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Thinking about history

January 20, 2010

I’ve never been much of a history buff. (Sorry, dad.) But doing research and talking with state historians about African-American history uncovered what, to me, were new and interesting stories about some of the people who made great contributions to this country.

For example, George Washington Carver was born into slavery. His mother was kidnapped when he was about one week old and never seen again. The people who owned his mother, Moses and Susan Carver, sought to find him and, with help, recovered the infant. The price to get him back? A racehorse.

Dred Scott, whose quest for freedom began at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, was actually freed by the local courts, only to have that verdict overturned by higher courts. He kept fighting for his freedom, but a Supreme Court ruling ended that fight when they delivered the opinion that people of African descent weren’t citizens and had no rights to sue.

These stories only scratch the surface of the struggles men like Carver and Scott faced throughout their lives. And it’s pretty remarkable to think about the will these two men possessed as they sought their ultimate goals.

If you’d like to read more about African-American history, visit our News Bureau site at  But you might also choose to do your own research. Who knows what kinds of stories you’ll uncover?

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