From Tokyo to Chapel Hill: UNC’s First International Student

The first international student to study at UNC was Shinzaburo Mogi, from Tokyo, Japan, who was enrolled during the 1893-1894 school year. Mogi had an interesting personal history. His family in Japan was involved in the production of soy sauce, beginning the company that would later become Kikkoman Corporation. Mogi himself made several attempts to manufacture soy sauce in the United States.

Mogi has a brief entry in the earliest alumni directory, noting only that he was a student during the 1893-1894 year. He is listed among the freshman class members in the 1894 yearbook, but does not appear to have been mentioned in the student newspaper for those years. Nor could I find anything about him in the University President’s correspondence for 1893-1894. The Registrar’s record book for the 1890s show that Mogi was here for just one term, taking classes in Math, English, and Physics.

The only other references to Mogi that I could track down were from local newspapers, including one published a few decades after he left UNC.

Mogi is first mentioned in the Durham Globe on February 2, 1894, under the heading “A Jap at the University.”

Durham Globe, 2 February 1894.

Durham Globe, 2 February 1894.

The so-called “conversion” mentioned by UNC President George Tayloe Winston is evidence that there was still a strong religious emphasis at the University at the time.

Mogi received a brief mention in the social column of the Raleigh Evening Visitor a month later when he visited Raleigh to attend the state museum.

Evening Visitor (Raleigh, N.C.), 10 March 1894.

Evening Visitor (Raleigh, N.C.), 10 March 1894.

Mogi didn’t appear in local newspapers again until an article about international students at UNC published in the Salisbury Evening Post in 1920.

Salisbury Evening Post, 30 January 1920.

Salisbury Evening Post, 30 January 1920.

We believe that the Shinzaburo Mogi who attended UNC is the same as the member of the Mogi family who came to the United States in the 1890s and opened the first soy sauce factory in America. In Ronald Yates’s 1998 book, The Kikkoman Chronicles, he says that Shinzaburo Mogi, then 20 years old, left Japan in 1892 with the intention of bringing the family business to the United States. Little is known about Mogi’s early years in the United States (the book does not mention his time in Chapel Hill), but he is known to have opened a soy sauce plant in Denver in 1907. The business was not successful, and Mogi moved to Toronto where he managed another soy sauce factory. This, too, was a short-lived effort and he eventually settled in Chicago where he worked as a trader, importing Japanese soy sauce and also continuing to invest in American soy sauce companies. Mogi returned to Japan in the 1930s and died in 1946.


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The School Colors: The History of Carolina Blue

2015 University of North Carolina commencement; Photo by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2015 University of North Carolina commencement; Photo by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The school colors for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are some of the most recognizable in higher education. Carolina Blue is a symbolic and beloved shade that, for many alums and Carolina fans, immediately conjures up images of the school, the Carolina sports teams and a sense of community. Carolina Blue has a long history tied to the culture of this university.

Dialectic Society membership certificate with blue ribbon, 1807. Southern Historical Collection.

Dialectic Society membership certificate with blue ribbon, 1807. Southern Historical Collection.

The use of a distinctive light blue in association with UNC began not long after the first students arrived on campus in 1795. The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies were a huge part of student life at the time. Through the nineteenth century, students were required to be members of either the Di or the Phi. These two literary and debate societies were both an academic and a social way of life at the time. It was traditional for students from the west of Chapel Hill to affiliate with the Di and students from the east to join the Phi. The Di’s color was light blue and the Phi’s was white.

At major university events, such as commencements, balls and social events all of the student officials and marshals wore the color of their chosen society. The Chief Marshal or Chief Ball Manager would wear both colors because he was a representative of the whole student body and not just his society. Ribbons of the appropriate societal color were also attached to the diplomas of graduates, as emblems of their time with the Di or Phi.

In 1888, UNC started its first intercollegiate athletic teams. By this time, light blue and white were recognizable parts of the university’s student life and culture and the decision was made to carry those colors over (in combination) to athletic life as well.

