New Research on the History of the Phrase “Tar Heels”

Detail from a bookplate in the Bruce Cotten Collection, North Carolina Collection.

Detail from a bookplate in the Bruce Cotten Collection, North Carolina Collection.

The latest edition of Southern Cultures includes a very interesting article by Bruce Baker on the origins of the “Tar Heel” nickname. Baker, a lecturer at Newcastle University in England and a graduate of UNC (Ph.D., History, 2003), did extensive research in newspapers and other sources to uncover a great deal of interesting and, as far as I am aware, new information about the history of “Tar Heels.”

Countering some of the often-repeated stories about the phrase, while it was adopted into popular use during the Civil War, its origins go back several decades earlier. Baker describes how the phrase “rosin heels” was in frequent use among the pine-rich turpentine-producing regions of the United States, including North Carolina. The phrase “tar heel” emerged later, used first as a derogatory term for politicians and later applied to African Americans, including Frederick Douglass, who was called a “Tarheel” in an 1852 newspaper article.

While initially used as a derisive nickname for North Carolina soldiers during the Civil War, the North Carolinians apparently decided to embrace it. By the time Governor Zebulon Vance referred to “Fellow Tar-Heels” in 1863, the name had stuck.

Baker’s article is well worth reading in its entirety. Southern Cultures is available in Davis and Wilson libraries and online for UNC students and staff.

 

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Major New Addition to UNC News Services Photos Now Online

We are pleased to announce that a major new addition to the UNC News Services collection is now available for research. The new addition, which came in a few years ago, contains more than 60,000 images, primarily photos taken by longtime campus photographer Dan Sears. Not only is it open for research, but all of the digital photos are freely available online through the Carolina Digital Repository.

Computers in the student union, 1998 Chancellor Holden Thorp, left, and Peggy Jablonski, vice chancellor for Student Affairs greet sophomore Terence McPherson during move-in day, 2008. Spectators look at a  model of the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center following ground breaking ceremonies, 2001

The News Services department at UNC is responsible for most of the official communications coming from the campus: press releases, photos, and the University Gazette. The collection, which contains records going back as far as 1924, is a terrific resource for anyone looking for information about and images of UNC people, places, and events.  There are photos of chancellors, faculty, graduationsspeeches, prominent visitors, and, of course, scenic views of the Old Well (the collection has lots of photos of the Old Well).

Morehead Planetarium in the snow, 2002. Dr. Valerie Ashby teaching, 2010. Basketball coach Dean Smith announcing his retirement, 1997.

The recent addition covers the years 1997 through 2012 and includes photos taken for the University Gazette as well as general images for campus publications and news releases. Researchers can access the digital images directly from the finding aid by clicking on the link for “digital folder,” which takes them to the repository, where high-resolution images are available for viewing and download:

digital folder

The recent additions, along with all of the photos in the News Services collection, are freely available for research and educational uses. Permission from the News Services department is required for any commercial use.

These photos are available for research thanks to the hard work of Patrick Cullom and his colleagues in the archival technical services department in Wilson Library, and the staff of the Carolina Digital Repository.

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1947 Dorothy Maynor Concert Brings First Integrated Audience to UNC

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Dorothy Maynor following a concert at Bennett College in Greensboro, January 1947. From the Bennett College scrapbooks via the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

When African American soprano Dorothy Maynor performed at UNC on January 19, 1947, she sang in front of what was probably the first integrated audience in Memorial Hall. An editorial in the Daily Tar Heel published a couple days later declared, “For the first time, to our knowledge, a Negro and white audience attended a concert in Memorial Hall without any segregation in the seating arrangement.”

Maynor was a popular soprano who toured the country, performing songs from famous operas. While her solo concerts were hailed by critics and audiences, she was never offered the opportunity to perform in a major opera. The Metropolitan Opera in New York would not cast its first African American soloist until 1955.

The integrated audience at Maynor’s UNC concert did not occur by accident. Maynor stipuated that she would not perform in front of a segregated audience. The proposed concert was debated by campus administration. The decision ultimately went to university system president Frank Porter Graham, who insisted that the performance go ahead without any restrictions on seating.

The Daily Tar Heel editorial praised the UNC community for its “liberal, progressive attitude” following the concert. The editorial made no mention of the fact that African Americans were still prohibited from attending the university. UNC would not admit its first black student until 1950.

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Daily Tar Heel, January 21, 1947, via Newspapers.com

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What is it that binds us to this speech? Charles Kuralt’s 1993 UNC Bicentennial Address

“What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls . . . ” – Charles Kuralt

These words, spoken in Charles Kuralt’s iconic voice, will be familiar to anyone who has watched a UNC sporting event on TV the past few years. The speech provides the background narrative to the promotional spots run by the university during televised football and basketball games. This speech was given by Kuralt on October 12, 1993, during the celebration of UNC’s bicentennial.

