On Saturday, July 10th, George Washington Carver National Monument held its 67th annual Carver Day celebration. Approximately 850 visitors attended this event.
Carver Day commemorates the life of George Washington Carver and the establishment of the national monument (July 14, 1943) in his honor.
Visitors had the opportunity to enjoy local exhibitors and participate in several fun programs, including guided tours, peanut milk demonstrations, and junior ranger activities. Emmy winning storyteller and former NPS park ranger Bobby Norfolk amused visitors with African-Americans stories.
Music filled the air with performances from Cecil Williams, a.k.a. “Panhandle Slim,” and area favorite Kufara, African marimba musicians. Musician and former NPS park ranger Joe Becton performed a medley of African-American songs throughout Carver’s life.
The day would not have been complete without two outstanding Carver scholars as guest speakers. Dr. Mark Hersey, Mississippi State University, discussed Carver’s contributions as a conservationist, and Dr. Walter Hill, Tuskegee University, provided insight into Carver’s 47 years at Tuskegee Institute and his legacy today.
The Carver Birthplace Association, the African American Experience Fund, and the Volunteers In Parks program (VIPs) helped to make the event possible and successful.
George Washington Carver National Monument is the first unit of the National Park Service dedicated to an African American.