A UNC Diploma from 1793 with blue ribbon indicating membership in Di Society; Southern Historical Collection

A UNC Diploma from the 1840s with a blue ribbon indicating membership in Dialectic Society. Southern Historical Collection

A UNC Diploma from 1800 with a white ribbon, indicating membership in Phi; Southern Historical Collection

A Philanthropic Society membership certificate with a white ribbon, ca. 1850s. Southern Historical Collection










At the beginning of the 20th century, the school colors had been established as light blue and white and these colors began to appear on a variety of ephemera associated with the university. This went beyond sports uniforms and diplomas. Shades of Carolina Blue began to appear on many official documents as a signature of the university. At the turn of the century, blue appeared on the commencement programs and was especially highlighted in the University seal. The exact shade of blue deemed official had not yet been established and different years saw slightly different shades. Between 1900 and 1901, for instance, the blue used on the seal became a great deal brighter and lighter.

Seal from the 1900 graduation program. North Carolina Collection.

Seal from the 1900 graduation program. North Carolina Collection.

Seal from the 1901 graduation program. North Carolina Collection.

Seal from the 1901 graduation program. North Carolina Collection.









Blue was accepted for use by organizations all across campus, from clubs to academics to research. A 1908 pamphlet created by the Campus Y featured the color.

A pamphlet from the campus YMCA from 1908, using Carolina Blue; Wilson Library Carolina Collection

A pamphlet from the campus YMCA from 1908, using Carolina Blue; Wilson Library Carolina Collection

A question soon developed—exactly what shade of light blue was the correct shade? While many Carolina fans will purport to recognize Carolina Blue when they see it, there has been quite a bit of difference between the shades of blue used by official University departments and teams. No one shade of blue has been the True Blue because things have developed over time. For instance, in the 1960s Carolina basketball games began to be broadcast on television in color for the first time. On a television set, the blue then in use looked washed out and extremely light. It was almost grey. The shade of blue was thus darkened for many athletic uniforms, but kept the same on University logos, merchandise and documents. Over time, there grew a disparity between the shades of Carolina Blue used across campus.

Consider these pantone color swatches. Which one is the real Carolina Blue?

A spectrum of Carolina Blue pantone swatches; Courtesy David C. Smith

A spectrum of Carolina Blue pantone swatches; Image by David C. Smith

The correct answer? All of them. Each one of these shades has been used officially by the University as representative of Carolina. UNC Hospitals often used Pantone 543 (on the far right). The athletics departments often favored bolder, sharper blues such as Pantone 297 and 298 (which look more teal, but show up strongly on uniforms and merchandise).

The July/August 2002 issue of Carolina Alumni Review

The July/August 2002 issue of Carolina Alumni Review

For many years, the University’s official stance was that Pantone 278 (far left) be used to represent the University but different shades were still used across campus. In 2002, the Carolina Alumni Review ran a cover story discussing the disparity between blues across campus.

In 2015, UNC worked with Nike on a project to revise and standardize Carolina’s athletic uniforms and logos. The decision was made to make Carolina Blue officially Pantone 542 (second from the right). This shade was noticeably darker and greener with a warmer tone than Pantone 278 (Old Carolina Blue). These days if you purchase Carolina merchandise, the blue should be in this tone. For more information on the regulations for the look of official Carolina products, see the UNC Branding & Visual Identity Guidelines here:


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Violence, Hardship, and the Southern Response

The South has witnessed unspeakable historical violence, hardship, and unrest. Whether it is a system developed over hundreds of years or the single act of one person, Southerners have used these circumstances as fuel to protest for a better reality and a better future.

At first blush, an archive might seem like an unusual place to learn about current events. We can’t provide the latest headline, updated numbers, or 24-hour news coverage. What an archive can do, though, is help explain how we got here in the first place. It can provide context, it can set the scene, and it can fill out a timeline. It can help draw comparisons, and it can bear witness to cycles, to repetition, and to causes and their effects. It can show what has worked in the past, and what has not.

We continue, as we always have, to collect the stories of those who stand up against violence and hardship. Below are just a few of our many collections that highlight how people have confronted difficulties in the past and fought for a South they could believe in.

Southerners for Economic Justice Records, 1977-2001
Southerners for Economic Justice (SEJ) began unionizing textile workers in 1976, and soon grew to advocate and provide support for the unemployed, working poor, and people dealing with hardship, discrimination, and violence. With over 87,000 items in this collection, you can find materials on successful community-based solutions to hardship, environmental racism, workplace safety, literacy, unlawful employment practices, racist violence, and leadership training programs. SEJ had many community collaborations with religious and international groups, and their collection includes materials from similar groups throughout the world.

J. Kenneth Lee's acceptance letter to the UNC-CH Law School.

Lee’s acceptance letter to the UNC-CH Law School, granted after a lengthy legal battle to integrate the program.