Kuralt (class of 1955) began his journalism career as a student at UNC. He was editor of the Daily Tar Heel and did some of his earliest broadcast work with WUNC radio. During a long career with CBS in New York, he was known nationwide for his On the Road segments on the evening news and later as the anchor of CBS Sunday Morning.

Kuralt, a native of Wilmington, never lost touch with North Carolina. He wrote about the state in his book North Carolina is My Home and was an active alumnus, frequently returning to Chapel Hill and remaining an avid fan of Tar Heel basketball. Kuralt was the featured speaker at the 1985 graduation ceremony, during which he talked about the importance of UNC for the rest of the state: “And so, in concentric circles, as if from a pebble tossed from a pool, the influence of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moves outward to the farthest corners of our state, and far beyond its boundaries.”

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(Charles Kuralt’s speech during commencement 1985, from the Charles Kuralt Collection, 1935-1997, #04882, Southern Historical Collection.)

 

Kuralt expanded on this theme, and on his own deep appreciation for UNC, in his 1993 address, delivered in Kenan Stadium before a large audience that included President Bill Clinton and Governor Jim Hunt. In a memorable opening, Kuralt said “I speak for all of us who could not afford to go to Duke, and would not have, even if we could have afforded it.”

The now famous lines from the TV commercials come early in the speech: “What is it that binds us to this place as no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. Or the crisp October nights or the memory of dogwoods blooming. Our loyalty is not only to William Richardson Davie, though we are proud of what he did 200 years ago today. Not even to Dean Smith, though we are proud of what he did last March. No, our love for this place is based on the fact that it is, as it was meant to be, the University of the people.”

A video of Kuralt’s address is available online from UNC-TV (his speech begins at 11:30 into the recording). The full text, from a book about the bicentennial, is here:

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Charles Kuralt’s Speech During the Bicentennial Observance Opening Ceremonies [Tepper, Steven J. The Chronicles of the Bicentennial Observance of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1st ed. Chapel Hill: The University, 1998: 219-220.]

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“Feign an Intelligent Understanding”: The Research Club

In 1914, professors Joseph Hyde Pratt and George Howe founded the Research Club.  This club met once a year during the last week of October and gave its members, all of whom were professors, the opportunity to present humorous or satirical mock research papers on strange and farcical topics.  At its first meeting, Pratt outlined the club’s long, mysterious (and fictitious) history.

Reseach club  0001 Research Club 0008 Reseach club 0002

Howe provided ten rules and regulations that governed the club.

Reseach club 0003Among its members (or “illuminati”), the Research club boasted three UNC-Chapel Hill Presidents: Francis Venable, Edward Kidder Graham, Harry W. Chase.

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Some years, club members focused on specific themes or topics.  At the 1915 meeting, each professor contributed a paper describing the point of view of a country engaged in the first World War. All of the works presented during the 1916 meeting were written in poetic verse. For the 1917 meeting, the club produced a nearly 70-page novel titled The Laundry Ticket: A Story of Love and Adventure, for which each professor contributed a chapter.

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The Research Club continued to meet until 1921.

Materials used in this post are from the Research Club of the University of North Carolina Records (#40193).

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A Brief History of The Pit

The Pit, the beloved gathering place at the heart of the UNC campus, was once home to the university’s primary athletic field. Emerson Field was completed in 1916 and was used for football, baseball, and track. The football team quickly outgrew the space, moving to Kenan Stadium when it was completed in 1927, and track events moved to Fetzer Field in 1935, but Emerson Field continued to host home baseball games until 1965.

Aerial photo of the UNC campus, ca. 1950s. North Carolina Collection.

Aerial photo of the UNC campus, ca. 1930. North Carolina Collection.

Emerson Field was cleared in 1967 in preparation for the construction of new buildings to house a student union, bookstore, and undergraduate library. The bookstore, known then as the Book Exchange or “Book-Ex” was completed in time for the opening of the fall semester 1968, much to relief of students who had long complained of lines and delays at the store’s former location in the Campus Y. Construction continued into the semester on the library and union, leaving students and others on campus faced with a problem that became more acute during the rainy spring: the construction crews left a large dirt pit in front of the new bookstore.

In February 1969, articles in the Daily Tar Heel made reference to the “muddy, basin-like area in front of the Book-Ex” and the “man-made mud crater.” In April, it was still a “big, ugly mud hole.” By later in the spring, the campus grounds crew had come up with a solution. The DTH reported on the plan in its June 26, 1969 paper:

“The vast, dusty pit in front of the UNC Book Exchange has been the subject of much campus inquiry recently.  The Campus and Grounds Department has designed, and begun construction on a sunken brick patio surrounded by brick steps. Two shade trees will be planted in the center.”

That article was possibly the first time in print that it was referred to as “The Pit.”

