UNC vs. UGA Football Goes Back More than a Century

As is befitting the two oldest state universities in the country, the football rivalry between UNC and the University of Georgia goes back more than a century, with the teams first meeting in Alanta, site of this year’s game, in 1895 (100 years after UNC began offering classes and 94 years after the University of Georgia opened). Carolina won the first game, held on October 26, 1895, 6-0, and followed that with another win over Georgia just five days later.

Tar Heel, 22 October 1914.

Tar Heel, 22 October 1914.

One of Carolina’s biggest wins against Georgia came in 1914. UNC won 41-6 in a dominating performance. The Tar Heel could not resist multiple references to William Sherman’s march through Georgia, which was a not-so-distant memory, having occurred only fifty years earlier:

About fifty years ago one General Sherman with an army of blue coated men marched through Georgia. Last Saturday a squad of men led by Head Coach Trenchard and Capt. Tayloe, both marched and ran through Georgia. In the sixties the march was attended by slaughter and devastation of human life; last Saturday the march was also accompanied by slaughter and devastation — this object being this time the destruction of Georgia’s hopes for a Southern conference championship in football.

1947 Yackety Yack.

1947 Yackety Yack.

Carolina and UGA did not meet again for 15 years. The two schools played fairly frequently from the 1930s through the 1960s, with the most notable matchup coming in the 1947 Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl game, won by Georgia, 20-10, featured two legendary players: UNC’s Charlie Justice and Georgia’s Charlie Trippi.

From 1967 to 1977, the UNC and Georgia teams were coached by brothers: Bill Dooley, who led the Tar Heels, and his older brother Vince, who coached the Bulldogs. The last game between the schools was also the only one coached by the two brothers. UNC and Georgia met in the 1971 Gator Bowl, with Georgia winning 7-3. Following the close game, Vince Dooley said, “I think my brother Bill outcoached me,” leading to the ironic Daily Tar Heel headline: “Gator Bowl: Bill Wins, Heels Lose.”

UNC and Georgia have played 30 times, with the Bulldogs winning 16. The last UNC victory over Georgia came in Chapel Hill in 1963.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Artifacts of the Month: Daily Grind menu board and stool

As more than 29,000 students return to Carolina’s campus, we welcome them back with our August Artifacts of the Month, a menu board and stool from the Daily Grind Café. The Daily Grind served coffee in a small, lively space adjacent to UNC’s Student Stores for more than twenty-two years. When news broke at the end of last school year that the Café would close in the summer of 2016, students, faculty, and staff mourned the loss of a campus institution.

Menu Board 500

These items serve as a reminder of just how fun and innovative The Daily Grind was. For over two decades, the cafe provided students with freshly brewed, locally roasted coffee in a multitude of ways — like their Crème Brulee and Snickerdoodle “Magical Mochas,” as seen on this menu board.

Stool 300

One-of-a-kind painted stools like this one offered the perfect perch for employees of the one-of-a-kind café, where students met up with friends, chatted with professors, or just took a break as they looked out into the Pit.

Stool Top 500

After Barnes and Noble purchased the Student Stores, the Daily Grind Café moved out of its location at the heart of campus. Yet students should have no fear! The Friends Café at the Health Sciences Library still serves the same “mean beans” as its sister café, with an extensive espresso drink list and fresh treats served every weekday.

The North Carolina Collection Gallery is honored to preserve these and other Daily Grind artifacts as a reminder of a beloved campus café. Getting coffee at the Daily Grind was more than a quick break — it was a UNC tradition.

For more Carolina traditions, both old and new, visit the exhibit Classic Carolina: Traditions Then and Now in the Gallery. The exhibit, dedicated to all of our new Tar Heels, shares Carolina food, athletic, and dorm traditions from the mid-twentieth century.

Posted in Artifact of the Month, UNC History | Comments Off on Artifacts of the Month: Daily Grind menu board and stool

Picture Day 1946: When Hugh met Charlie

The summer hiatus here at A View to Hugh is winding down as students begin appearing on campus this weekend.  Hot August days have returned to Chapel Hill and football practice is underway for the 2016 season.  Expectations are high for the Tar Heels just as it was seventy seasons ago.  Today, on this anniversary of the birth of a very special friendship, Hugh Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back to August 17, 1946.

