May 7, 1943 | George Washington Carver’s Namesake “The SS George Washington Carver” Was Launched
The SS George Washington Carver was launched in Richmond, California on May 7, 1943. This was the second Liberty ship named after an African American. The Booker T. Washington launched in 1942 was the first Liberty ship named after an African American. George Washington Carver was one of America’s most innovative and creative scientist and inventors. Carver was born into slavery around 1860 in Missouri and died January 5, 1943 in Tuskegee, Alabama. As a botanist and inventor Carver created more than 100 products from the peanut including plastics, cosmetics, paints, nitroglycerin, gasoline and others.
During a time when the infamous boll weevil was killing a high percentage of the cotton crop, Carver is credited for encouraging the use of alternative crops such as soybeans, sweet potatoes and peanuts.