By the fall semester 1969, the work was completed and the Daily Tar Heel, following the lead of the student orientation handbook, christened the space “The Pit.”  In an editorial headed, “The Pit is the Pit and We Like It,” the DTH wrote, “We sort of expect officials in South Building to come up with something like the Frank Edward Jones Memorial Square . . . Personally, we like ‘The Pit.'”

Apparently the rest of the campus, including the administrators in South Building, liked it, too. It has been called The Pit ever since and has become an essential part of the UNC landscape.

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Original Donors to the University and the Myth of Free Tuition

One of the enduring myths of UNC history is that there is a provision in the founding documents that says that descendants of the families who donated land to the university may attend school free of charge.  While this would have been a very generous (and complicated) offer, it is not true.

The confusion may come from the fact that there are sections, both in the act establishing the university and the early trustees minutes, where free tuition is mentioned.

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Detail from the 1789 law of North Carolina describing benefits to early UNC donors.

Chapter 20 of the 1789 Laws of North-Carolina was entitled “An Act to Establish a University in this State.” The act named the original trustees, defined their powers and responsibilities, and included, toward the end, a “Benefit granted to subscribers.” This said, in part, “That every person who within the term of five years shall subscribe ten pounds towards this university . . . shall be entitled to have one student educated at the university free from any expence of tuition.”

So the free tuition for early donors did exist, but it applied only to a single student that they would select.

Detail from the 1792 Board of Trustees minutes describing benefits to people who donated land.

Detail from the 1792 Board of Trustees minutes describing benefits to people who donated land.

There is a similar enticement to donors in the earliest minutes of the Board of Trustees in 1792. At the meeting on 5 December 1792, the trustees voted unanimously to place the university in Chapel Hill (or “Newhope Chappel Hill” as it first appears in the minutes). The minutes list the names of nine people* who donated land in Orange County for the university and said that they “shall have the respective privilege of having one Student educated at the said University free from any expence of tuition.”

As in the act establishing UNC, the provision is clear that the donors may select only one student to attend school free of tuition. While this benefit does not pass down the generations, what has extended through to the present is the enduring gratitude of all of the students who have had the privilege of living and studying in Chapel Hill.


* Who were the original donors of land? Many of the last names are familiar from streets and buildings in and around Chapel Hill:

  • John Hogan, 200 acres
  • Benjamin Yeargin, 51 acres
  • Matthew McCauley, 150 acres
  • Christopher Barbee, 221 acres
  • Edmund Jones, 200 acres
  • Mark Morgan, 107 acres
  • Jonathan Daniel, 107 acres
  • Hardy Morgan, 125 acres
  • William McCauley, 100 acres

Most of these donations were contingent upon Chapel Hill being chosen as the site of the university. While the donors were certainly generous, they were not without self-interest: the establishment of a university would greatly increase the value of their remaining lands, which, with the hilly landscape and rocky soil, were poorly suited for large-scale farming.

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A bowl of bitter sugar and an impromptu New Year’s Day truck ride in the Big Easy

The 2015 Tar Heels season ended disappointingly Tuesday evening at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Florida.  The game marked Carolina’s 32nd bowl appearance, but sadly for Tar Heel fans it became their 18th bowl loss.  Of the 31 previous bowl games, the Tar Heels won 14 and lost 17—and of those losses, the one on January 1, 1949 was “one that got away.”  Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back at the final three games of the 1948 regular season and the 1949 Sugar Bowl.

The University of North Carolina Marching Band performing on the field inside expansive Tulane Stadium during halftime of the 1949 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The University of North Carolina Marching Band performing on the field inside expansive Tulane Stadium during halftime of the 1949 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

When UNC Head Football Coach Carl Snavely walked off the Kenan Stadium sideline on November 6, 1948, Carolina’s bowl-game-future wasn’t likely on his radar.  His third ranked, undefeated Tar Heels had just played William and Mary to a 7-7 tie. His team was looking at three tough games remaining: Maryland in Washington, D. C.; Duke in Chapel Hill; and Virginia in Charlottesville.

On Sunday, November 7th Snavely was back at his home on Tenney Circle in Chapel Hill screening film of head coach Jim Tatum’s Maryland Terrapins.  A record Washington football crowd of 34,588 turned out for the game at Griffith Stadium, with an estimated 6,000 Tar Heel fans in attendance.  Carolina was able to reverse the proceedings from the previous week’s 7-7 tie, and dominated Maryland 49 to 20.

An interesting oddity from that Maryland game was the game day program.  There were two different programs: one cover showed a standard Lon Keller designed football player, while a second one offered a Hugh Morton image of Charlie Justice and Coach Snavely.  The inside front cover page of that program also differed from the standard program.  It featured a Bill Harrison cartoon biography of Justice.

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Charlie Justice and Carl Snavely, negative by Hugh Morton.

Charlie Justice and Carl Snavely, negative by Hugh Morton.

