Black First of the Day

Black Firsts 3e
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What famous inventor and agronomist has a national monument named after him in Diamond, Missouri?

  • His scientific work improved the quality of life for millions of people and enhanced agriculture in the South.
  • In 1969, a nuclear-powered submarine become the first to honor a black.
  • On January 5, 1948, he became the second African American commemorated on a postage stamp.
  • He joined Tuskegee's faculty in 1932.


1960

George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

George Washington Carver (1864-1943), an agronomist, scientist, and educator who produced more than four hundred different products from the peanut, potato, and pecan, became the first black scientist memorialized by a federal monument in the United States. On July 14, 1953, the United States Congress authorized the establishment of the George Washington Carver National Monument. It was erected on his birth site near Diamond, Missouri, and dedicated July 17, 1960. His scientific work improved the quality of life for millions of people and enhanced agriculture in the South. He took his mule drawn "movable school" on weekend visits to impoverished farmlands to teach poor farmers to raise, improve, and preserve foods. Carver was born a slave. In 1894, he became the first black to graduate from Iowa State College. He joined the faculty of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in 1896, where he developed a program of research in soil conservation and crop diversification.

Sources: Current Biography, 1940, pp. 148-50; Logan and Winston, Dictionary of American Negro Biography, pp. 92-95; Hornsby, Milestones in 20th-Century African-American History, pp. 21, 202; Smith, Notable Black American Men, pp. 177-80.

From Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Events by Jessie Carney Smith, © 2013 Visible Ink Press®. A celebration of achievement, accomplishments and pride.

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