Author Discusses Miracles That Have Shaped American History
Share This article
SHINING MOMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Susie Federer, William’s wife, put this book together from his daily radio program, American Minute. She explains, “Listening to Bill over the years has inspired me to share the miraculous stories in American history where God moved. I pray that we inspire miracles in your life.”
GEORGE W. CARVER’S PRAYERS SAVE SOUTHERN ECONOMY
When the boll weevil threatened to eliminate cotton in 1914, George W. Carver developed numerous products and processes that expanded the range of Southern agriculture. At Tuskegee, Carver developed his crop rotation method, which alternated nitrate-producing legumes, such as peanuts and corn with cotton, which depletes the soil of its nutrients. His innovations have been credited with the South’s economic survival in the early part of the 20th century.
He was born about 1864 (exact year unknown) to Moses Carver on a farm near Diamond, Mo. Now a role model for determination and persistence, tragedy affected his life before birth when his father died in an accident. Still an infant, Carver and his mother were kidnapped by slave raiders. Although baby Carver was returned to the farm, his mother was never heard from again.
Carver wasn’t a strong child and could not work in the fields which forced him to help with household chores and gardening. Through many hours of exploration around his home, Carver grew a strong interest in plants, later becoming nicknamed “the plant doctor.” He had an impeccable thirst for knowledge that eventually led him, at the age of 12, to his first schooling experience - a one-room schoolhouse in southwest Missouri.
After attending high school in Kansas, Carver was accepted as the first black student to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. With aspirations of having a career in science, Carver transferred to the Iowa Agricultural College (now known as Iowa State University.) In 1894, Carver gained his Bachelor of Science degree and earned his Master of Science in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1896. Dr. Carver became the first black faculty member of Iowa College.
Later in 1896, Dr. Carver was invited by Booker T. Washington to lead the Agriculture Department at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (later known as Tuskegee University). Dr. Carver remained there for 47 years.
Dr. Carver was very interested in helping poor southern farmers who were farming on low-quality soil depleted of nutrients after decades of growing only cotton and tobacco in the same soil. Dr. Carver and others encouraged farmers to restore nitrogen to their soils through systematic crop rotation – helping the region to recover.
Dr. Carver established an agriculture extension in Alabama and founded an industrial research lab that he called “God’s Little Workshop.” He prayed every time he entered and worked tirelessly on the development of hundreds of applications for new plants. Carver discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes.
Encouraged by a strong will and much curiosity, Carver continued his research on the peanut. Through the separation of the fats, oils, gums, resins, and sugars, he went on to find many uses for the peanut. According to the National Peanut Board, “food products ranged from peanut lemon punch, chili sauce, caramel, peanut sausage, mayonnaise, and coffee. Cosmetics included face powder, shampoo, shaving cream, and hand lotion. Insecticides, glue, charcoal, rubber, nitroglycerine, plastics, and axle grease are just a few of the many valuable peanut products discovered by Dr. Carver."
After a lifetime of achievements, recognitions, and awards, Dr. Carver died in 1943 and is buried on the campus at Tuskegee. Upon his death, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent this message, "All mankind are the beneficiaries of his discoveries in the field of agricultural chemistry. The things which he achieved in the face of early handicaps will for all time afford an inspiring example to youth everywhere."
BETSEY STOCKTON-MISSIONARY TO HAWAII
On November 22, 1822, Betsey Stockton, a young African American woman from New Haven, Connecticut, set sail with a group of missionaries to Hawaii. Sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Betsey Stockton was the first single American woman to travel overseas as a missionary. She set up schools and taught history, English, Latin, and algebra. In only a couple of years, she had 8,000 students attending 200 schools.
CHIEFESS KAPIOLANI DEFIES FALSE GODS
Chiefess Kapiolani was an important member of the Hawaiian nobility at the time of the founding of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the arrival of Christian missionaries. One of the first Hawaiians to read and write and sponsor a church, she made a dramatic display of her new faith which made her the subject of a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
In 1824, she defied the volcano goddess Pele by saying a Christian prayer, climbing down into the lava crater and returning unharmed, then eating the forbidden Ōhelo berries. Kapiolani then praised God proclaiming, “Jehovah is my God. He kindled these fires. I fear not Pele. All the gods of Hawaii are vain.”
WORLD WAR I TURNS TO VICTORY FOR THE AMERICANS (highlighting Sergeant Alvin C. York)
"The Great War" began in 1914 between Germany and its allies, against England and France and their allies. Battles were fought in Europe, Africa, the Pacific Islands, China, off the coasts of South and North America, and in the Middle East.
On October 8, 1918, Sergeant Alvin. C. York was in heat of battle. He describes, "The Germans got us ... They stopped us dead in our tracks. Their machine guns were up there on the heights overlooking us and well hidden, and we couldn't tell for certain where the terrible heavy fire was coming from ..."
With all but 8 of his platoons killed, Sergeant Alvin. C. York took charge and proceeded to take out 32 machine guns, killing 28 of the enemy and taking 132 captives. York received the Medal of Honor. He credited his survival to God. Sergeant York's story was turned into the movie 'Sergeant York,' starring Gary Cooper. The highest-grossing movie of 1941, York donated his proceeds to fund a Bible college, The York Bible Institute.
Share This article