Archive for September, 2010


George Washington Carver – Black American Scientist

Black American Scientist

In a field dominated by Whites, a few Blacks stand out.  One of them is George Washington Carver, a biologist who gained international fame for his agricultural research.  He was especially toned for his work with peanuts.  Carver made more than 300 products from peanuts, including a milk substitute, face powder, printer’s ink and soap.  In addition, Carver who worked to promote the interest of Black and to improve relations between Blacks and Whites.

Carver was born a slave on a farm near Diamond, Missouri.  Shortly after Carver’s birth, his father was killed in an accident and night raiders kidnapped his mother.  Moses and Susan Carver, who were his owners until slavery was abolished in 1865, reared the child.

As a young boy, George showed a keen interest in plants and a great desire to learn.  The Carvers taught him to read and write.  When he was about 11 yrs old, he moved to Neosho, Missouri to attend and school for Black children.

For the next 20 years, Carver worked in various jobs to support himself and pay for his education.  He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1894 and his master’s degree in 1896.

Tuskegee instructor and researcher.  In 1896, Carver moved to Alabama to join the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), an industrial and agricultural school for Blacks.  Carver became head of the Tuskegee agricultural department and director of a sate agricultural station.  He gradually began to direct his attention toward soil conservation and other ways to improve crop production.  Carver sought to teach more productive agricultural practices to Southern farmers—particularly to Black farmers—through pamphlets, conferences, traveling exhibitions, demonstrations and public lectures.

In 1910, Carver became head of Tuskegee’s newly created Department of Research.  After 1914, he began to focus his research on peanuts.  He received national attention in 1921 when he lectured on the many uses of peanuts before a US Congress committee.  He later gave lectures throughout much of the country in an effort to promote peanuts.  He also spent much time working to improve race relations during the 1920s

Carver never married.  In 1940, he gave his like savings of $33,000 to the Tuskegee Institutes to establish the George Washington Carver Research Foundation for agricultural research.

Awards and honors.  Carver received many awards for his accomplishments.  In 1916, he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of London, In 1923, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) awarded him the Spingarn Medal for distinguished service in agricultural chemistry.  In 1939, Carver received the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for his valuable contributions to science.  In 1951, the George Washington Carver National Monument was established on an area of the Missouri farm where Carver was born. – Quest



Daniel Lambert (1770-1809) – Englishman


Fat Englishman


Englishman famous for his size, had his name used as a synonym for immensity.  He weighed 448 pounds in 1793, though leading an active, athletic life and at death weighed 735 pounds.

Photo courtesy:  bbc

Marie – Queen of France

Consort of King Louis XV of France

Marie, in Polish Maria Leszczynska (b. June 23, 1703, Breslau, Silesia, now Wroclaw, Pol.—d, June 24, 1768, Versailles, Fr.), queen consort of King Louis XV of France (ruled 1715-74).  Although she had no direct influence on French politics, her Polish dynastic connections involved France in a European conflict that resulted in the eventual annexation of Lorraine by France.

Marie’s father, Stanislaw I of Poland in 1704.  After he was deposed in 1709, he settled with Marie at Wissembourg.  In the hope of quickly obtaining an heir to the French throne, Lois XV’s chief minister, the Duc de Bourbon, betrothed the 15-year-old king to Marie in 1725.

The marriage took place at Fontainebleau on September 5, Marie bore Louis 10 children between 1727 and 1737, but only one of her two sons—the dauphin Louis—survived infancy.  In 1733 France entered the War of the Polish Succession against Austria in support of Stanislaw’s claims to the Polish throne; Stanislaw was made duke of Lorraine but the treaty that ended the conflict (1738).  Meanwhile, Louise XV, having lost interest in his queen, was lavishing his attentions on a succession of mistresses.  Marie’s marital unhappiness was intensified by the death of the Dauphin in 1765.  In accordance with the treaty of 1738, Lorraine became a part of France when her father died in the following year.  A. Leroy’s Marie Leczinska appeared in 1940. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica


Julien Offroy de La Mettrie – Physician and Philosopher

Physician and Philosopher

He was born on Decmeber 25, 1709, in Saint-Malo, France and died on November 11, 1751, in Berlin.  He is a physician and philosopher whose Materialistic interpretation of psychic phenomena laid the groundwork for future developments of behaviorism and played an important part in the history of modern Materialism.  He obtained a medical degree at Reims, studied medicine in Leiden under Herman Boerhaave (some of whose works he translated into French), and served as surgeon to the French military.  A personal illness convinced him that psychic phenomena were directly related to organic changes in the brain and nervous system.  The outcry following publication of these views in Histoire naturelle de l’ame (1745; “Natural History of the Soul”) forced his departure from Paris.  The book was burned by the public hangman.  In Holland La Mettrie published L’Homme-machine (1747; L’Homme Machine: A Study in the Origins of an Ida, 1960), developing more boldly and completely, and with great originality, his materialistic and atheistic views.  The ethics of these principles were worked out in Discours sur le Bonheur ou l’ anti-Seneque (“Discourse on Happiness, or the Anti-Seneca”).  He was then forced to leave Holland but the Great, made court reader, and appointed to the academy of science.  In accord with his belief that atheism was the sole road to happiness and sense pleasure the purpose of life (Le Petit Homme a longue quequ, 1751; “The Small Man in a Long Queuq”), he was a carefree hedonist to the end, finally dying of ptomaine poisoning.  His collected works, Oeuvres philosophiques, were published in 1751, and selections were edited by Marcelle Tisserand in 1954.

Photo courtesy:  answer

Marie – Queen consort of King Ferdinand I of Romania

Queen consort of King Ferdinand I of Romania

Marie was born on October 29, 1875 in Eastwell Park, Kent and died on July 18, 1938 in Sinaia, Romania.  Queen consort of King Ferdinand I of Romania;  she played an important part in persuading him to join the Allies in World War l.

The daughter of Alfred, duke of Edinburgh, and a granddaughter both of England’s Queen Victoria and of Tsar Alexander ll of Russia, Princess Marie married Ferdinand of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, then crown prince of Romania, in January 1893.  When Ferdinand became king (October 1914) shortly after the outbreak of World War l, Marie first encouraged him in his wait-and-see policy on the question of Romania intervention, but her own pro-British, pro-Russian sympathies helped pave the way for Romania’s eventual entry into the war on the side of the Allies (1916).   During the war she showed considerable heroism as Red Cross nurse and helped preserve troop morale during the national military disasters of 1917.  In October 1922, after long delays, she was finally crowned queen, and Ferdinand king, of Greater Romania at Alba Iuia.  After the death of Ferdinand in 1927, she was passed over in the formation of a regency for her young grandson Michael and largely retired from public life.  Through the following years she wrote several personal and literary works, including an autobiography, The Story of My Life, 2 vol. (1934-1935). – The New Encyclopedia Britannica


September 2010

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