Dr. George Washington Carver
House sponsor Rep. Nathan Vaughn (D-Kingsport), Bobbie Patray, President,
Tennessee Eagle Forum, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Senate sponsor Sen.
Roscoe Dixon (D-Memphis).
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
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
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
Eagle Forum University offered a course: AN AMAZING AMERICAN: George Washington Carver, Instructed By: William J. Federer.