By Bill Federer, staff writer
Kidnapped after the Civil War, he was ransomed with a horse. Raised by German immigrants, Moses and Susan Carver, he left home at eleven and attended school in Neosho, Missouri, paying tuition by doing odd jobs. He drifted from Kansas to Iowa, working as a cook and doing laundry. He studied at Simpson College, then received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Iowa State. Booker T. Washington recruited him to teach at Tuskegee Institute, where he introduced hundred of uses for the peanut, soybean and sweet potato, revolutionizing the South’s economy. This was George Washington Carver, who died JANUARY 5, 1943.
He addressed Congress, met with Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt, was offered jobs by Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and received correspondence from world leaders, including Gandhi and Stalin. In 1928, Dr. Carver stated: “Human need is really a great spiritual vacuum which God seeks to fill…With one hand in the hand of a fellow man in need and the other in the hand of Christ, He could get across the vacuum…Then the passage, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,’ came to have real meaning.”
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