Charlie Justice standing with Hugh Morton. Justice is wearing the #22 jersey recovered in November 1948 by UNC President C. D. Spangler during a UNC-Virginia football game. This photograph dates from the late 1990s to early 2000s.

Charlie Justice standing with Hugh Morton. Justice is wearing the #22 jersey recovered in November 1948 by UNC President C. D. Spangler during a UNC-Virginia football game. This photograph dates from the late 1990s to early 2000s.

It was early August, 1946, and it was hot. The annual preseason football magazines had just hit the stands and judging from those traditional predictors, Carolina was going to be something special. Sportswriter Jack Troy wrote in the 1946 issue of Street & Smith Football Pictorial Yearbook:

. . . the Tar Heels are about ready to step back into the picture as a national football power.  During the winter the Tar Heels snatched Charlie Justice from under the noses of South Carolina coaches, and Justice is supposed to be one of the best ball carriers in the business.

On August 17, 1946, Head Coach Carl Snavely greeted 104 Tar Heel candidates along with Kay Kyser, headline radio star and considered Carolina’s greatest all-time cheerleader. Also present was University President Dr. Frank Porter Graham. Of the 104, only 18 were returning lettermen, but Snavely said he expected about 10 additional lettermen by August 26th. By the time editor Jake Wade got the ’46 Football Media Guide published, the lettermen count was 31.

One of the most welcomed lettermen returning was Hosea Rodgers, a 200-pound fullback who led Carolina to a 9 to 6 victory over Pennsylvania back in 1943. Many of the freshmen were returning World War II veterans in their 20s—like freshman Charlie Justice, sometimes called the “Bainbridge Flash.” Justice was the one player who was going to make a good Carolina team great.

With the stage set, practice got underway.  Although classes had not officially begun, there were many students already on campus.  It wasn’t unusual for two or three hundred students to show up for Carolina’s practices.  One of the early official team functions was called picture day, when the players dress out in their game day uniforms and talk with the media and pose for photographs. Of course one of those photographers present was Hugh Morton.  Here’s how Justice described the scene that day for biographer Bob Terrell in a 1995 interview:

The first time I saw Hugh Morton was in August of 1946. The weather was hot and we were practicing twice a day. Sunday was an off day and Snavely and his staff decided that was the day they’d have the press come in and take pictures, get interviews, and so forth. . . We started at two o’clock, and it seemed that everybody in the country was there to shoot pictures. I noticed Hugh Morton on the sidelines, paying no attention to me at all, taking pictures of everybody else.

After about two and a half hours, Snavely said “that’s it guys,” and told the players they could go inside out of the heat.  As the Tar Heels were leaving the field, UNC Publicity Director Robert Madry’s Assistant Jake Wade came over to Justice and said: “Charlie, I’d like for you to meet Hugh Morton. He’s a great friend of the University. He’d like to take a few more shots.”  According to Justice, “We stayed there another two hours, hot as it was, and everything had to be just perfect.”

Finally Morton finished up and as the August sun was setting behind the west end zone, Charlie began the long walk to the Kenan Field House dressing room at the other end of Kenan Stadium. “I didn’t say anything at the time,” Justice said, ”but when I got in the dressing room, everybody had already left. I said, ‘I hope I never see him again.'”

Charlie Justice photograph of Charlie Justice in a posed portrait while punting, circa 1946-1947.

Charlie Justice photograph of Charlie Justice in a posed portrait while punting, circa 1946-1947.

But Charlie did see Hugh again . . . often . . . at practice and on the Kenan sideline almost every Saturday afternoon. They would often carry on extended conversations, and in the end they became friends, a friendship that lasted 57 years. Justice often participated with Hugh at the Azalea Festival in Wilmington and at the Highland Games and other events at Grandfather Mountain. When Hugh Morton announced his candidacy for governor on December 1, 1971 Charlie Justice was with him in front of the Capitol in Raleigh.

