Slave and free man, student and educator, Booker T. Washington was a man whose life greatly promoted the cause of racial equality in our country. Born on April 5, 1865, Washington grew up on a small farm in Franklin County which is now preserved as a National Monument. Only a short distance from Smith Mountain Lake along Route 122, the Booker T. Washington National Monument has a number of summer programs to attract the attention of every Smith Mountain Lake resident. Come out on July 1st to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Tuskegee Institute, Booker T. Washington’s landmark university, with a lecture on Booker T. Washington and the first days of the Institute. On July 15th, bring the kids for a behind the scenes tour of the duties of a park ranger with the Junior Ranger Program, or come out on August 27th for the food, fiber, and flowers garden tour to learn about gardening techniques in the park’s heirloom kitchen garden. There are many more programs going on at the park, as well as daily guided tours of the premises, so be sure to visit their website or give them a call at 540-721-2094.