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George Washington Carver


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Caption: USS George Washington Carver, down the ways.

Image related to George Washington Carver
Caption: Marion Anderson christening, USS George Washington Carver (SSB (N)-656) on 14 August 1965.

George Washington Carver was born in the mid-1860s on a plantation near Diamond, Mo. His mother had been enslaved by Moses Carver, and his father passed away shortly after George was born. When he was only a few weeks old, George, his sister, and his mother were kidnapped by raiders and taken to Arkansas to be sold. Though his mother and sister were never found, young George was recovered by his former owner with whose family he remained until he set out to make his own way in the world at about the age of 9 when he first attended school in a neighboring town.

Overcoming prejudice and poverty, he eagerly seized every opportunity to acquire an education, often working as a cook or launderer to pay for his tuition. He studied agricultural science at Iowa State College, graduating in 1894 and receiving a Master of Science degree 2 years later. After serving briefly on the faculty there, he joined Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, where he headed the Agricultural Department.

In the ensuing years, his achievements in the fields of soil conservation, crop diversification, and utilization of southern plants and crops won him worldwide acclaim. He is remembered for the ingenuity which enabled him to discover some 300 new and useful products from the peanut, over 100 from the sweet potato, and about 60 from the pecan. He also found new uses from cotton, cowpeas and wild plums. He selflessly refused offers of fortunes for the commercial exploitation of his discoveries, choosing rather to give them freely to mankind. An indefatigable researcher and inventor, as well as an accomplished artist and musician, George Washington Carver died in Tuskegee, Ala., 5 January 1943.


(SSB(N)-656: displacement 7,250; length 425; beam 33'; draft 33'; speed over 20 knots; complement 100; armament 16 A-3 Polaris mssiles, 4 21" torpedo tubes; class Benjamin Franklin)

George Washington Carver (SSB(N)-656) was laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. 24 August 1964; launched 14 August 1965; sponsored by Miss Marian Anderson; and commissioned 15 June 1966, Captain R. D. Dona van (blue crew) and lit. Comdr. Carl J. Lidel (gold crew) in command.

Following shakedown, George Washington Carver prepared for her role as one of the Navy's nuclear-powered Polaris submarines silently and invisibly roving the seas as a mighty deterrent against aggression, preserving peace and protecting freedom. Her first patrol began 12 December 1966.


Detailed history to follow.

Published: Wed Jul 05 11:55:14 EDT 2023