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.