Why Famous: Carver was the most famous black scientist and agriculturalist in America during his lifetime. Born into slavery he was freed after the Civil War.
He became the first African American student at the Iowa State Agricultural College before accepting a job from Booker T. Washington to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Arriving in the South, Carver was appalled at the damage growing just cotton was doing to the land and the precarious existence of its farmers, especially those who were black. Carver began touring, giving lectures on soil deletion, and encouraging farmers to diversify and plant other crops. Carver became particularly famous for promoting peanut crops and products made out of them.
Carver's fame grew, he met with and was praised for his work by three American presidents. After his death in 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated money for a national monument to commemorate his life, the first national monument to an African American.
- 1943-05-07 Liberty Ship George Washington Carver, named after scientist, launched
- 1951-07-14 George Washington Carver monument unveiled
- 1953-07-14 First US national monument dedicated to a black American, to preserve the boyhood home of agricultural scientist and inventor George Washington Carver in Newton County, Missouri
- George Washington Carver National Monument - National Park Service