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Inaugural George Washington Carver Day Celebration – February 1
Jan 26 – Feb 08, 2022
george washington carver

Iowans will celebrate George Washington Carver Day for the first time February 1 after Governor Kim Reynolds signed the day into law in June. The Official Day of Recognition in honor of George Washington Carver is not a state holiday, but the state encourages government offices, civic organizations, schools, colleges and universities to recognize the agricultural, scientific and global humanitarian accomplishments of Carver.

Moses Carver owned Missouri native George from birth, and as a youngster, George would refer to himself as Carver’s George. After slavery ended, George continued to pursue his education. He began his college work at Simpson College, in Indianola, Iowa; received bachelor's (1894) and master's (1896) degrees in agriculture from Iowa Agricultural College (since 1959 Iowa State University).

Carver was Iowa State's first Black student and faculty member before leaving for a lifelong career at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, starting in 1896 when Booker T. Washington, the first principal and president of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), invited George to head its Agriculture Department. George Carver taught at Tuskegee Institute for 47 years where he gained international fame by promoting crop rotation, mobile classrooms, peanuts, and sweet potatoes.

There are many memorials to Carver including the George Washington Carver National Monument where he spent time in his childhood. It was the first national monument dedicated to an African American and the first to honor someone other than a president.

"Despite having a bronze statue of George Washington Carver and Carver Hall on the campus of Iowa State University, a day to truly celebrate this man and his scientific achievements is acknowledgement of his genius and excellence," says Sioux City, Iowa native, former Black Student Union member, and Iowa State graduate Wilma Jones-Harrington of Dallas, Texas.

“This represents only the third time in the state’s history that a recognition day honoring an individual has been established (the previous two honorees being Norman Borlaug and Herbert Hoover), and the first time a person of color has been honored in such a way by the State of Iowa,” says Jeff Johnson, Iowa State University Alumni Association President and CEO, and graduate, who is of African descent.
George Washington Carver Day Celebration – Iowa State University
February 1, 6:30p CST

George Washington Carver portrait by Jay Durraha
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