SugarBowlProgram1949_AltIns

The weekend following the Tar Heel victory over Maryland saw another record-breaking crowd packed into historic Kenan Stadium for the 35th meeting between Duke and Carolina.  44,500 fans saw Charlie Justice’s 43-yard touchdown run break a 0-0 tie in the 3rd quarter as Carolina went on to claim the first Victory Bell win 20 to 0. Following the game, Coach Snavely said “I never saw a better run.” In a time long before the internet, Hugh Morton’s shot of Justice being carried off the field went viral and has been reproduced numerous times over the years.

Hugh Morton's photograph of Charlie Justice on the shoulder of teammates after the 1948 UNC–Duke game appeared on the cover of The State two weeks later.

Hugh Morton’s photograph of Charlie Justice on the shoulder of teammates after the 1948 UNC–Duke game appeared on the cover of The State two weeks later.

Next up . . . the ‘Heels and the ‘Hoos in Charlottesville.

The week before the UNC–UVA game on November 27th, bowl-talk filled the newspapers.  The Orange, Cotton, and Sugar Bowls all showed an interest in the Tar Heels.  On November 22nd the Carolina team voted to accept a bowl bid if they could beat Virginia in the final game of the ’48 regular season. The players liked the idea of playing SMU in the Cotton Bowl or Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, but a New Year’s Day game all hinged on a win in Charlottesville.

An overflow crowd of 26,000 jammed into Scott Stadium in Charlottesville on November 27, 1948 to see the UNC’s number four ranked Tar Heels take on the Cavaliers of Virginia.  Carolina scored on its first possession and added two additional touchdowns to lead at halftime 21 to 6.  That additional touchdown was spectacular.  Carolina had the ball at its own 20-yard line.  Justice took the snap, paused momentarily, then ran through a huge hole between left guard and left tackle supplied by Bob Mitten and Ted Hazelwood.  Justice then outran Virginia’s Billy Marshall to the end zone 80-yards away.

Colorful halftime entertainment was provided by the Lenoir NC High band.  The Tar Heels couldn’t score in quarter number three, but picked up two touchdowns in the final stanza.  The final Tar Heel TD was another Justice beauty: a 50-yard run down the sideline behind fantastic blocking to seal the 34 to 12 win and complete an undefeated season, the first one since 1898.

Following the game at the Albemarle Hotel, which was UNC headquarters while in Charlottesville, head coach Carl Snavely announced that his Tar Heels would meet the Sooners of Oklahoma on January 1, 1949 in the 15th annual Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Said the coach, “We got what we wanted . . . .”

An interesting sidebar to the ’48 Carolina–Virginia game involved a future president of the UNC system.  C. D. Spangler, Jr. became president of the consolidated university system in 1986.  Following Dr. William Friday, Spangler continued in that position until 1997; on November 27, 1948, however, he was an 11th grade student at Woodberry Forest, and was one of the 26,000 fans that jammed into UVA’s Scott Stadium to see Carolina play Virginia.  Leading the Tar Heels that Saturday afternoon was junior sensation Charlie Justice.  On one of Charlie’s plays, his number 22 jersey was torn.  Equipment manager “Sarge” Keller quickly got out a new one, tossing the torn one over behind the bench. Spangler quickly called a Carolina cheerleader over and made a deal to get the torn jersey.  He kept the prized souvenir for over fifty years. Then on November 20, 1999, during halftime of the Carolina–Duke game, Spangler presented the jersey to then UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour and it is now in the Charlie Justice Hall of Honor at the Kenan Football Center on the UNC campus.  And of course Hugh Morton photographed the jersey presentation ceremony.

Off to New Orleans

According to a January 2010 article in St. Charles Avenue Magazine on myneworleans.com, there is a tradition of opposing Sugar Bowl coaches mixing lots of sugar with coffee to make Café Brulot on New Year's Eve to cap off a party at Antoine's Restaurant "for Sugar Bowl notables and the press." You can read the short article at http://www.myneworleans.com/St-Charles-Avenue/January-2010/Coaches-and-Caf-eacute-Brulot/. On December 31st, 1948, it was Carl Snavely and Bud Wilkinson who got to make the concoction. (Negative by Hugh Morton.)

According to a January 2010 article in St. Charles Avenue Magazine on myneworleans.com, there is a tradition of opposing Sugar Bowl coaches mixing lots of sugar with coffee to make Café Brulot on New Year’s Eve to cap off a party at Antoine’s Restaurant “for Sugar Bowl notables and the press.” You can read the short article at http://www.myneworleans.com/St-Charles-Avenue/January-2010/Coaches-and-Caf-eacute-Brulot/. On December 31st, 1948, it was Carl Snavely and Bud Wilkinson who got to make the concoction. (Negative by Hugh Morton.)

