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House sponsor Rep. Nathan Vaughn (D-Kingsport), Bobbie Patray, President, Tennessee Eagle Forum, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Senate sponsor Sen. Roscoe Dixon (D-Memphis). House sponsor Rep. Nathan Vaughn (D-Kingsport), Bobbie Patray, President, Tennessee Eagle Forum, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Senate sponsor Sen. Roscoe Dixon (D-Memphis).
Dr. George Washington Carver

In January, 2003, I attended the Education Policy Conference in St. Louis. Among a list of wonderful and informative speakers was William (Bill) Federer. I have known Bill for several years as an author and a candidate for congress.

Bill spoke about his new book, George Washington Carver — His life and faith in his own words. Although I had known something about this incredible man, I quickly realized that I was woefully ignorant about the depth and breath of this man and his amazing achievements. While all that was extraordinary, his most inspiring characteristic was his recognition that his considerable gifts and talents were God-given and he gave God that credit at every opportunity. He was outspoken and consistent with his faith. His humility was always apparent and when facing the opportunity to move in the direction that could have been personally lucrative, he chose to stay where he was and continue to serve his fellow man.

I bought the book and read it in the airport and on the plane trip home. I was so impressed that I simply could not just move on to other things. I wanted to do something concrete to express my admiration.

I told Senator Roscoe Dixon (D-Memphis) about my experience and asked if he would be willing to sponsor a resolution to honor Dr. Carver. He enthusiastically agreed. I took the book to Legislative Services and from the text Senate Joint Resolution 130 was written.

Thirty-two of the 33 state senators signed on as Co-sponsors and it passed on the Senate floor March 6, 30-0. Then it moved on to the state house, were newly elected Representative Nathan Vaughn (D-Kingsport) agreed to be the sponsor. It passed in the House on March 13, 94-0.

On March 26th, we had a "signing ceremony". A number of the co-sponsors were on hand to watch Governor Phil Bredesen sign the Resolution.

As a part of this effort, I purchased enough copies of the book to present a copy to each member of the Black Caucus, the Governor and a several others.


Dr. George Washington Carver
A matted copy of the pictures, an autographed copy of the book, and a copy of the resolution are being sent to the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond Grove, Missouri, and to Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.

It is my hope that this dear man and his character never be forgotten nor neglected.

                    Bobbie Patray


Eagle Forum University offered a course: AN AMAZING AMERICAN: George Washington Carver, Instructed By: William J. Federer.

 
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