DIAMOND — Once again, George Washington Carver National Monument is hosting "Coffee with Carver" on the third Thursday of the month, January through March.
The first program, titled "Usefulness of All Things," will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 17. The program is free and open to the public over the age of 18 and will be held inside the visitor's center. No reservations are required.
"Coffee with Carver is a short time — once a month during the wintertime months — when we get together and talk about some more in depth topics of George Washington Carver's life," said Diane Eilenstein, park ranger. "It is a time to enjoy some interesting conservation as well as some freshly brewed coffee. A park ranger will talk to the group and then we will also have volunteers who will be here. We will have either hands-on activities to follow up our talk or we will have some original documents or artifacts on display to show to everyone."
The program lasts about an hour, Eilenstein said.
Reemphasizing the first program this year, Carver always found uses for things that were dumped out.
"This one is talking about Carver's ability to find a new use for items that may have been typically discarded or thrown away," she added. "He found a lot of value in everything. He would make beautiful pieces of artwork, all sorts of items that you and I might throw away. We are going to see some of his needlework, artwork, and just learn about why he was like this. And how he used that throughout his life. We are going to conclude Jan. 17 with making cornhusk dolls. One of our volunteers is going to lead a session showing everyone how to do it. We will have the supplies there and everyone should be able to take home a cornhusk creation of their own."
Carver truly did re-use items.
"Carver was truly a re-user versus a recycler," she said. "He found new value in used items. For instance, string and paper on mailed packages were neatly stored in his desk for future use. His first lab was equipped with bottles, jars, and cans from a dump."
Different topics have been chosen for the February and March events. Feb. 21, also at 10 a.m. the monument will present Archeological Investigations, protecting Carver's birthplace. On March 21, also at 10 a.m., Peanut and Sweet Potato: The Twin Brothers, Carver's bulletins on nutrition.
George was born a slave on the Moses and Susan Carver farm about 1864. When George was an infant, outlaws kidnapped him and his mother, Mary. George was later found in Arkansas and was returned to the Carvers, but his mother was never found.
Carver became famous later in life when he studied plants, flowers and invented several uses for the common peanut. He later taught at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and in 1921, he gave a captivating testimony before a United States Congress House Committee debating a peanut tariff bill. On Jan. 5, 1943, Carver died at Tuskegee, where he is buried. In July 1943, Congress designated George Washington Carver National Monument, which was the first park to honor an African-American scientist, educator and humanitarian.
Page 2 of 2 - For more information, please call the monument at 325-4151.