The majority of the ’48 Tar Heel football squad arrived by plane at its Sugar Bowl training site in Hammond, Louisiana at 4:30 PM on December 19th…the additional 15 members of the traveling party arrived by train later that evening.  In the second group was Tar Heel end Art Weiner and his bride of three days. Southeastern Louisiana College played host the Heels. Training started on the 20th and continued through the 24th.  A quick trip to New Orleans for Christmas Day…then it was back to Hammond for more practice.

Many Tar Heel fans traveled to the Crescent City, too.  As an earlier post recounted, several, including Hugh Morton, managed to have some exotic fun in New Orleans.

SugarBowlProgram1949

An early Saturday morning return to New Orleans on January 1st signaled the start of the big day as a record 85,000 fans jammed into Tulane Stadium, including photographer Hugh Morton who had working arrangements with several North Carolina newspapers including the Charlotte News, Greensboro Daily News, and High Point Enterprise.

Carl Snavely’s third-ranked UNC Tar Heels were primed and ready for Bud Wilkinson’s fifth ranked Oklahoma Sooners as was ABC’s national television audience. (The TV was not available back in North Carolina because the AT&T long lines had not been completed into the state and wouldn’t be until September 30, 1950, so the folks back home were tuned to Harry Wismer on the ABC Radio Network).  Prior to the kickoff, Coach Snavely and Justice, who had been a bit under the weather all week, posed for Morton’s camera along with ABC broadcaster Wismer.

UNC Head Football Coach Carl Snavely, UNC tailback Charlie Justice, and ABC Radio play-by-play announcer Harry Wismer prior to the start of the 1949 Sugar Bowl.

UNC Head Football Coach Carl Snavely, UNC tailback Charlie Justice, and ABC Radio play-by-play announcer Harry Wismer prior to the start of the 1949 Sugar Bowl.

Then it was time for some football.

Charlie Justice running in the open field with two Sooners, including Paul Burris (#67), in pursuit. (Morton negative, cropped by the editor.)

Charlie Justice running in the open field with two Sooners, including Paul Burris (#67), in pursuit. (Morton negative, cropped by the editor.)

Carolina’s first-possession-drive started at its own 37, and with Justice leading the way moved swiftly down to the Oklahoma 15 on seven plays.  Then, Justice’s pass to Bob Kennedy in the flat was a bit late, and Oklahoma’s Myrle Greathouse intercepted and was off to the races.  Tar Heel Eddie Knox finally caught him 72 yards later at the Carolina 13.  It took the Sooners eight plays to score and take a 7-0 lead at the 8:10 mark.

On Oklahoma’s next possession, Lindell Pearson fumbled and Carolina’s Joe Romano recovered at the Sooner 30.  Four plays later, Hosea Rodgers scored—after being set up by a nine-yard run by Bob Kennedy to the Oklahoma three.  Bob Cox’s PAT attempt was wide right so the score at the 13:55 mark was 7 to 6.

The Greensboro Daily News published this Hugh Morton photograph (cropped similarly as seen below) of Bob Kennedy (#74) scampering a double reverse for nine yards and a first down. In the center of the photograph is blocking back Eddie Knox (#34).

The Greensboro Daily News published this Hugh Morton photograph (cropped similarly as seen below) of Bob Kennedy (#74) scampering a double reverse for nine yards and a first down. In the center of the photograph is blocking back Eddie Knox (#34).

A cropped detail from the above negative.

A cropped detail from the above negative.

With four minutes left in the second quarter, Carolina started a 10-play drive that ended up at the Oklahoma 7.  The big play in the drive for the Heels was a Charlie Justice 23-yard run plus a lateral to Chan Highsmith that added 11 more yards to the Sooner 7.

Chan Highsmith catches a lateral from Charlie Justice (on the ground). Also in the photograph is Ted Hazelwood (#42) and Oklahoma's Buddy Burris (#67), who made the tackle on the play. Published in several newspapers with different cropping, this print is cropped by this blog's editor.

Chan Highsmith catches a lateral from Charlie Justice (on the ground). Also in the photograph is Ted Hazelwood (#42) and Oklahoma’s Buddy Burris (#67), who made the tackle on the play. Published in several newspapers with different cropping, this print is cropped by this blog’s editor.

Then four passes failed—one of which many old time Tar Heels will never forget.  As time was running out in the first half, Justice went back to pass.  He had Art Weiner wide open in the end zone, but Weiner was not able to make the catch.  “Justice threw me a perfect pass,” Weiner recalled in a 1976 interview.  “I was supposed to cut toward the sideline on the left.  Darrell Royal (a future University of Texas head coach) was the defensive back and I had to get away from him.  Charlie threw perfect, I was more concerned where Royal was than the ball.  I took my eye off the ball. . . Had I known Royal actually fell down . . . it was a sure touchdown.”

