The eight-game season of 1952

On this day 62 football seasons ago, October 18, 1952, the UNC football team kicked off the 1952 season for a second time. Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard explains how that happened and how a series of unique events made the ’52 season unlike any other.

UNC Football Blue Books are available for reading online.  You can read the 1952 issue by clicking on the cover image.

Many UNC football media guides, known as “blue books,” are available online. You can read the 1952 issue by clicking on the cover image.

When the February 4, 1950 issue of The State, with Duke Chapel pictured on its cover, arrived in Hugh Morton’s mailbox in Wilmington, his immediate reaction was to quickly supply publisher Carl Goerch an “equal-time” photograph from UNC.  The magazine printed Morton’s shot of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower on its February 25th cover.  In the early summer of 1952, when UNC Sports Information Director Jake Wade and his assistant Julian Scheer were preparing the ’52 football media guide (called a “blue book” in those days), they remembered Morton’s bell tower shot and decided to use it for the front cover of the ’52 guide.  Inside, Wade talked about UNC’s chances for the upcoming football season, and Head Coach Carl Snavely’s switch from the single-wing to the split T-formation.

Snavely said, “We lacked the speedy, shifty tailbacks, tough blocking backs and interfering linemen so vital to the single-wing.  We probably should have made the change a year ago.”  Smith Barrier, writing in the 1952 Illustrated Football Annual, picked up the Snavely quote and added that twenty lettermen from the 1951 team had graduated.

Carolina began the 1952 season without much fanfare.

On Saturday, September 27th, the Texas Longhorns came into Chapel Hill for the first time since that “never-to-be-forgotten” day in 1948 when the Tar Heels were victorious 34 to 7 in a game many Tar Heels to this day call the greatest Carolina win . . . ever.

Dougal Cameron running for a touchdown, as UNC's Billy Williams (20) sets up to attempt a tackle.   This scan shows the full negative, which was cropped for Wilmington's Sunday Star-News.

Dougal Cameron running for a touchdown, as UNC’s Billy Williams (20) sets up to attempt a tackle. This scan shows the full negative, which was tightly cropped on those two players in the photograph run the next day in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News.

A sign hanging from Old East dorm read “Remember ’48,” but the events of September 25, 1948 were only a memory.  Irwin Smallwood, writing in the Greensboro Daily News, on Sunday, September 28th, said, “Carolina’s hopes of a repeat of that great ’48 victory over Texas . . . lasted exactly five plays—no more.”  Five plays into the game, Carolina fumbled.  Texas recovered and never looked back, posting a 28 to 7 victory.   40,000 cheering Tar Heels, led by new UNC Head Cheerleader Bo Thorpe, along with the Elizabeth City Marching Band, and with Tar Heel football great Charlie Justice in the stands, and UNC All America Art Weiner at Snavely’s side on the bench.  All that was not enough.

Next on the schedule was Georgia in Athens, but that encounter would never happen.

The front-page headline in the Greensboro Daily News on October 3rd read, “University Cancels Two Grid Contests as Polio Strikes.”  The games with Georgia and NC State were canceled when UNC fullback Harold (Bull) Davidson came down with polio. Four additional students, all athletes, came down with the disease. Daily Tar Heel editor, Barry Farber, said, “the news is very depressing, but the only sensible step the University could take.”

Down in Athens, Georgia Head Coach Wally Butts said, “we are very disappointed that our traditional game with North Carolina can’t be played.  We feel they were right to cancel the game under the circumstances.”

During the next two weeks, students were urged to stay on campus and long distant telephone calls to and from Chapel Hill doubled as students and anxious parents kept in touch.

In the end, all five students, football player “Bull” Davidson, cross country teammates John Robert Barden, Jr. and Richard Lee Bostain, swimmer Robert Nash “Pete” Higgins, and freshman football player Samuel S. Sanders, all recovered quickly and none suffered any paralysis.

So, on October 18th, it was time to kickoff the ’52 football season for a second time, with Wake Forest coming to town for the 49th meeting between the two schools, a series dating back to 1888.

