Tuesday, June 10, 2014

G is for George Washington Carver Monument

  • GWC MonumentMayonnaise
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • cooking oil
  • Laundry soap
  • Quinine
  • Hand lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Dye
  • Wood filler
  • Linoleum
  • Insulation
  • Rubber
This odd assortment of items are just a few of the products made from peanuts developed by George Washington Carver –who was born in Missouri! 
Although we don’t know the exact date (around 1864), we do know he was born to a slave named Mary on the Carver Farm in Diamond, MO in the southwest corner of the state. [This would be a good time to point out that I’m marking the attraction’s location with a red star on my post graphic]  

The Civil War was still raging and Missouri was a slave state that stayed with the Union.  Most people don’t know that Missouri had the third highest number of skirmishes during the war (behind Virginia and Tennessee).  A lot of these fights involved semi-organized bands of guerillas, often called “Raiders.”  It was just such a band that captured Mary and baby George when he was just a week old.    His mother was never heard from again but George was found and returned to the Carvers, but he had contracted whooping cough which left him frail.  When slavery was abolished, the Carvers raised George and Susan Carver taught him to read and write.  He left Missouri in 1874 to begin his pursuit of an education, but he still kept in touch with the Carvers.

In 1943, (the year of his death), the birthplace was declared a National Monument.  At the time, there were only two other national monuments that marked birthplaces, one belonging to George Washington and the other to Abraham Lincoln. The site, now maintained by the National Parks Service is great for homeschoolers!  First of all, IT’S FREE!! (don’t you love that word?). Secondly, it’s practically like a unit study in a field trip: You’ve got your history—some Civil War, some  of the African Americans’ struggle for equality.  You’ve got your science – the onsite Discovery Center has interactive exhibits and laboratories to learn more about Carver’s work in botany.  You’ve got art – Carver used to draw and paint flowering plants and landscapes. You need to log some P.E. hours? There’s a mile long trail through woods and past streams (this is where you’ll see the boy statue in my graphic).
I found a great overview of the George Washington Carver National Monument done by an Arkansas man for his Out of the Norm online video show….

If you’re ever taking a vacation to Branson, this would make a great day-trip.

I’m linking up with …
Ben and Me


Kristi said...

What a great field trip!! We don't live too far from there, we'll have to check it out sometime!

Missouri Mama said...

Be sure to check the Nat'l Park Service's website -- they often have special learning events.

Anonymous said...

That is a fun field trip! I especially like the part about it being free! LOL

Anonymous said...

How fun! I love visiting National Park Service parks. They are all so interesting and we have yet to come across one where the rangers don't love to talk to the kids. I'll have to put this one on "the list." - Lori H

annette @ A Net In Time said...

good field trip. Good information. :)

Tauna M said...

Fun post! Off to research how in the world all those things can be made with peanuts! :D

Chareen said...

Sounds like a fun field trip. I hope to one day make it to the US and see all these wonderful places I keep reading about on the crew blogs.

Thank you for the YouTube clip too :)

Missouri Mama said...

Chareen, it would have to be a long trip - even to just hit the highlights. I only got to spend two weeks in your beautiful country and just scratched the surface I know. But if you ever pass through Missouri, you've got a place to stay :)

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