Visitors to the George Washington Carver National Monument on Thursday will had the opportunity to participate in “Coffee with Carver” program from 10 to 11 a.m.

The free program is held on the third Thursday of each month starting this month and ending in March. This month’s program is Carver’s Correspondence.

“We are trying to reach out to a new audience – everyone is invited, but we are trying to get 18 years and above — to come out for some coffee and learn about Carver,” said Randall Becker, GWC supervisory park ranger. “We will have a ranger-led program about Carver’s correspondence, letters and cards, and then we have a volunteer, Penny Graves, who will be doing a kind of hands-on card making part of the program.”

Carver wrote a lot to friends and others during his lifetime.

“I think that we have a unique opportunity to learn more about him through his letters,” Becker said. “He corresponded some pretty interesting people throughout his career, of course academics and students, friends and also Gandhi he wrote a couple of times and to Henry Ford.”

Other topics include:

• Feb. 20 is Carver and American Chumurgy, agricultural products into industrial goods; and

• March 20 is Herbs and Wild Edibles, Carver’s agriculture bulletins.

“These are all new topics for us, this time around,” he said. “It is a good time, it really is.”

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 testified 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.

For more information, call the monument at 325-4151.