This Day in Black History: May 7, 1943

The USS George Washington Carver was launched.

Posted: 05/07/2012 07:00 AM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

On May 7, 1943, the USS George Washington Carver, a Liberty cargo ship built during World War II and named after the famous African-American scientist and inventor, launched from Richmond, California.

As many as 1,500 people stood on hand to watch the launch of the ship. Liberty Ships were large, efficient cargo vessels produced during World War II. Seventeen of the 2,700 Liberty Ships produced were named after African-Americans.

Over the span of his life, George Washington Carver developed more than 300 products derived from peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, and helped revolutionize the agricultural economy in the South by promoting crop alternatives to cotton that helped farmers stay afloat. Carver taught students at Tuskegee Institute for 47 years and was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP for his outstanding contributions.  

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