P081_NTBF3_6_2_1_1_1081

Bruce Hillenbrand of Wake Forest tackled by UNC’s Dick Lackey (30). This photograph, tightly cropped on the action on the left, ran in Monday’s Morning Star in Wilmington. It’s caption identified George Norris (#69) and Fred Satangelo (#60).

Despite losing 6 of 11 fumbles, the Tar Heels led Wake 7 to 6 with 1:16 left in the game.  But at that point Wake’s Sonny George kicked a game-winning- 22-yard field goal.  New mascot Rameses VIII and 30,000 Tar Heel fans left Kenan Stadium dejected.

Next it was on to South Bend and a fourth meeting with Notre Dame. This one turned out just as the previous three had been…a Tar Heel loss. This time it was 34 to 14.

This interesting side-bar story appeared in the Greensboro Daily News on October 30, 1952:

It may be bad . . . but really, it’s not all that bad.  Today (October 29th) Bo Thorpe reported to Coach Carl Snavely for football practice.  Snavely appraised his new candidate as very fast and shifty.  Thorpe is head cheerleader for Carolina’s Tar Heels, who have yet to win a game this season.

Time picked up the Thorpe story and ran it in its November 17th issue on page 132.

Here’s another interesting sidebar.  Henry Benton (Bo) Thorpe started his first band in 1978. He and his band played for five presidential and gubernatorial inaugural balls, the National Symphony Ball, the Kentucky Colonel’s Derby Ball and for the annual June German, a traditional dance held in Rocky Mount.  In all . . . at least 60 concerts a year.

For Carolina’s Tar Heels, a trip to Knoxville was next where they would be a three-touchdown underdog.  Only 22,000 fans turned out for the game that saw the Volunteers swamp the Heels 41 to 14. The losing streak, going back to October 13, 1951 was now at 10—longest among the nation’s major colleges.

Len Bullock running for a 69-yard touchdown run versus the University of Virginia.  This photograph, tightly cropped to focus on the action on the left, appeared in Wilmington's Sunday Star-News, 9 November 1952.

Len Bullock running for a 69-yard touchdown run versus the University of Virginia. This photograph, tightly cropped to focus on Bullock, appeared in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News, 9 November 1952.

The University of Virginia was Carolina’s homecoming opponent on November 8, 1952.  Their trip to Chapel Hill would be their only out-of-state venture in ’52, and they obviously made it count…a 34 to 7 blowout.  A South Carolina homecoming game in Columbia was just ahead.

Flo Worrell, who starred in the South Carolina match-up, sits dejectedly during the UNC vs. Duke contest.

Flo Worrell, who starred in the South Carolina match-up, sits dejectedly during the UNC vs. Duke contest. A tightly cropped head-shot noting his new chinstrap was one of two photographs published in Wilmington’s Sunday Star-News—Worrell’s hometown newspaper.

UNC freshman Flo Worrell, who had played on Carolina’s junior varsity team most of the ’52 season, stepped up and led the Heels to a much-needed victory over USC, 27 to 19.  The losing streak was halted at 11 and Carolina fans looked forward to the traditional “battle of blues” slated for Saturday, November 22nd.

The weatherman promised 50-degrees and cloudy skies for the 39th meeting between Carolina and Duke . . . but he was wrong.  42,000 chilled fans saw Duke win the Southern Conference championship by shutting out the Tar Heels, 34 to 0.  Carolina was never in the game.

Duke head football coach Bill Murray being carried on shoulders of Duke football players, while UNC head football coach Carl Snavely shakes his hand at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Duke University football game at Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC. Duke players: #64 End Joe Hands, #39 Back David Lerps, #66 Guard Bobby Burrows, and #53 Center John Palmer.

Duke head football coach Bill Murray being carried on shoulders of Duke football players, while UNC head football coach Carl Snavely shakes his hand at UNC-Chapel Hill versus Duke University football game at Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC. Duke players: #64 End Joe Hands, #39 Back David Lerps, #66 Guard Bobby Burrows, and #53 Center John Palmer. This photograph appeared in the November 24th Charlotte News.

