolve the rural problem in the south which emphasized that the peanut was a valuable part in nutrition. Carver only patented three of his five hundred agriculture based inventions. When asked why Carver said ďGod gave them to me, how can I sell them to someone else?Ē Carver was never a married man, and in 1940 he gave his life savings of $33,000 to the Tuskegee Institute. As an appreciation to his donation and effort that he brought forth, the money was used to establish the George Washington Carver Research Foundation for agriculture research.
Carver received many awards for his accomplishments, in 1916 he was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. In 1923, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded him the Spingarn Medal for distinguished service in agricultural chemistry. In 1939, Carver received the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for his contributions to the world of science, and in 1951 the George Washington Carver National Monument was established in Missouri on the farm where Carver was born at. Carver died at Tuskegee, on January 5, 1943 and is buried on the grounds of Tuskegee Institute. To show the prosperity and gratitude that George Washington Carver brought to the world of science, Congress declared every January 5th a day to honor Carver, and all of his wonderful achievements that he gave us.