“He supported me wholeheartedly,” said Justice, “not just at Carolina, either. When I got to the Redskins, I turned around on the field and there was Hugh shooting pictures. Because of him, I suppose my football career was preserved on film as well as anybody’s ever was. . . . When I went into the [College Football] Hall of Fame, he got Governor Luther Hodges’s plane and flew Sarah, me, and his wife Julia to New York—when we got there we discovered that the girls couldn’t got to the banquet. So Sarah and Julia went over to Broadway and saw My Fair Lady that night. Then we flew back to Raleigh.”

Justice treasured men like Hugh Morton as his friends, and the honor was returned. “We didn’t have ESPN or the Internet back then,” Justice said. “But we didn’t need ’em. We had Hugh Morton. What a great friend he was to our team and to Carolina.”

Hugh Morton photograph of UNC fullback Hosea Rodgers (#70) and left end Bob Cox (#49), late 1940s.

Hugh Morton photograph of UNC fullback Hosea Rodgers (#70) and left end Bob Cox (#49), late 1940s.

“I can close my eyes and still see him with that camera around his neck,” said Bob Cox, an end and place-kicker from the 1946 Tar Heels, “Hugh was always around the team, around the program. He gave meaning to what we were doing. If anyone ever stood for the Carolina tradition, it was Hugh Morton. He helped build the pride and spirit and love for Carolina as much as anyone on the team.”

On a day in late May of 2001, Hugh Morton, along with several Tar Heel friends visited Charlie and Sarah Justice at their home in Cherryville. Of course Hugh was taking pictures, but at one point he stopped and said, “Charlie Justice inspired more loyalty at a key time following the war that was reflected in a huge amount of support for every facet of the University, not just athletics. It would be impossible to put a value on his contributions to the University—it would be in the real big millions.”

On Monday, October 20, 2003, my wife Marla and I, along with 200 plus others, attended the memorial service for Charlie Justice at The Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville. We were seated on the right side of the church where we could see many of the special guests from the Tar Heel Nation seated in the center. Among that group was Hugh Morton. He, like all of us, was obviously emotionally shaken. I think it was the first and possibly the only time I ever saw him at a Charlie Justice event without his camera.

Posted in Biography, Football, Sports, UNC | Comments Off on Picture Day 1946: When Hugh met Charlie

Eben Alexander and the Revival of the Modern Olympic Games


Crowds entering the Olympic stadium, Athens, Greece, April 8, 1896. Eben Alexander Papers, Southern Historical Collection.

A few days ago we published a blog post looking at the history of UNC athletes in the summer Olympics, beginning with Harry Williamson’s participation in the 1936 summer games. It turns out the Carolina connection to the Olympics goes back even further than that.

When the Olympic games were revived and the first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896, UNC faculty member Eben Alexander was there. Alexander was a professor of Greek at Carolina and served as the United States ambassador to Greece and Serbia from 1893-1897.

Eben Alexander, 1907 (Yackety Yack)

Eben Alexander, 1907 (Yackety Yack)

When Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator who is credited with creating the modern Olympic movement, began to talk about reviving the Olympic games, he found an eager ally in Alexander, who was one of the first contributors to the committee assembled for the Olympics. Alexander spread news about the games back in the United States and helped to recruit a large contingent of athletes to come to the Athens for the games. The presence of American athletes and fans ensured that the games would not be dominated by Greece and other European countries and helped to build support for the Olympics as a truly international competition.

There is a small collection of Alexander’s papers in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library. These include a few letters related to the first Olympics and the photo shown above.

Alexander’s influence in convincing American athletes to come to Greece is evident in a letter from Princeton University listing the athletes they were sending to the games (most of the first American Olympians were college track stars from Ivy League schools). Even more interesting is a transcript of a letter from Alexander’s wife, Marion Howard-Smith Alexander, describing the scene at the Olympic stadium during the games.

On April 14, 1896, Marion Howard-Smith Alexander wrote a letter to her sister, Eleanor Howard-Smith, describing the scene in Athens at the first modern Olympic games. She wrote:

I must begin by telling that the stadium with the thousands of people & the beautiful views about it was a sight to remember for life. Many people will regret bitterly that when they hear from their friends how entirely successful & interesting the games have been. Our boys who have nearly swept the fields of honor each day, are great favorites with the Greeks. One fellow in particular when he went out on the streets would be followed by an admiring crowd shouting “NIKE” which means victor.