Santa Claus made an appearance in one of the student card sections during halftime at the 1949 Sugar Bowl. Both schools had card section, one each per end zone.

Santa Claus made an appearance in one of the student card sections during halftime at the 1949 Sugar Bowl. Both schools had card section, one each per end zone.

Oklahoma led 7 to 6 at the half.

UNC's Johnny Clements (#20) tackling Oklahoma running back George Thomas (#25) with the ball during the third quarter. Other Oklahoma players are #70 tackle Wade Walker, #67 guard Paul Burris, #40 fullback Leon Heath, #81 end Jimmy Owens, and #26 quarterback Jack Mitchell. UNC players are #62 left guard Bill Wardle and #51 right tackle Len Szafaryn.

UNC’s Johnny Clements (#20) tackling Oklahoma running back George Thomas (#25) with the ball during the third quarter. Other Oklahoma players are #70 tackle Wade Walker, #67 guard Paul Burris, #40 fullback Leon Heath, #81 end Jimmy Owens, and #26 quarterback Jack Mitchell. UNC players are #62 left guard Bill Wardle and #51 right tackle Len Szafaryn.

During the first nine minutes of the second half, nothing much happened.  Then, with the ball near midfield, Oklahoma halfback Darrell Royal threw long for end Frankie Anderson who was finally tackled by Johnny Clements at the Carolina 10.  Ironically, this would be Oklahoma’s only pass completion of the game.  Two plays later, the Sooners scored at the 9:40 mark of the third quarter.  The remainder of the game became a punting duel between Justice and Royal…a duel that Justice won easily with punts of 65, 65, 57, and 53 yards.

One of the seven Morton photographs printed in the 1949 Yackety Yack, the UNC student yearbook. The caption places the scene within the closing minutes of the contest. Carolina coaches Carl Snavely and Max Reed are at left. The player at far left is unidentified; identifiable players are Kenny Powell (#53), Bobby Weant (#33), Bob Mitten (#42), Charlie Justice (#22), and Paul Rizzo (#66).

One of the seven Morton photographs printed in the 1949 Yackety Yack, the UNC student yearbook. The caption places the scene within the closing minutes of the contest. Carolina coaches Carl Snavely and Max Reed are at left. The player at far left is unidentified; identifiable players are Kenny Powell (#53), Bobby Weant (#33), Bob Mitten (#42), Charlie Justice (#22), and Paul Rizzo (#66).

A tighter crop of the same photograph as run by the Charlotte News.

A tighter crop of the same photograph as run by the Charlotte News.

With two minutes left in the game, Hugh Morton turned his camera toward the Carolina bench.  His remarkable picture of a dejected Charlie Justice tells the story of the entire afternoon. The picture has been reproduced numerous times over the years.

This photograph ran in The High Point Enterprise with the caption, "DEJECTED—Two minutes before the end of the the Sugar Bowl last Saturday this remarkable picture of Charlie Justice was snapped in front of the Tar Heel bench. The expression on the dejected "Choo-Choo's" face tells a whole story of an unsuccessful afternoon of football for one great All-American." The photograph as presented here is cropped by blog editor with a slightly different composition as published in The High Point Enterprise. For photographers who use the "Rule of Thirds," the upper third line runs straight through Justice's eyes.

This photograph ran in The High Point Enterprise with the caption, “DEJECTED—Two minutes before the end of the the Sugar Bowl last Saturday this remarkable picture of Charlie Justice was snapped in front of the Tar Heel bench. The expression on the dejected “Choo-Choo’s” face tells a whole story of an unsuccessful afternoon of football for one great All-American.” The photograph as presented here is cropped by the blog editor with a slightly different composition than published in The High Point Enterprise. For photographers who use the “Rule of Thirds,” the upper third line runs straight through Justice’s eyes.

The High Point Enterprise for January 4, 1949 published two Morton photographs for its coverage of the Sugar Bowl. its story on the.

The High Point Enterprise for January 4, 1949 published two Morton photographs for its coverage of the Sugar Bowl. its story on the.

Following the game, both head coaches weighed in on the proceedings.  Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson said, “There is no question that Charlie Justice is great.  He was the player we feared the most and he showed that he is a great back.” Carolina head man Carl Snavely said, “Oklahoma had a big, fine, rugged team and played smartly.”

High Point Enterprise Sports Editor Bill Currie, writing colorfully in the late edition on January 1st said, “Errors in execution, judgment, and strategy on the part of the North Carolina Tar Heels helped the rapacious red-jersied hoard of Oklahoma Sooners to a 14-6 victory in the 15th annual Sugar Bowl game here today . . . .”

After all the interviews were completed, the weary UNC Tar Heels made their way slowly to their locker room as darkness fell on Tulane Stadium.  Justice took the defeat hard: once in the dressing room, he sat in the corner with a blanket over his head and cried.  That picture of the Tar Heel hero turned up in the 1949 University of Oklahoma Yearbook, “Sooner.” The caption: “Grief-stricken . . . Charlie Justice . . . .”

