Celebrating NOAA Heritage and Black History Month
Celebrating NOAA Heritage and Black History Month

This year, NOAA Heritage Week (February 5-10) coincides with the first week of Black History Month, so we thought it appropriate to highlight some of our historical materials that feature the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout NOAA and maritime history.

The Search for Planter: the ship that escaped Charleston and Carried Robert Small to Destiny
Produced by the National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and part of the Maritime Heritage Series, this report focuses on the famous Civil War vessel, Planter.  The ship gained national fame when  a group of enslaved African Americans commandeered the Confederate ship and made a successful flight to freedom.  Under the leadership of Robert Smalls, the ship’s wheelsman and an African American, crew members navigated the steamer out of Charleston Harbor and delivered the vessel to the United States Navy.  The report also examines the postwar shipwreck of the steamer and its impact on the surrounding ecosystem.     
Available via the NOAA Central Library:

George Washington Carver and Tuskegee Weather Data
From November 1899 through June 1954, weather observations were collected at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, with the most notable weather observer being George Washington Carver.  The NOAA Central Library holds a portion of these observation records, including a small set of those taken by Carver himself.  The observations are available online as a digital collection as well as in print and housed in the library's rare book room.  If you would like to view the originals please contact the library's reference desk to set up a time (  

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