In 1897, following the election of William McKinley, Alexander left Greece and returned to teaching at Chapel Hill. He remained on the faculty until his death in 1910. In many obituaries, Alexander’s role in helping to revive the Olympic games was held up as one of the most significant achievements of his career.

Posted in UNC, Uncategorized, University History | Comments Off on Eben Alexander and the Revival of the Modern Olympic Games

UNC’s Olympic Firsts

Athletes and coaches from UNC have participated in most summer Olympic games since 1936. The list below is an effort to compile a handful of notable Olympic firsts from Tar Heel athletes. I used the list of UNC Olympians available on GoHeels.com and a similar list on Wikipedia. It’s possible that some of these may be incomplete — if we learn of any mistakes or omissions (and we’d like to hear from you if you can help!), we’ll post the updates as soon as possible.

First Olympian: UNC’s first Olympian was Harry Williamson, who ran the 800 meters at the 1936 summer Olympics in Berlin. A native of High Point, Williamson was a track star at Carolina, winning conference championships in the mile and half-mile. After winning both of his qualifying heats in Berlin, Williamson finished sixth in the 800 meter finals. See if you can pick him out on this YouTube video of the race.

First Medalist: The first medalist from UNC was the remarkable Floyd “Chunk” Simmons, from Charlotte, who played football and ran track at Carolina. A terrific all-around athlete, Simmons won the bronze medal in the decathlon in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. He competed throughout his life, winning age group awards when he was in his 70s and 80s. As if that wasn’t enough, Simmons had an acting career, appearing in multiple movies including the hit 1958 musical South Pacific. Simmons looked back on his career in a 2007 interview with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, available on DigitalNC.org.

First Gold Medal: It should be no surprise that the first UNC alumnus to win a gold medal was a basketball player. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Larry Brown became the first Tar Heel to play on an Olympic basketball team and helped the U.S. men’s team win the gold, defeating the Soviet Union in the final. Carolina women first won gold in the 1996 Olympics with the women’s soccer team, which featured several players from UNC, including star Mia Hamm.

First Women: Several athletes competed in the Olympics before coming to UNC, including swimmers Ann Marshall (1972 Olympics), Janis Hape (1976 Olympics), and Wendy Weinberg (1976 Olympics).

As far as I was able to tell, the first woman from UNC to compete in the Olympics while still a student was Sharon Couch, a track star who finished sixth in the long jump in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

First Individual Gold Medal: Former Tar Heel athletes excelled in team sports in the Olympics, participating in gold medal-winning teams in men’s basketball and women’s soccer. A former UNC star did not win an individual gold medal until the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, when Allen Johnson won the gold in the 110 meter hurdles. The first woman from UNC to win individual gold medals was Marion Jones, who won three golds in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, Jones later returned the medals after admitting to steroid use.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

James K. Polk: 19th Century Student Activist?

Was there such a thing as student activism in the 19th century? If so, what form did this activism take? An article in the Daily Tar Heel, published December 5, 1967, asserts that one of UNC’s most famous alums, United States President James Knox Polk, led a “rebellion” in 1816 among the students that culminated with the resignation of the University’s president at the time, Robert Hett Chapman. The title states, “U.S. President Was Campus Activist.”


page 5, 12/5/1967, Daily Tar Heel

What is true is that an actual student uprising against the faculty did take place, and it not only led to the ousting of Chapman, but also to the expulsion of the leader of said rebellion. What is false is that Polk led it, although he may very well have been present and subsequently inspired by the cause. This September 1816 event has been written about in numerous histories, however the misleading newspaper headline regarding Polk’s role requires clarification of who did what, but more importantly, presents an opportunity to revisit what was a fascinating chain of events at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Although Polk was on campus at that time, having enrolled as a sophomore in spring 1816, the “leader” of the September 18, 1816 “uprising” was actually a student by the name of William Biddle Shepard. As Battle states in his history of the university, he gave a speech without approval, and the next day he was suspended for 6 months. Shepard, the future congressman, eventually left to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Others, not including Polk, were also suspended due to their support of Shepard’s defiance. News of the controversy spread quickly across the state, requiring the University to make a public statement justifying their response.