About ten minutes later, he looked up and told the reporters who had gathered around him, “Well, I threw that one away. I gave them that first touchdown with that bad pass.  You can say that.”

The Carolina players took their time in getting dressed, hoping the upset sting would go away.  There was a post-game party scheduled but nobody was really in a party mood. Finally, long after the Oklahoma team had left, the Tar Heels came outside to a dark, deserted parking lot. The busses that had been scheduled to take the Tar Heels back to the hotel had mistakenly taken the Sooners.  Then when the Oklahoma busses arrived and the drivers learned that their victorious Sooners had already left, they too left.

After a futile search, coach Snavely along with his assistants flagged down a passing truck.  The team stood in the open back end as the driver headed toward the hotel.  As the truck got close to the St Charles Hotel, the driver told Snavely, “Ya’ll have to get off a couple of blocks from the hotel.  I’m not allowed to drive to the entrance.”

So, in the New Orleans darkness, UNC’s 1948 Tar Heels slipped in a hotel side entrance unnoticed, and showing the good sportsmanship that Coach Snavely demanded of his players, celebrated with their Sugar Bowl opponent. Viewing Hugh Morton’s photographs from the celebration in the Greensboro and High Point papers, it’s hard to tell who won and who lost.

An unidentified couple, presumably a UNC player and his girl friend or spouse, at a party for UNC and Oklahoma. ( Negative by Hugh Morton.)

An unidentified couple, presumably a UNC player and his girl friend or spouse, at a party for UNC and Oklahoma. ( Negative by Hugh Morton.)

"Special news photo by Hugh Morton" as it appeared in the Charlotte News on January 4th, 1949. The caption reads, "Carl Snavely pays compliments of the night to Bud Wilkinson, Oklahoma mentor, after the latter's team had stopped the Tar Heels on the Sugar Bowl turf, 14-6, on New Year's Day. The two coaches got together for a brief bit of conversation at the party held for both squads in the smart St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. Needless to say, Canny Carl's expression shows he was in no mood for jokes."

“Special news photo by Hugh Morton” as it appeared in the Charlotte News on January 4th, 1949. The caption reads, “Carl Snavely pays compliments of the night to Bud Wilkinson, Oklahoma mentor, after the latter’s team had stopped the Tar Heels on the Sugar Bowl turf, 14-6, on New Year’s Day. The two coaches got together for a brief bit of conversation at the party held for both squads in the smart St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. Needless to say, Canny Carl’s expression shows he was in no mood for jokes.”

Hugh Morton's full negative of the published photograph shown above. Did Wilkinson and Snavely each bring only one suit and tie? Both seem to be wearing the same combinations on different days at Antoine's Restaurant (before game day) and St. Charles Hotel (after the game). Or, was someone cooking up some creative captioning?

Hugh Morton’s full negative of the published photograph shown above. Did Wilkinson and Snavely each bring only one suit and tie? Both seem to be wearing the same combinations on different days at Antoine’s Restaurant (before game day) and St. Charles Hotel (after the game). Or, was someone cooking up some creative captioning?

At 4:15 on January 4th, the majority of the Tar Heel team landed at Raleigh-Durham Airport and boarded busses for Chapel Hill. Two weeks later, Athletic Director Bob Fetzer received a check for Carolina’s participation in the 1949 Sugar Bowl, a check for $103,081.48.

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The Dangerous Poole Bill: Anti-Evolution in North Carolina

(from the University of North Carolina Papers, #40005, University Archives)

Telegram from President Chase asking for help to defeat the Poole Bill (from the University of North Carolina Papers, #40005, University Archives)

In January 8, 1925, David Scott Poole from Hoke County introduced a resolution in the North Carolina State Legislature stating:

“That it is the sense of the General Assembly of North Carolina  that it is injurious to the welfare of the people of the State of North Carolina for any official or teacher in the State, paid wholly or in part by taxation, to teach or permit to be taught as a fact either Darwinism or any other evolutionary hypothesis that links men in blood relationship with any lower form of life.”

(North Carolina General Assembly, “Joint Resolution Restricting the Teaching of Darwinism in the Public Schools of North Carolina”)

This resolution was the culmination of at least five years of increasing debate over the teaching and learning of evolution in public schools. In 1920, the President of Wake Forest University, William L. Poteat, accepted the teaching of evolution as part of Wake Forest’s biology curriculum. At the same time, President Henry W. Chase and Dr. Howard Odum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sought to increase the scope of the academic research done at the school. Social Forces, a journal founded by Odum in 1922, published several articles on the issue of religion and academic freedom. The John Calvin McNair Lecture Series, which was founded in 1906 and focused on the relationship of science and theology, also hosted talks on this topic in the years leading up to the resolution.

