Building Old West

On this day in 1822, the cornerstone of Old West was laid. The building was finished and in use by July of 1823.

In 1848, additions were made to both Old West and Old East to accommodate the debating societies. Both the original Old West and its additions were built using the labor of  enslaved African-Americans.

View of Old West, from Charles Lee Smith's History of Education in North Carolina. Plan for the addition to the north ends of Old West and Old East, from the Alexander Jackson Davis Collection II, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Libary, Columbia University. View of campus, including Old West, from the Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (#P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archive.

The postcard in the gallery above, postmarked 1911 and addressed to “Mr. H.B. Marrow, Raleigh, N.C.”, shows Old West. It reads:

Hello How are you getting on these hot days? I hope you are having a real good time — and be sure and don’t work too much. (?) I am having a fine time this summer. I suppose you will be back before very long now. Mama came home from Va. a few days ago. Sincerely, H.M.P.

For more on the history of UNC buildings, see the exhibit, “Architectural Highlights of Carolina’s Historic Campus.” For more on slavery and the history of UNC, see the Virtual Museum exhibit, “Slavery and the University.”

Posted in Exhibits, From the Archives, University Archives, University History | Comments Off

Artifact of the month: Skydiving jumpsuit and gear

skydiving photo

F.J. Hale with canopy (skydivers’ term for parachute), circa early 1970s.

Francis J. Hale, co-founder of the UNC Parachute Club, recently dropped in with July’s Artifacts of the Month. Hale, Class of 1973, organized the Club in 1969 with fellow student Bob Bolch. Not surprisingly, the University did not easily warm to the idea of its students jumping out of airplanes. Hale recalls “The athletic department wanted nothing to do with us. I nagged the devil out of them, until I finally got some old warm up suits from the swim team.” Undaunted by the University’s lack of enthusiasm, the Club designed suits, acquired equipment, and thrived. Members were soon winning trophies in regional contests with other parachute clubs.

yearbook photo

F.J. Hale with his ParaCommander Mk1 parachute in his 1973 Yackety Yack photo.

Army regulations were looser back in those days and Club members were allowed to jump with the 18th Corps Sport Parachute Club at Fort Bragg and later the Green Beret Parachute Club. According to Hale, UNC Parachute Club members didn’t spend too much time at Fort Bragg, but hanging around the seasoned soldiers there opened their eyes “a little too wide.”

Also included in this gift is a helmet with camera, a t-shirt with logo designed by team member Canda Sue Reaugh, a logo pendant, and, most priceless of all, the stories Hale told us about his experiences as a student. Understandably, Hale is holding onto his Parachute Club jacket, which, like his 1969-1973 jumpsuit, still fits!

man in parachute gear

It still fits! F.J. Hale in his circa 1969-1973 UNC Parachute Club gear, June 2014.

Posted in Artifact of the Month, UNC History | Comments Off

GOOOOOOAL! Soccer’s illustrious history at UNC

 

From the Department of Athletic Communications Records (#40308), University Archives.

From the Department of Athletic Communications Records (#40308), University Archives.

All eyes are on soccer this summer as countries from around the globe compete in the World Cup, so we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the history of soccer at UNC.

In the 1930s, soccer was offered as an activity in Physical Education classes and as a club sport. Men’s soccer gained varsity status in 1947, and just one year later the team won the Southern Conference title. In 1963, Nigerian student Edwin Okoroma joined the soccer team, becoming the first black varsity athlete at the university. 

Eddie Pope, from the 1994 Yackety Yack, North Carolina Collection.

Eddie Pope, from the 1994 Yackety Yack, North Carolina Collection.

UNC joined the ACC in 1953, and since then the men’s soccer team has won four ACC titles and two NCAA Championships. In 2002, the ACC named its top 50 soccer players in ACC history and included five from UNC: David Smyth, Gregg Berhalter, Eddie Pope, Carey Talley, and Chris Carrieri. Pope played for the US Men’s National Team  in the 1996, 2002, and 2006 World Cups, and Berhalter did so in 1994, 2002, and 2006.

 

Mia Hamm, from the UNC Department of Athletics Records (#40093)

Mia Hamm, from the UNC Department of Athletics Records (#40093)

Women’s soccer gained varsity status in 1979, and has become the most successful athletic program in the university’s history. The team has won 21 national titles, nine of them earned consecutively between 1986 and 1994. In 1992, the team set the NCAA record for uninterrupted wins (58). Twenty-five former or current players—including Mia Hamm, Heather O’Reilly, Kristine Lilly, Tobin Heath, Lorrie Fair, April Heinrichs, and Cat Whitehill—have appeared in the Women’s World Cup either as players or as coaches. UNC women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance also coached the US women’s national team to victory in the very first Women’s World Cup in 1991.