With one game remaining, the Heels were 1 and 6.  It had truly been a Tar Heel season out of focus.  In seven games Carolina had scored five times on the ground and six times through the air—a total of eleven touchdowns. (In 1948, Charlie Justice personally scores 11 times in 10 games and passed for 12 more touchdowns).

The final game of the 1952 season was a Friday night affair in Miami’s Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes.  20,222 fans came out and saw Carolina play its best game since a 40 to 7 win over William & Mary in October of 1950. During a 13- minute span in the second quarter, Carolina scored 27 points.  The Alumni Review headline read, “34-7 Win Over Miami Provides Pleasing Finale.”

About 11:30 PM on Friday, November 28, 1952, the long ‘52 nightmare-season—a season like no other—was finally over.  It was unique, as the record book shows:

  • A 2-6 won-lost record
  • No wins in Kenan Stadium
  • 2 games canceled due to polio outbreak
  • Midway through the season, Head Cheerleader Bo Thorpe turns in his megaphone for a football helmet
  • Final game in the Southern Conference (the ’53 Tar Heels would play in the new Atlantic Coast Conference)
  • Carolina scores 27 points in 13 minutes at Miami

The unofficial record book shows that world class photographer Hugh Morton documented all four of Carolina’s home games during the 1952 season.  (He also photographed Duke’s home game against Georgia Tech.)

The University Athletic Council met at 8 PM on December 2 to decide the fate of Head Coach Carl Snavely.  The coach had turned in his letter of resignation earlier in the afternoon.  After 2 hours of discussion, the council accepted the resignation.  Dean A.W. Hobbs, Chairman of the Council said, “The Council wishes to go on record as appreciating sincerely the fine services that Mr. Snavely has rendered the athletic association at the University of North Carolina.”

Carl Snavely left Chapel Hill in early 1953 and would not return to the campus until the “Charlie Justice Era” reunion during the weekend of October 29-31, 1971.

The good news from Chapel Hill in late 1952 was that new Head Basketball Coach Frank McGuire won his first game with the Tar Heels…a 70 to 50 win over The Citadel on December 1st.

From courtside to trackside

Many people remember world class photographer Hugh Morton for his majestic scenes from the North Carolina coast and his beloved Grandfather Mountain.  Others recall his portraits of North Carolina governors and other state leaders. Still others, like me, like to recall his sports photography.

It was 43 years ago, on October 10, 1971 that Morton traveled to Charlotte for a NASCAR race.  Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard takes a look at that event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

1971 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

1971 National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

My dad was an avid sports fan and a voracious newspaper reader; so I grew up with several North Carolina daily newspapers.  The little line of 8-point- type enclosed in parentheses proclaiming “Photo by Hugh Morton” was familiar as I looked at the sports sections each day.  Pictures of UNC football and basketball were items to be clipped out of the paper and placed in special scrapbooks and on bedroom bulletin boards.  Although I didn’t know him yet, Hugh Morton became a “special friend.”

It wasn’t until 2008, when I started volunteer work at the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library, that I discovered Morton’s sports portfolio was far more than football and basketball pictures.  There were baseball, golf, swimming, tennis and track pictures. And then one day in early 2011 we found pictures from the Kentucky Derby and a NASCAR race. Elizabeth Hull and I were able to identify which Derby and which race Morton had photographed, and I did a “View to Hugh” post on the Derby on May 4, 2011.

It’s now time to recall that NASCAR race that Morton photographed.

Rain covered the area around the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 10, 1971.  The National 500, the 42nd event of NASCAR’s 48 race schedule for 1971 seemed in doubt.  The rain continued as the 12:30 PM race time approached, so a delay was in order.  Finally, one hour and fifty-five minutes later, at 2:25, the rain let up, and the race was underway, to the delight of the 52,000 race fans who had braved the weather.  The drivers ran five unofficial laps to help dry the track, then the first 10 official laps were under caution.  Only one lap was completed under green, before the yellow caution flag was out again as driver Jim Vandiver scraped the wall.