For the university community, and President Chase in particular, the issue of teaching evolution was not one of religion but freedom of speech and the freedom to teach the “scientific truth”. President Chase vigorously defended the fact that the University of North Carolina was not trying to suppress religion in its schools. Instead, religious activities and studies were actively encouraged and supported by the university. What President Chase objected to was the interference of political agendas in teaching.

“The state of North Carolina has shown that it believes in the free thought and discussion necessary to secure the advancement of the knowledge in the world. I have simply tried to point out that such freedom does not produce an atmosphere of indifference to religion, that, as the unrestricted right to seek for truth, it is the vital and essential thing to which a University must be dedicated. Scientific truth has never, in the long run, done the slightest harm to religious faith, but has on the contrary widened and deepened that faith.”

(Vol. II 1923-30, page 290, in the Harry Woodburn Chase Papers, #3429, Southern Historical Collection)

Letter from President Chase to Dr. Cobbs (from the University of North Carolina Papers, #40005, University Archives) Petition signed by UNC faculty against the Poole Bill (from the University of North Carolina Papers, #40005, University Archives)

President Chase and his allies helped to defeat the resolution in committee. It also failed when brought to the full General Assembly for a vote.

For more on the anti-evolution debate see: “The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina in the 1920s”, an online exhibit provided by UNC Libraries.

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“Visions of Tomorrow With Computers of Today”: UNC’s First Computer in 1959

Computer_Center_SketchThe process of acquiring the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s first computer began with a 1951 memorandum from William M. Whyburn, then Kenan Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Department Chairman, to Chancellor R.B. House. Whyburn became interested in digital computing during a conversation with mathematicians at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he did consulting work. By 1952, an effort to canvas the campus for interest in digital computing began, which resulted in a 1955 letter to Chancellor House from Dean of the General College Corydon Spruill listing eight academic departments with interest in a digital computer: Economics, Business Administration, Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, Bio-statistics, Psychology and Psychometrics, and Physics.

With widespread interest established, the administration began seriously considering the type, cost, and location of the computer. In 1955, the estimated cost of a computer was 1.5 million dollars with Venable Hall, the Phillips Hall Annex, and Hanes or Gardner being considered to house the new device. The Phillips Hall Annex was ultimately chosen to house the computer and the accompanying Computation Center. It was also in 1955 that the U.S. Bureau of the Census expressed interest in partnering with UNC to process the upcoming 1960 census data. By 1957, negotiations with both IBM and the Sperry Rand Corporation had entered full swing, with Whyburn remarking, “competition is so keen that either of them will now make tremendous concessions in favor of the University.” In a 1957 report on the Computer Laboratory Project, Whyburn, then serving as Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research of the Consolidated University, gave a sweeping introduction to the digital computer:

Man’s efforts in the field of computation began long before the dawn of history. His progress in this basic endeavor has been a most important factor in, and index to, the advancement of his civilization. The first high-speed computer that we know of consisted of such body appendages as the fingers. The abacus was developed quite early and even today remains an indispensable computing machine for a large segment of the world’s population and in many of the business transactions of the present period. In the development from the fingers through the abacus, the simple adding machine, the slide rule, and the desk calculator with automatic operations and limited storage, to the fantastic digital and analog computers of the present time is to be found the history of a major part of our civilization. Wherever quantitative thinking, speaking, writing, or action is involved, services of computing devices are required. The depth and scope of these quantitative activities are determined, in a large measure, by the versatility, speed, and other attributes of the computing facilities used.

"Computation Center: Men unloading UNIVAC" From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, 1946-1990 (#P0031/18391) "UNIVAC demonstration: Governor and Mrs. Luther Hodges," From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, 1946-1990 (#P0031/19337) "Computation Center: Model of UNIVAC," April 1960 From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, 1946-1990 (#P0031/19339) "Computation Center: UNIVAC (Group of three women)," circa 1959 From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, 1946-1990 (#P0031/18478_0001) "Computation Center: UNIVAC" circa 1959 From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Photographic Laboratory Collection, 1946-1990 (#P0031/18479)

UNC ultimately decided to acquire a UNIVAC 1105 from the Sperry-Rand Corporation due to a large 50% educational discount and being able to own the machine outright versus renting one from IBM. The computer weighed 19 tons and had an estimated value of $2.4 million, which, adjusting for inflation, would today be over $20 million. The Census Bureau and National Science Foundation were the first organizations to rent time on the computer, with the former also paying 50% of the total cost.

Lecture_PamphletIn the summer of 1959, the Computation Center held a series of lectures introducing the new digital computer. These “Courses in Frontier Research in Digital Computers” covered subjects such as programming and artificial intelligence and numerical analysis. These courses drew researchers from across the world, including two lecturers from the Soviet Union. The Computation Center was officially dedicated on March 30, 1960.

Dedication_Book

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