 

 

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Classroom to cloakroom, Chapel Hill to Capitol Hill

How many professors have represented North Carolina in the House or Senate?

This somewhat imprecise list compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education says 11, each of whom taught at a different college — including of course UNC Chapel Hill.

 

Posted in chronicle of higher education, frank porter graham, nc politics, Tar Heelia, unc chapel hill, UNC History | Comments Off

Remembering When the Dean Dome Used to Rock

stones90Does anybody remember when it was Hammer Time at the Dean Dome? Looking through some of the digitized copies of the Yackety Yack available on DigitalNC, one of the things that struck me was that, beginning shortly after its opening in 1986, the Dean E. Smith Center was one of the premier concert venues in central North Carolina.

bocephus89Looking through the concerts listed in the yearbooks from 1987 through 1991 you find many of the top names in rock, rap, and country visited Chapel Hill, some more than once. The first concert held in the Dean Dome was The Monkees on October 17, 1986. For the next several years, the venue welcomed some of the biggest names in music, including the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac (twice), and Billy Joel. The acts coming through weren’t just limited to “classic” rock music: Public Enemy, Hank Williams, Jr., New Kids on the Block, and Bill Cosby all performed on campus. And nobody who was here at the time is not likely to forget the two nights that the Grateful Dead came to town in the spring of 1993.

publicenemy90By the mid 1990s, the number of concerts at the Dean Dome began to dwindle. These days, we rarely see big musical performances there. With so many newer and more convenient venues now spread throughout the Triangle, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a return to the golden era of big concerts on campus. We’re left only with photos and memories of a few fun years when the Dean E. Smith Center was not just home to some of the best college basketball in the country, it also rocked.

Concerts at the Dean E. Smith Center by School Year, 1986-1991 (Source: Yackety Yacks):

1986-87
The Monkees (first concert, October 17, 1986)
Lionel Richie and Sheila E.
Genesis
Jimmy Buffett
Billy Joel

1987-88
Fleetwood Mac
David Bowie
Boston
James Taylor
Pink Floyd
Level 42
Tina Turner
Whitney Houston
Sting
Jimmy Buffett
Yes
Bruce Springsteen

1988-89
INXS and Ziggy Marley
Amy Grant
The Temptations
Robert Plant
Bon Jovi
Hank Williams, Jr.
REM

1989-90
Mötley Crüe
New Kids on the Block
Elton John
Bill Cosby
Public Enemy
The Doobie Brothers
Tom Petty
Janet Jackson
The Rolling Stones
Aerosmith
The Cure
David Bowie
Eric Clapton

1990-91
Neil Young
Billy Idol
ZZ Top
Paul Simon
James Taylor
Fleetwood Mac
They Might Be Giants
Faith No More
Jane’s Addiction
MC Hammer
En Vogue
Randy Travis
Sting

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UNC Law Students Research Law of the Old South at Wilson Library

26 Brophy Kleinman_thumb26 Brophy Kleinman_thumbLast year, students in a UNC School of Law seminar used the Library’s rare publications and archival documents to investigate how the law was applied to moral issues in the antebellum South. Continue reading
Posted in Classes and Workshops, Collections and Resources, Homepage Headlines, Homepage Special Collections, Rare Book Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Special Collections, UNC History | Comments Off

Carolina Playmakers exhibit yields lucky find

Was it serendipity? Or the hand of providence?

As the staff of the North Carolina Collection Gallery prepared for our exhibit on the Carolina Playmakers, we contended with a number of difficult decisions about what to include. With dozens and dozens of playbills from which to select, sometimes the choice came down to factors as arbitrary as color.

Whatever the reason for it, we’re glad we selected this 1942 playbill — and we’re not the only ones.

1942 playbill
The playwright of the second play on the bill, A Man’s Game, was Robert Schenkkan, a UNC student from Brooklyn, New York. The role of Countess Stephanie in A Man’s Game was played by the lovely young co-ed Jean McKenzie.

After graduating from UNC, Schenkkan and McKenzie were married and had a son named after Robert. Robert Jr. would go on to become a professional, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

Through a lucky twist of fate, a friend of the younger Schenkkan visited the exhibit and saw the older Schenkkan’s name on the playbill. Mr. Schenkkan contacted us and we were pleased to offer him a copy of his father’s play.

Is it any surprise that the third play on the bill is called The Hand of Providence?

