Scientist, inventor, and educator George Washington Carver and his work has probably been overlooked more than any other figure in American history. The alternative foods and other products that he created from the peanut were very instrumental to the reshaping of Reconstruction Era America. He developed over 300 non food products from peanuts, including cosmetics, paints, gasoline, and nitroglycerin.
On this date in 1897, Carver was successful in getting a Branch Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural School at Tuskegee. After being invited to head the Agricultural Dept. by Booker T. Washington in 1896, he continued to teach at Tuskegee for 47 years, turning the department into a strong research center for generations of Black students interested in farming so that they could remain self sufficient. The legacy of his works can still be seen at the George Washington Carver Museum on the Tuskegee Institute campus.
Other “Black Facts” on this date:
1804: the New Jersey Legislature approved a law calling for gradual emancipation of Blacks. In doing so, New Jersey became the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.
1848- Sarah Roberts was barred from white schools in Boston. Her father, Benjamin Roberts, filed the first school intergration lawsuit on her behalf.
1851- Black abolitionists invade a Boston courtroom and rescue a fugitive slave.
1961- U.S. and African Nationalists protest the assassination of Congo Premier Patrice Lumumba and disrupt United Nation sessions.
1968- Henry Lewis became the first Black person to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States.