Born a slave around this day – July 12 – in 1864, George Washington Carver became a scientist of international renown. In 1921, Carver addressed the United States House Ways and Means Committee on behalf of the United Peanut Growers Association on the use of peanuts to improve Southern economy.
Explaining the many products derived from the peanut, George Washington Carver stated: “If you go to the first chapter of Genesis, we can interpret very clearly, I think, what God intended when he said ‘Behold, I have given you every herb that bears seed. To you it shall be meat.’ This is what He means about it. It shall be meat. There is everything there to strengthen and nourish and keep the body alive and healthy.”
The chairman asked: “Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?” Carver answered: “From an old book…The Bible.” The chairman inquired, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?” Dr. Carver wisely replied, “No, Sir. It tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut and He did.”
Dr. Carver stands tall in our nation’s history as a model of what men can achieve when they are unrestricted in pursuit of their God-given creativity.
Phyllis Schlafly was a leading voice during her lifetime in defense of patents, intellectual property, and the freedom for inventors to invent. Just this spring a host of inventors and patent defenders held an event honoring Phyllis’s recognition and defense of the rights of intellectual property owners.
Many of us don’t often realize the fundamental freedom of intellectual property in the Constitution. The first and only use of the word “right” in the Constitution itself (not including the first ten amendments) comes in Article 1, Section 8. Congress shall have the power “To Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
On a day we remember the genius of George Washington Carver, let us also remember how fundamental and precious the right to intellectual property and freedom to create are to our United States.