Exhibit extended

The exhibit “Making a People’s Theatre: Proff Koch and the Carolina Playmakers” has been extended through June 15, 2014. Who knows — there may be a serendipitous surprise in store for you, too!

Posted in Events & exhibits, UNC History | Comments Off

20 Facts for 20 Years!

On this day in 1994, the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Carolina’s students, staff, and faculty pass the Cemetery on a regular basis.  It is as much a part of the campus as the Arboretum or the Bell Tower.  In honor of the 20th anniversary of its addition to the National Register of Historic Places, we’ve made a list of 20 facts about the Cemetery.  How many did you already know?

The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery on UNC Chapel Hill's campus.

The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus.

  1. The original 125 acres was sold to the College in October of 1776 for 5 shillings. That would be $40.65 today!
  2. The first recorded burial was George Clarke.  George was a student from Burke County, NC.  He died September 28, 1798.  He was also a member of the Philanthropic Society.  Although he was the first buried, his stone was not placed until the mid-nineteenth century.
  3. The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies were the first to buy plots in the Cemetery.  When students passed away and their homes were too far away for quick transport, the respective society would bury the student in their plot. In fact, the Di and Phi Societies were as competitive in burying their members as they were in everything else before they became a united organization. The societies were constantly trying to one-up each other with the erection of monuments in their cemetery plots.  The Phi Society once commissioned an eight-foot high Italian Marble monument for a deceased member.
  4. In 1835, it was officially named the College Graveyard.  This did not stop Chapel Hill residents from calling it the “Village Cemetery” though.  It was renamed upon the completion of a low wall encompassing the entirety of the property.
  5. All cemetery plots have already been purchased.  The Cemetery isn’t entirely full yet, but plots are off the market!

    UNC Chapel Hill recognizes the segregated section of the historic cemetery.

    UNC Chapel Hill recognizes the segregated section of the historic cemetery.

  6. Two sections of the Cemetery were reserved for African Americans and segregated from the other four by a low rock wall. The section was established because there were no black church cemeteries in Chapel Hill. Many of those buried in sections A and B were university laborers and servants who were often slaves or former slaves. The earliest (marked) grave in this part of the cemetery belongs to Ellington Burnett (1831-1853).
  7. Confederate soldiers were buried in the Cemetery during the Civil War. Their stones are marked with “C.S.A.”
  8. Like most cemeteries, Chapel Hill’s has had a problem with vandalism. It’s unclear whether or not vandalism has been intentional or accidental.  For example, in 1974, 40 to 50 monuments were broken and pushed off their bases.  However, in 1985, stones were damaged by football fans eager to get to their seats. 
  9. In 1922, the town of Chapel Hill took over responsibility for maintaining the Cemetery.  However, in 1988, ownership was transferred to the University.
  10. The oldest monument in the Cemetery belongs to the grave of Margaritta Chapman, who died in 1814 at the age of 16.  Although George Clarke was the first buried, his monument was not erected immediately upon his death.
  11. Charles Kuralt is buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. Before he launched his successful journalism career, Kuralt spent so much time working on the The Daily Tar Heel in his senior year that he ended up failing all of his other classes!  Since many of the plots had already been purchased, Charles Kuralt would not have been buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery had the Pickard Family not relinquished a plot.
  12. The Cemetery holds the graves of more than 800 African Americans. Many of the graves are unmarked. The segregated section of the Cemetery has since been recognized with a sign post remembering those buried there. While many of the graves are still unmarked, the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill did conduct a survey of the segregated area in 2009.

