Tuskegee University in Alabama has launched a yearlong celebration to honor the 150th anniversary of the birth of George Washington Carver. The pioneering scientist will be the subject of a series of lectures and other events held throughout 2014. In April, the National Park Service will reopen the George Washington Carver Museum on campus. The museum has been closed for the past year for renovations.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Iowa State University and began a 47-year career at what is now Tuskegee University in 1897. Carver’s expertise developed several alternative crops that could be grown on fields that had been used exclusively for cotton. Among these crops were peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. Carver also developed products such as dyes, paints, cosmetics, and foodstuffs that could be made from these alternative crops.