J. Kenneth Lee Papers, 1949-1994
In 1951, J. Kenneth Lee (1923- ) and Harvey Beech (1924-2005) became the first African Americans to attend UNC Chapel Hill’s Law School after a successful lawsuit. Lee committed his work to arguing civil rights cases in court, and was involved in more than 1,700 of these cases over more than 30 years. This collection is partially digitized and includes materials related to the Law School lawsuit, photos of Lee from his college days, and items related to the many boards, businesses, and organizations that Lee served.
The Southern Oral History Program Collection, 1973-2015
The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) documents the South by conducting oral histories – recorded interviews with individuals or groups. The SOHP organizes interviews by themes, and still at work today to continue recording the experiences of Southerners and life in the South. Of note are their projects on The Long Civil Rights Movement, The Long Women’s Movement, The Rural South, and Listening for a Change, which includes sub-series ranging from environmental disasters, modern immigration, school desegregation, life as an HIV+ person in the South, and the breakdown of the tobacco economy in the South.

Jesse Daniel Ames, Mary McLeod Bethune, and other attendees of a conference on interracial cooperation hosted in Tuskegee, AL.

Jesse Daniel Ames, Mary McLeod Bethune, and other attendees of a conference on interracial cooperation hosted in Tuskegee, AL.

Jessie Daniel Ames Papers, 1866-1972
Jesse Daniel Ames (1883-1972) began her activism as a Suffragette, becoming more involved in social justice issues as she raised three children on her own. Starting in the 1920s, she gave speeches throughout the South and maintained leadership positions in the Texas Committee on Interracial Cooperation and the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. She founded the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1929, a volunteer organization that investigated and kept case files on Southern lynchings. In the 1940s, she began The Southern Frontier, a magazine focused on social, political, and economic justice in the region. This collection is almost fully digitized and available online.
Gilbert Brooks radio broadcasts, 1958-1961
Gilbert Brooks hosted a radio program from 1958-1961. This program was sponsored by the NAACP and addressed current issues in the lives of African Americans in the South. Topics range from sit-ins, employment, Pullman sleeping car Porters, national legislation, education, and voting rights. Programs also talk about the past 50 years of race relations and ponder on the future of race in America. All of these radio programs are available for patrons to listen to in our Reading Room.

The Arthur Franklin Raper papers have many publications about social justice.

The Arthur Franklin Raper papers have many publications about social justice.

Arthur Franklin Raper Papers, 1913-1979
Arthur Franklin Raper (1899-1979) approached issues of poverty, racism, violence, rural hardship, and economic distress from the view of a Sociologist and Social Scientist. Raper began his career by documenting issues in the rural South for the U.S. government. He supported anti-lynching and anti-racist work, and authored ten books whose subjects range from sharecropping to the impact of the Great Migration on the rural South. After World War II, he began doing similar studies in rural areas around the globe, particularly in Pakistan, Japan, Taiwan, and North African and Middle Eastern nations. A large portion of the collection is available online, including photographs taken during the Great Depression.
John Kenyon Chapman Papers, 1969-2009
John Kenyon Chapman (1947-2009), also known as Yonni, dedicated his life to social justice issues in central North Carolina. His early activist work focused on anti-Apartheid, African liberation, and fair labor practices. A survivor of the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, he spent the latter portion of his life pushing for a more complete and accurate historical record of the role of African Americans in Southern history, starting important conversations about how we remember history and historical people.

The Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Training Center provided childcare and other support services to allow its patrons to focus on their education.

The Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Training Center provided childcare and other support services to allow its patrons to focus on their education. Pictured here are children of attendees at their Rich Square, NC program.

James A. Felton and Annie Vaughan Felton Papers, 1938-2010
James A. Felton (1919-1994) was a member of the Montford Point Marines and an educator in North Carolina for over 20 years. In the 1960s, he helped found the People’s Program on Poverty. This organization studied poverty and developed grassroots, community-based methods for uplifting impoverished people and impoverished communities. This program included to Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Training Center, which provided support and training to allow seasonal farmworkers to find full-time employment.

Posted in Activism, African American, Business, Civil Rights, Digital SHC, Education, Family, Featured Collections, Finding aids, In the News, Journalism, Labor, Links, Politics, Race Relations, Religion, Southern Culture, Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina, Women | Comments Off on Violence, Hardship, and the Southern Response

New Post Looks at the Naming of McCorkle Place


In a new post on the blog of the Chancellor’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill history, Rob Shapard looks at the naming of McCorkle Place at UNC, including why it took nearly 150 years to name something after one of UNC’s most prominent early supporters.