    Wilson Caldwell.  From the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

    Wilson Caldwell. From the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

  13. Wilson Caldwell is buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. Born a slave in 1841 to University President David Swain, Wilson was a much recognized member of the Carolina community during his lifetime.  When enslaved, Caldwell became the head janitor to the University.  After Emancipation, Caldwell stayed in the Chapel Hill area and established a school for African Americans in 1868.  He was also elected to the Board of Commissioners of Chapel Hill, bought 12 acres of land, and served as a justice of the peace.  In 1884, however, he returned to work for the University and maintained his position as the head of the campus workforce until his death in 1898.  Get more information on Wilson Caldwell here.
  14. Cars used to park on unmarked graves before football games until restrictions were implemented in 1991. We know parking is tight here, but thank goodness we’re showing a little more respect now!
  15. Several of the monuments in the Di-Phi plots were by the famous 19th Century stone carver George Lauder. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Lauder lived in Raleigh and Fayetteville, NC.  He actually owned the largest gravestone factory in North Carolina in the 1800s!
  16. University trustees almost created a second cemetery in McCorkle Place! When the body of Dr. Joseph Caldwell was moved from the “College Graveyard” to its spot under the monument in McCorkle Place in 1846, the trustees briefly considered creating a new cemetery.  The idea never came to fruition though.
  17. Jane Tenney Gilbert (1896-1980) has the gravestone with the most school spirit. Ever.  Her epitaph reads: “I was a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred/and here I lie a Tar Heel dead./BORN JAN. 1896 AND STILL HERE 1980.”
  18. There is a large sandstone obelisk in Section B, dedicated to the black servants of the University.  The obelisk is the original Joseph Caldwell monument from McCorkle Place, which was replaced in the late 19th century by a granite obelisk. It was rededicated in memory of Wilson Caldwell, his father November Caldwell and David Barham and Henry Smith, two other black university servants. Note that even though these men and women were “servants” to the University, some of them were enslaved by families in the area and loaned to the school.
  19. Five 19th century headstones were tipped over and smashed the day before Charles Kuralt was buried in the cemetery. We’re not sure if the vandalism was in anticipation of Charles Kuralt’s burial or if the timing was incidental.  We can’t imagine anyone having THAT much of a problem with Charles Kuralt!
  20. If you are so inclined, you can have your ashes scattered near the cemetery!  Memorial grove was created as the solution to the limited space of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.  It is UNC’s garden for the scattering and interment of ashes.  The garden is reserved for use by individuals with a university affiliation, and for immediate family members of those individuals. Because of the nature of a scattering garden, the space can accommodate an unlimited number of individuals, allowing anyone who wishes to maintain an eternal connection to the university to do so.
Jane Tenney Gilbert's spirited epitaph.

Jane Tenney Gilbert’s spirited epitaph.

Now you know!

Posted in Di-Phi, Dialectic Society, history, Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, Philanthropic Society, preserving history, UNC, University History | Comments Off

“The soul of the beholder will determine the revelation of its meaning.”

A landmark on the UNC campus celebrate its 101st birthday today, June 2, 2014.  Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard and I take a combined look at this Tar Heel icon.

Silent Sam in silhouette

Stephen Fletcher:

Perspective and context are two hallmarks of photography—just as they are with all the arts.  The photographer’s viewpoint shapes a photograph’s subject and how he or she frames the subject (by what it contains and eliminates) narrows the story or emotions that subject conveys.  As a UNC student and alumnus, Hugh Morton photographed UNC’s Confederate Monument, only a sampling of which appears in the online collection.

The Confederate Monument, commonly known as “Silent Sam,” is a controversial landmark on the UNC campus.  Last year—Sunday, June 2nd, 2013—marked its 100th anniversary.  There was no official recognition of this milestone.  All, however, was not quiet for afternoon saw nearly 100 people attend a Real Silent Sam Committee protest rally.  The Friday before, the University Archives blog For the Record posted two documents: a letter written by then-UNC president Francis P. Venable to James G. Keenan expressing his desire that its design not be a monument to the dead “but to a noble idea,” and two pages from Julian S. Carr’s dedication speech laced with Anglo Saxon supremacy and racial violence.

As you approach the statue today, its context is vastly different from those who knew the landscape in 1913.  The monument sets near the edge of wooded McCorkle Place, at the time the only campus quadrangle.  As Jack writes below, “In its park-like setting, many only see Silent Sam as a nice place to sit on a warm spring day and enjoy the beauty of William Meade Prince’s ‘Southern Part of Heaven.’”  As one looks deeper, however, one finds more meaning in the monument’s geographical context and the perspective of those who built it in their place in time.

In 1913 University leaders erected the northwest–facing statue near the northernmost point on the campus. Nearby to the monument’s southwest are three buildings, architecturally connected, named Pettigrew Hall, Vance Hall, and Battle Hall—all completed the previous year.  James Johnson Pettigrew, UNC class of 1843, was a Brigadier General in the Civil War, shot and killed while retreating less than two weeks after playing a major role in the Battle of Gettysburg.  Zebulon Vance was North Carolina’s Civil War governor.  Kemp Plummer Battle, during the Civil War era, was a delegate to the Secession Convention in 1861, president of the Chatham Railroad that hauled coal from mines in Chatham County to Confederate armament factories, and a trustee of the university.  He would later become university president.  The monument, in contextual words, was symbolically set before three Confederate stalwarts.

Jack Hilliard:

More than 1,000 university men fought in the war.  At least forty percent of the students enlisted—a record unequaled by any other institution, North or South.  At their convention in 1909, the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy decided to honor the 321 UNC alumni who died in the Civil War, as well all students who joined the Confederate Army.  Supporters raised $7,500 to erect a seven-foot statue, commissioning Canadian sculptor John A. Wilson to do the work.