Pole sitter Charlie Glotzback remained in the lead when the real racing got underway and led the first 11 laps.  Then on lap number 12 Buddy Baker took over the lead for the next 12 laps as the sun came out for the first time.  Baker and Glotzback swapped the lead back and forth until caution came out again on lap 120 when Earle Canavan crashed his car which caught fire.  Morton was there to capture the image of the burning car.

Car #01, driven by Earle Canavan, on fire during race at The National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, October 10, 1971.

Car #01, driven by Earle Canavan, on fire during The National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, October 10, 1971.

Following that yellow flag, crowd favorite Richard Petty took over the lead on lap number 126. At that point it appeared to be a four-car race between Petty, Glotzback, Bobby Allison, and Bobby Issac. At one point, Issac and Petty dueled for several laps as Morton snapped away.

Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

Car #71 (K & K Insurance Dodge) driven by Bobby Isaac and Car #43 (Petty Enterprises Plymouth) driven by Richard Petty.

On lap 158, Bobby Allison, another crowd favorite, took the lead but for only 8 laps as Glotzback recaptured the lead on lap 166.  11 laps later, Allison took over the lead again on lap 177. Of course no one knew it at the time, but that lead change would be the final one of the day.  As the race approached the 350 mile mark, dark clouds began forming at the South end of the one and one-half mile track and minutes later rain returned. On lap 237, NASCAR’s official starter Johnny Bruner, Jr. surprised the drivers and the crowd by flying the white flag instead of a yellow caution or a red rain delay.  The white flag meant that Allison was on the final lap of the race and would win if he could maintain his lead which at that point was 5 seconds over Glotzback.  Allison took the checkered flag on lap 238 completing only 357 miles of the 500 mile race. His 126.140 miles-per-hour speed earned him $19,450 for his day’s work.  It was his 9th win of the ’71 season; however, Richard Petty would go on to win the 1971 NASCAR championship.

I recall a Julia Morton “View to Hugh” comment from May 7, 2010 when she said “I remember how anxious Hugh was to have Stock Car Racing declared a sport.”

Morton’s image of the Richard Petty—Bobby Issac duel at the Charlotte Motor Speedway that opens this blog post is one of the header images for the web site North Carolina Miscellany.  The press banner says “World 600″ but the date on the slide mount reads “Oct 71.”

A closing note from Stephen

CHECKING UNDER THE HOOD—A man with a Mohawk-style haircut lifts the lid of a bald man wearing a toupee during the 1971 National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

CHECKING UNDER THE HOOD—A man with a Mohawk-style haircut lifts the lid of a bald man wearing a toupee during the 1971 National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I made a last-minute discovery while assembling this blog post for Jack.  Hugh Morton was in “campaign mode” at The National 500, so there are not that many images of the race itself.  In a recent post about the “Governor’s Down-East Jamboree” I dug behind the making of an informal group portrait that included Chapel Hill mayor Howard Lee, photographed in mid September 1971.  In doing so I discovered that Hugh Morton attended that event as one of several unofficial candidates for the Democratic Party primary for 1972.  The National 500 NASCAR race was less than one month after the jamboree.

There are 23 black-and-white negatives listed in the Morton collection finding aid (35mm folder 2.5.1-3-11 and 120 format folder 2.5.1-5-6) described as “Hugh Morton at National 500, TOR Speedway, 10 October 1971.”  That information likely comes from one of the negative frames in which a person is reading a race program that is folded in half.  The person is looking at the page that probably reads at the top “CHARLOTTE MO,” while the page facing the camera reads “TOR SPEEDWAY: We’ll fix the finding aid to read Charlotte Motor Speedway, soon.

Most of these negatives depict Hugh Morton wearing suit and tie, posed with different individuals and small groups.  There are, however, a few scenes from pit row: two 35mm frames made while a pit crew services A. J. Foyt’s car #27, and one frame on the 120 film of Bobby Isaac’s car and pit crew during a pit stop.  A frame adjacent to the Isaac exposure is a scene of the Mohawk/toupee shot shown above.

Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam . . .

Experimental time exposure shot of the Old Well at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The long exposure has left light trails, with the Well just visible in the background.

Experimental time exposure shot of the Old Well at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The long exposure has left light trails, with the Well just visible in the background.

Recently there has been a significant increase in comment spam here at A View to Hugh.  Most of the time you as a reader never see it, because a  filter catches the spam before it has a chance to go live.  Occasionally, however, irrelevant comments slip past the spam filter.  This blog is not moderated so that a lively discussion can take place when people are so moved.  Moderating all comments just slows down spontaneity, especially during non-work hours.  Non-moderated blogs, however, are vulnerable to comment spam making it live.  On the flip side, the spam filter can trap legitimate comments.  When that happens I can easily approve them.

The past few months have seen an amazing surge of comment spam—a dozen or so spam comment per day were making it live, and where once there were a few hundred captured spams there are as many as 2,000 a day.  It used to be reasonable to spend about 20 minutes a day to go through the spam trap, looking for legitimate comments that had been accidentally captured, and making them live.  This is no longer the case.  The receipt of blog comment spam now exceeds one per minute on average.  From late Friday to Monday afternoon, for example, the spam filter trapped 7,700+ spam comments!

A couple weeks ago I quietly added a new Comment Policy page, announcing a few changes to help combat this problem. Spam continued to accelerate through the remainder of the month, however, necessitating a stricter policy effective today, 1 October 2014.  Here are the details:

  • Your first comment at A View to Hugh will not appear immediately upon hitting the submit button; it will, instead, be sent to a “Pending” file for approval.  After I approve your first comment, your subsequent submissions will post immediately.  The setting in the anti-spam software applies this rule uniformly, even to those who have commented prior to the implementation of this policy.
  • Comments with more than one link are immediately marked as spam by the anti-spam software.
  • All comments trapped by the spam filter will be deleted without review—meaning that I will no longer review comments in the spam trap to look for legitimate comments inappropriately marked as spam.  As a precaution, you may wish to save your comment as a text file on your own computer before submitting it to the blog.  That way, if your comment does not appear within a day (or after a weekend) you can then copy and paste your comment and resubmit.

The Governor’s Down-East Jamboree, 1971

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Graham; Lawrence H. Fountain, United State Congressman from the state's 2nd District; and Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee.  The three are pictured at the "Governor's Down-East Jamboree" fundraising event for the North Carolina Democratic Party, held in Atlantic Beach on September 17–19, 1971.

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Graham; Lawrence H. Fountain, United State Congressman from the state’s 2nd District; and Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee. The three are pictured at the “Governor’s Down-East Jamboree” fundraising event for the North Carolina Democratic Party, held in Atlantic Beach on September 17–19, 1971.

In mid September 1971, the North Carolina Democratic Party held a fundraising event called “The Governor’s Down-East Jamboree” in Atlantic Beach.  Hugh Morton took the above informal group portrait during that event.  I wanted to know more about this photograph, and it turns out there was a bit more happening at Bogue Banks than this single photograph suggests.  As it was, Morton attended the political gathering for reason beyond making photographs—and the story serves as a good case study on how and why one should always look beyond the online photographs to the entire Morton collection when researching.

Searching through the Morton collection finding for “jamboree,” I found listings six black-and-white negatives made by Morton: five using a 35mm camera, and one using a 120 format camera (which produces a 2″ x 2″ negative).  Morton printed the above photograph from frame 18 of the strips of 35mm negatives; the single 120 negative is a slightly underexposed version of the same group from a different angle.

Here’s a question for our regular readers: Doesn’t *only* six negatives from an event like this seem well, un-Morton-like? That’s what I thought!  It was time to go into research mode!

I knew two things going in:

  1. Morton formally declared his candidacy for the 1972 Democratic Party gubernatorial race on December 1st, 1971.
  2. The above photograph is in the pamphlet Hugh Morton’s DEMOCRATIC Photo Album.