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N.C. Digital Heritage Center Celebrates a Milestone


If your web browsing has included perusal of yearbooks or newspapers from North Carolina colleges and universities, then you likely have seen the work of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Its mission includes scanning and publishing online materials from cultural heritage institutions throughout North Carolina. The center and its hardworking staff are headquartered in Wilson Library, here in Chapel Hill. And this month the Digital Heritage Center is celebrating a milestone. It just added its 200th partner institution. And those partners extend across 119 communities in 73 counties.

A big congratulations to the Digital Heritage Center. Its interim director, Lisa Gregory, is rightfully proud of the work that the center has accomplished since opening its doors in 2009.

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Summer Reading in 1962: Look Homeward, Angel

UNC’s popular (and sometimes controversial) Carolina Summer Reading Program began in 1999. However, UNC experimented with the idea of an assigned summer reading book for students as early as 1962.

Students entering Carolina in the fall of 1962 were required to read Look Homeward, Angel, UNC graduate Thomas Wolfe’s classic coming-of-age novel featuring a young man from western North Carolina who attended a familiar-sounding college in the town of “Pulpit Hill.” Orientation Chairman Bob Madry told the Daily Tar Heel that the book was “a difficult assignment,” but appropriate because “exposure to it plus the analysis and discussion in the seminars will give new students some idea of the type of work they can expect in the months to come.”

As part of the orientation program, students would attend a discussion session led by members of the Phi Eta Sigma scholastic honorary society. English professor Hugh Holman prepared a guide to the text. Unfortunately, the records in the archives don’t tell us how the discussions went, or how many incoming students made their way through the entire 626-page book.

Looking back on the required reading assignment, a committee charged with evaluating the orientation offerings wrote, “The seminars on a book (tried experimentally last year) should be repeated, but the book should be a shorter work such as Animal Farm.”


Records of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (40124), Box 33. University Archives.

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“Search For A Common Ground”: Frank Porter Graham’s 1966 Commencement Address

Frank Porter Graham Speech at the 1957 Inauguration of Bill Friday, from Office of President of the University of North Carolina (System): William C. Friday Records, 1957-1986 (#40009), University Archives

Frank Porter Graham speaking at the 1957 Inauguration of Bill Friday, from Office of President of the University of North Carolina (System): William C. Friday Records, 1957-1986 (#40009), University Archives.

Having recently graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, I thought it would be fitting for my final blog post to examine a past graduation. In researching the class of 1966 for its 50th anniversary, I found that year’s commencement address. The speech, titled “Search for a Common Ground,” was given by Frank Porter Graham, the former President of UNC-Chapel Hill and the consolidated UNC system. Graham took the opportunity to address the Speaker Ban law that was then being challenged in court.

The law, officially titled “An Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers at State Supported Colleges and Universities,” was enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly in June of 1963. Although students and faculty across the state argued against the law, Chapel Hill was at the center of the protest. The most visible challenge to the law came in 1966 when two speakers were invited by UNC students to speak on campus. Because the speakers were members of the Communist Party, they had to address the students from the sidewalk of Franklin Street, across the wall from McCorkle Place. Graham’s commencement address was delivered just a few months after these speeches and the subsequent legal challenge that would lead to the law being overturned in 1968.

Graham opens his speech with a brief history of the University, from its founding in the 18th century through its closure during the Civil War to the administration of President Kemp Plummer Battle. Graham set this historical groundwork in order to present, “a balanced and fair analysis in seeking to find a common ground for our whole University family.” Graham is careful to present his thoughts in a neutral manner and not to embroil himself in the legal or political dispute. However, Graham does identify some of those opposed to the Ban including seven prominent student groups, the North Carolina Chapters of the American Association of University Professors in the Universities and Colleges of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Chapter of the Civil Liberties Union. With regard to the student body, he remarked that “in electing their present President, who I understand, made one of the main planks in his campaign for election the right of having student-sponsored, responsible, balanced and free open forums, were aware of his vigorous position on this matter and were sincere in their support of him.”

Graham also used this speech to address the charges of atheism and communism that were being leveled against the University and its representatives. In response to the fear of growing atheism, Graham reminds the audience of how

many honest young minds in the colleges have in times past effectively grappled with (1) the Copernican dethronement of the earth as the center of the universe, (2) the Darwinian evolutionary identification of man with animals, (3) the alleged overriding of spiritual power by Marxist economic determinism, (4) the Freudian subjection of the conscious mind to primitive drives and subconscious forces, and (5) the modification of absolute theories by the theory of relativity.