The dedication and unveiling was held 101 years ago on June 2, 1913 with University President Francis P. Venable pulling off the concealing curtain and North Carolina Governor Locke Craig, UNC class of 1880, as principal speaker.  The statue’s dedication plaque reads:  “To the sons of the university who answered the call to their country in the War of 1861-1865, and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.”

The youths, buoyant and hopeful that had thronged these halls, and made this campus ring with shouts of boyish sports, had gone.  The University mourned in silent desolation.  Her children had been slain . . . this statue is a memorial to their chivalry and devotion, an epic poem in bronze.  The soul of the beholder will determine the revelation of its meaning. —Governor Locke Craig, from his dedication speech.

Also speaking at the dedication was the chair-person of the monument committee, Mrs. Bettie Jackson London.  In her speech she said: “In honoring the memory of our Confederate heroes, we must not be misunderstood as having in our hearts any hatred to those who wore the Blue, but we do not wish to forget what has been done for us by those who wore the Gray.”

Representing the Confederate veterans was Gen. Julian Shakespeare Carr, UNC Class of 1866. Carr, namesake of nearby Carrboro and whose name is on at least one UNC campus building, captured the spirit of the times in his speech.

“The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are, that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South.”  Carr went on to say that the “purest strain” of white blood was still to be found in the South at the time, because of the duty performed by Confederate soldiers.

After the speeches, a quartet sang “Tenting on the Old Campground Tonight,” while the estimated crowd of one thousand got a close-up look at the work of art.

In his 101 years, Silent Sam has often been the subject of controversy.  There are those who think the statue is a symbol of racial oppression and there are those who believe it to be a symbol of regional pride.

On his 100th birthday, on June 2, 2013, Silent Sam had to once again endure some shots . . . this time verbal shots from a group of protestors from “The Real Silent Sam Movement,” who said the statue represents a racist past that continues in some places today.

“The reality is that Sam has never been silent,” state NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber told the crowd of about 85.  “He speaks racism.  He speaks hurt to women—particularly black women.  And he continues just by his presence to attempt to justify the legacy of the religion of racism.”

From time to time the statue has been covered with graffiti calling for an end to violence and war, as evidenced by Hugh Morton’s photographs from April 1968.  It has often been covered with dark blue paint from Duke or red from State.  Through controversy and vandalism, Silent Sam endures, continuing his watchful eye.  The area around the statue has often been and continues to be a place where students can gather and speak out on issues of the day.  And then there are those who view Silent Sam as simply a nice place to sit on a warm spring day and enjoy the beauty of William Meade Prince’s “Southern Part of Heaven.”

Stephen Fletcher:

Last year when University Archives posted documents from Carr’s speech, then University Archivist Jay Gaidmore wrote: “Over the recent decades, Silent Sam has become a symbol of controversy, caught between those that believe that it is an enduring symbol of racism and white supremacy and defenders who contend that it is a memorial to those UNC students who died and fought for the Confederate States of America. Could it be both?”
At the time of the unveiling, it would seem not.  H. A. London was a one of those students who left UNC to fight for the South.  On June 2nd, 1913 he introduced Governor Craig at the dedication ceremony as Major H. A. London (and husband of Betty Jackson London).  As he concluded his introduction, London harkened the students who pursued their “devotion to duty.”  Of their duty London said, “We thought we were right, and now we know it.
Hopefully in our time we can acknowledge that there are indeed very different perspectives about this monument—especially respecting those whose viewpoints were, by the very nature of their exclusion from speaking at the dedication ceremony, kept silent.
Posted in Events, Landmarks & Attractions, UNC | Comments Off

Memorial Day

College for War Training brochure, 1942.  From the Records of the Vice President for Finance, #40011, University Archives.

College for War Training brochure, 1942. From the Records of the Vice President for Finance, #40011, University Archives.

While Memorial Day might traditionally mark the beginning of the Summer Season for vacationers, it is also an important day of remembrance for the United States.  Every year, we remember everyone who has died in the service of our country.

Order of Gimghoul, 1944.  From the Records of the Order of Gimghoul, #40262, University Archives.

Order of Gimghoul, 1944. From the Records of the Order of Gimghoul, #40262, University Archives.

Established in the wake of the Civil War, Memorial Day was set aside as a day of remembrance for both Union and Confederate soldiers who had died in the conflict. However, as time went on, Memorial Day was extended in order to honor all Americans who had died in armed conflicts since the Civil War.

We are proud of all of Carolina’s students and their family members who gave their lives in service to their country.

Do you remember anyone special on Memorial Day?  

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