Whew. I almost forgot: March is National Peanut Month.
If it weren't for George Washington Carver, we wouldn't have a peanut month; in fact, we probably wouldn't have a peanut industry in the United States.
Peanuts originated in South America, where Spanish and Portuguese explorers discovered these legumes and brought them on trade voyages to Africa. With favorable climate conditions, peanuts grew well in Africa and became important in many local cuisines, and so they came back across the ocean to North America with the slave trade.
In the 19th century, Dr. Carver, an agricultural chemist, suggested that farmers in the South plant peanuts to replace their cotton fields that were destroyed by the boll weevil infestation following the Civil War. He invented more than 300 uses for peanuts, including peanut butter, cooking oil, margarine, peanut sausage and peanut punch, as well as linoleum, laxatives, scalp pomade and vanishing cream.