Tuskegee, Alabama

I’d been wanting to visit Tuskegee for a really long time, and this weekend, Av and I went there after we left our friends in Selma.

Here are some pictures from the Tuskegee University campus:

Tuskegee was founded in 1881 and the first teacher was Dr. Booker T. Washington, who served the school until he died in 1915.

This is the Rosenwald Center. Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald (President of Sears) got to be good friends, and Rosenwald served on the board of directors from 1912 until he died. Rosenwald gave a lot of money to the school, and even started a program to endow other schools in the South for black children.

Also on campus is the George Washington Carver museum – he taught at Tuskegee and is best known as the scientist who found hundreds of uses for the peanut. This is what my WPA book says about Carver:

Although now (1940) an old man, Dr. Carver is still actively engaged in carrying on research and scientific investigations. The honors he has received have not changed him; he is still the simple kindly man who came to Tuskegee more than 40 years ago. He never takes a vacation, and refuses salary increases, saying that the school needs the money. Never seeking honor for himself, Dr. Carver simply says, “G-d told me how.”

This is a monument showing Booker T. Washington that is titled “Lifting the Veil” – it is inscribed, “he lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry.”

This is ‘The Oaks’ which was the home of Booker T. Washington. It’s open for tours (we’ll go soon) and is run by the National Park Service.

…and *this* is Grey Columns. Isn’t it magnificent??!!

The University president lives here now. It was built in 1857 and has a really interesting history (I found it here): when a Union general was given orders to burn Tuskegee to the ground, one of the officers found out that his frat brother at Yale, Ed Varner (whose family owned Grey Columns), was at the home tending to wounds he had received. It was because of this connection that the town was spared.
(My WPA book says they were classmates at Harvard, and “apologizing, he ordered his men from the yard and then spent some time in a renewal of the old acquaintance.”)

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