Similarly, he denies the claim that the University is soft on communism by stating,

the fact that the students wish to hear communists speak in their responsible and fairly balanced open forums along with speakers who represent the extreme right, the conservative and the liberal points of view, does not mean that they are soft on communism, but simply means they wish to understand the nature of the world of their generation.

While the Speaker Ban issue was resolved almost 50 years ago, speech on college campuses is still a divisive issue. Frank Porter Graham’s reconciliation of a state-imposed  law with the values and mission of the University also parallels the controversy surrounding House Bill 2 in which North Carolina and the University are currently engaged.

For more information about the Speaker Ban Law, visit the A Right to Speak and Hear library exhibit or the exhibit in The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History

[Frank Porter Graham’s 1966 Commencement Address, from Office of Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Joseph Carlyle Sitterson Records, 1966-1972 (#40022), University Archives]

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Watch: UNC Alums Recall Fashion Favorites

FashionEarthShoes_featureFashionEarthShoes_featureUNC alumni discuss items they contributed to an exhibition about Carolina fashion. On view through June 5 in Wilson Library. Continue reading
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Operation Match: Computer Dating at UNC in the 1960s

Long before Tinder and, students at UNC and other schools looked to a computer for help finding dates with a  program called “Operation Match.”

Operation Match was founded by students at Harvard and Cornell in 1965. Students would send in a questionnaire with a $3.00 fee. Their answers were transferred to punch cards, processed on a five-ton mainframe computer in Massachusetts, and then the students were sent a list of names and phone numbers of potential matches.

The program came to UNC in time for the fall 1965 semester. A Daily Tar Heel editorial asked, “Are you willing to let a big machine with flashing lights and flying cards tell you how to run your personal social life?” Apparently many students were.

The program ran an interesting promotion on campus in October 1965. Patsy Puckett, who was then Miss Mississippi, filled out an Operation Match questionnaire and then went on a date with Carolina student she was matched with.

According to the DTH, several hundred students used the service in its first month. While Operation Match apparently led to several successful dates, there were some unusual matches, including that of a UNC sophomore who was matched with his sister, a student at Duke. This was notable not just for the fact that they were related, but, according one of the student’s friends, “They are as different as night and day.”

The program lasted at least through the next school year. In February 1966 Operation Match was advertising for a “North Carolina District Manager” to help with promotion and outreach. By the fall of 1966, the DTH declared “Electronic match-making is here to stay.”

In the University Archives, we’re interested in tracking down one of the questionnaires that the students were asked to fill out. We haven’t been able to find one in our records (yet). If any former students are reading this and have suggestions, please let us know.

Operation Match ad from the Daily Tar Heel, 20 April 1966.

Operation Match ad from the Daily Tar Heel, 20 April 1966.

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From the Archives: Anti-War Rally at UNC, 1936.

Anti-war rally at Memorial Hall, ca. 1936. P004.

Anti-war rally at Memorial Hall, ca. 1936. P004.

I ran across this photograph in the UNC-Chapel Hill Image Collection and was surprised to see an anti-war protest not from the mid 1960s, when college students across the country demonstrated against the Vietnam war, but from three decades earlier. The photograph is in a folder labeled “Anti-War Activities, World War II, Late 1930s.”

Memories of World War I were still fresh in the minds of many Americans when tensions were beginning to escalate in Europe in the 1930s, building toward the conflicts that would lead to World War II. Pearl Harbor was still several years away and some college students were wary of the idea of getting involved in another European war. At UNC, students formed local chapters of two national anti-war organizations: the American Student Union, a left-wing organization associated with the Communist and Socialist parties, and the Veterans of Future Wars, a satirical group asking for compensation for future military service.

The photo shown here is probably from a rally held on campus on April 22, 1936. It was described as a “strike,” with classes cancelled for about an hour. The rally started at South Building and continued to Memorial Hall for speeches. The description in the Daily Tar Heel said, “Placards and tableaux expressing antipathy to war will make their appearance at the anti-war strike.”

The featured speaker at the rally was Dick Whitten, president of Commonwealth College in Arkansas, who descried “capitalistic imperialism” as the driving force behind war. An estimated 700 students and local residents attended.

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