Brooker T. Washington and George W. Carver

Today I’m going to take you to a small town in Alabama called Tuskeegee. What college is located there? Tuskeegee institute. Can you tell me the names of the two well-known men connected with this college?
Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver
Booker T. Washington was born in Virginia and attended Hampton Institute, a college for Negroes at Hampton, Virginia. He was selected to be the President of Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama. When he arrived there was no college, no buildings, just an idea. So Washington started from scratch. He begged the use of an old church and one small shanty and Tuskeegee Institute was born.
Washington combed the countryside for students and began a systematic search for funds to operate his new college. He had the good will of the whole community, both white and black, and his well-wishers of both races contributed money to buy a farm as a permanent site for the college. Money was raised by cake sales, chicken suppers and bazaars. The college, which started with 30 students and a blind mule, began to grow as more and more people contributed and the students did most of the labor in building the classrooms and dormitories.
In just 14 years, the college had an enrollment of 800 and a staff of 55 and the property of the institute amounted to over $200,000 dollars, 12 buildings and 2500 acres of land. Booker T. Washington’s fame as an educator and builder spread around the country, and in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 17, 1895, a great international festival was scheduled—The Cotton States and International Exposition. Booker T. Washington was scheduled to address the convention in its opening session.
This tall, heavy-set black man speaking to a white audience was most unusual at that time and place, but delivered a moving and challenging address. His appearance in Atlanta gave him national prominence for this man who rose from a slave cabin to acceptance at the White House and the Court of St. James in England where he was presented to Queen Victoria.
George Washington Carver was born in Missouri of slave parents. He never went to school until he was twenty years old. He graduated from Iowa State College of Agriculture and became Director of Agricultural Research at Tuskeegee.
When he came to Tuskeegee, he found that Alabama and most southern farmers depended on cotton and the entire economy of the south was tied to this one crop. Carver believed in a diversification of agricultural crops and he was determined to do something about it. He took the peanut and the sweet potato and through research showed that hundreds of products could be made from these common ordinary items.
I have a list of the many products he developed. There are 87 from peanuts and 36 from sweet potatoes. Here are some of them:
From peanuts:Worcestershire saucecreambuttermilkmilkvinegarhen food for layingsweet picklecocoameat substituteschili saucechop suey saucemayonnaisecooking oilsalad oilpeanut sausagecaramelevaporated milkleather dyespaintsgluelinoleumcharcoalrubbing oilface powderface creamshampoolaundry soapinsecticideshoe polishtoilet soaplubricating oilwriting inkNitroglycerine
From sweet potatoes:
floursugarchocolatemolassescandyyeastlemon dropsafter-dinner mintsspiced vinegarstock feedpaintsshoe polishsynthetic cottonsynthetic silkalcoholwriting ink
The importance of this man’s research proved invaluable to the entire South. In 1918-1920 when the boll weevil invaded the cotton fields and forced farmers to turn to other cash crops, peanuts and sweet potatoes became a life saver for many farmers.
Neither of these men are represented by marble statues in the Hall of Fame in the Nation’s Capitol, but each in his own way has made a great contribution to the well being of this country through education and research. The entire human family has benefited by the lives of such men.

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