George Washington Carver National Monument Celebrates His Achievements | Southwest Missouri

BLocated on the original 240 acres in Diamond where George Washington Carver spent his formative years, the George Washington Carver National Monument is now a tribute to the famous agricultural scientist and inventor.

Carver gained worldwide fame at the turn of the 20th century for promoting alternative crops to cotton – peanuts and sweet potatoes among them – to prevent soil depletion and provide farmers with a food supply.

Carver was born into slavery on the land where the monument is located. As a child, he, his sister and his mother were kidnapped by night raiders and sold to Kentucky. Missouri landowner Moses Carver negotiated George’s return with the looters.

George Carver then moved to Kansas and then to Iowa and eventually earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in botany from what is now Iowa State University. He was the first black student to attend the state of Iowa. He later taught at Tuskegee University (then Tuskegee Institute) for 47 years.

The farm where he was born was designated a national monument in July 1943, becoming a unit of the National Park Service through the Ministry of the Interior.

It was the first park unit dedicated to an African American and serves as a memorial to Carver’s legacy as a scholar, civil rights activist and scientist.

The monument offers a variety of attractions, from educational opportunities to its natural surroundings.

Curtis Gregory, a ranger at the monument, recommends that people start at the visitor’s center to learn more about the history of Carver and the farm.

At the museum, visitors can read and learn more about Carver’s life in exhibits and in a short film titled “Struggle and Triumph”.

The museum also has a ‘discovery zone’ with hands-on exhibits aimed at children.

Outside, a three-quarter-mile walking trail takes visitors past where Carver’s birthplace once stood. Additionally, there is a statue of a young George Washington Carver on the trail.

Moses Carver’s house still stands on the property, built in 1881. Visitors can explore it and see historical exhibits inside.

In addition, the monument is home to a cemetery for the family of Moses Carver, as well as neighbors in the area.

The park holds annual events for visitors. Carver Day has been celebrated on the second Saturday in July for 77 years.

This is the park’s largest event and celebrates the creation of the monument and Carver’s accomplishments with music, exhibits and guest speakers.

Prairie Day in September celebrates life on a Missouri prairie with music, guest speakers, and crafts like soap and candle making.

The park receives around 40,000 visitors a year, including international visitors who may know little about Carver’s background.

“It’s an amazing story of a youngster who had determination and never gave up,” said Gregory.

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