The oration expressed popular Republican and anti-British sentiments (inspired by bitterness over the War of 1812), despite a campus ban on making speeches supporting party politics. And it so happened that the person required to review speeches beforehand was the unpopular Peace Federalist and University President Robert Hett Chapman. Biddle not only dismissed Chapman’s edits, he gave the speech in its original form and then refused to stand down, inspiring near chaos to ensue on campus for days afterward. For Chapman, this event was essentially the last straw. Over the few years of his tenure, he and his family were subjected to student pranks of all sorts, including the tarring and feathering of the gatepost at his home and other destruction to his property, sometimes accompanied by taunting notes. Totally unrelated to these stressors, but certainly compounding the problem, his teenage daughter also died suddenly at age 15. She is buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. Chapman submitted his resignation in November 1816.

How does Polk fit into the picture? To write the Daily Tar Heel article, Charles Sellers’ biography James K. Polk: Jacksonian would have been an ideal source. In this book, Sellers quotes from Polk’s speech “Eloquence,” an inaugural address he delivered to the Dialectic Society, of which he was a member. With one line, Polk the undergraduate essentially advises his fellow students to never bow to faculty and to stay true to their ideals. Sellers uses this to emphasize the role and influence of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies on campus, each essentially a hotbed for 19th century anti-authoritarianism. This same quote appears in the DTH article and is credited as the speech that sparked the rebellion. The snag is that “Eloquence” was delivered on May 20, 1818, therefore almost two years after the Shepard oration. Polk was likely inspired by his rebellious classmates, but the documentation does not prove his involvement in the Infamous Uprising of 1816. Nevertheless, this provides fascinating insight into the rebellious nature of the 19th century undergraduate, which certainly continues to resonate with those at UNC centuries later.


page 9 of Polk’s Inaugural Address, 5/20/1818, from the Dialectic Society Papers, University Archives

For further information:

Speeches by Polk in the Dialectic Society papers : “Composition on the Powers of Invention,” circa 1816-1818; “Composition on the Admission of Foreigners into Office in the United States,” 30 August 1817; Inaugural Address, 20 May 1818.

Senior speech controversy at Exhibits: http://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/academic_freedom/19th-century/senior-speech-controversy

Posted in Di-Phi, Dialectic Society, DiPhi, From the Archives, UNC, UNC History, Uncategorized, University Archives, University History, University of North Carolina | Comments Off on James K. Polk: 19th Century Student Activist?

The Olympic Torch in Chapel Hill

Charles Shaffer, Jr., with the Olympic torch, 23 June 1996. Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services.

Charles Shaffer, Jr., with the Olympic torch, 23 June 1996. Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services.

Twenty years ago this summer, the Olympic torch relay passed through Chapel Hill on its eventual way to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

UNC was placed on the torch relay route thanks to the work of alumnus Charles Shaffer, Jr., an Atlanta attorney who was one of the early members of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the organization that successfully pitched what began as an unlikely proposal into a successful bid for the 1996 games.

In recognition of his work in bringing the Olympics to Atlanta, Shaffer was asked to participate in the torch relay and got to decide where he would like to run. As an alumnus with longtime family ties to Carolina, Shaffer chose Chapel Hill.

On June 23, 1996, the torch came to Carolina. Members of the local community, including UNC journalism professor Chuck Stone, carried the torch through Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Charles Shaffer took the torch onto campus and past the Old Well, where a large crowd was waiting. The photos on this page are from the UNC News Services collection in the University Archives.

Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services.

Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services, 1996.

Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services, 1996.

Photo by Dan Sears for UNC News Services, 1996.

Posted in UNC, Uncategorized, University Archives, University History | Comments Off on The Olympic Torch in Chapel Hill

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. Newspapers.com.

Durham Globe, 2 February 1894. Newspapers.com.

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. Newspapers.com.

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

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. Newspapers.com.

Salisbury Evening Post, 30 January 1920. Newspapers.com.

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.


Posted in UNC History, Uncategorized, University History | Comments Off on From Tokyo to Chapel Hill: UNC’s First International Student

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: identity.unc.edu/colors


Posted in UNC History, Uncategorized, University Archives, University History | Comments Off on The School Colors: The History of Carolina Blue

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