Morton published the album-like booklet as a keepsake in 1971.  On its opening page is a letter from Morton written to “My Fellow North Carolinian” that includes the sentence, “Regardless of how the 1972 Gubernatorial field finally shapes up, I am confident that no candidate will have a more intense or more consistent interest in the Democratic Party.”  Morton’s clearly writes as if he is a candidate, so he likely published the pamphlet in December.  In addition to the photograph above, there are two other images from the political jamboree including the following image.

This photograph is a non-cropped version of the version that appears in the booklet titled "Hugh Morton's DEMOCRATIC Photo Album."  It is captioned, "N. C. Democratic Chairman Joe Yates introduces Governor Bob Scott at the Governor's Down-East Jamboree at Atlantic Beach on September 18, 1971.  At the head table at left is Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel, principal speaker.  Party officials in the foreground include: Speaker Phil Godwin, YDC President Charles Winberry, Party Secretary Mrs. E. K. Powe and Mr. Powe, and Party Vice Chairman Mrs. James M. Harper and Mr. Harper."

This is a non-cropped version of a photograph that appears in the booklet titled “Hugh Morton’s DEMOCRATIC Photo Album.” It is captioned, “N. C. Democratic Chairman Joe Yates introduces Governor Bob Scott at the Governor’s Down-East Jamboree at Atlantic Beach on September 18, 1971. At the head table at left is Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel, principal speaker. Party officials in the foreground include: Speaker Phil Godwin, YDC President Charles Winberry, Party Secretary Mrs. E. K. Powe and Mr. Powe, and Party Vice Chairman Mrs. James M. Harper and Mr. Harper.” [Note: This image (file number P081_NTBR2_002142_13) is not in the online collection of Morton photographs at the time this post was written.]

The Carteret County News-Times provides a lead-in to the event.  The newspaper reported on September 13th that the Governor’s Down East Jamboree would begin on Friday the 17th with a golf outing, followed by a clambake that evening.  Festivities would take place at John Yancey Convention Center (which was located on Salter Path Road at milepost 5 1/2 and later known as the Royal Pavilion after a renovation project).  On Saturday evening  there would be luau-themed $50-a-plate fundraiser —which explains the leis worn by L. H. Fountain and Howard Lee in the above photograph.  Maryland’s Governor Marvin Mandel would be the featured speaker.  With 400 tickets sold to that point, the expected crowd was 550 people.

The following Monday’s issue of the Carteret County News-Times provides the following:

The only two gubernatorial hopefuls on hand Friday night were Bob Morgan, currently state attorney general, and Hugh Morton, owner of Grandfather Mountain.  The other two prominent individuals mentioned for the governor’s seat, Lt. Gov. Pat Taylor and State Senator Hargrove (Skipper) Boles, arrived Saturday.

Well that might explain the relative scarcity of Morton photographs at the event: he attended as a candidate, not a photographer—two and a half months before his official announcement on December 1, 1971—but that is not the reason.

The News-Times ran several photographs with its report. One is captioned:

Patricia Sikes, Salisbury, standing here with William H. Potter, former mayor of Beaufort, was Hugh Morton’s salt girl.  She passed out miniature Morton Salt containers proclaiming Hugh Morton as “the salt of North Carolina.”

The caption of a second photograph is more revealing . . .

Hugh Morton, standing in front of the Cape Lookout lighthouse, hosted a picnic Saturday at the Cape.  He commented that if he is elected governor and if the Cape Lookout National Seashore isn’t a reality at the end of his administration, he and his administration will be entirely to blame.  Others pictured are Roy Parker, left, and Arthur Johnsey, Greensboro, and Mrs. Morton.

. . . especially when paired with the following text from the article, which gives us another clue:

MR. MORTON FLEW a party of 25 persons to Cape Lookout in his helicopter for a Saturday afternoon picnic.

So maybe there are more photographs of the event, but filed under Cape Lookout in the North Carolina places series?  Back to the collection’s finding aid, where searching for “Cape Lookout” I found:

  • Roll Film Box P081/120BW-1, Envelope 1.1.103-3-1
    Cape Lookout Lighthouse (gathering/event with models, helicopter), 1980s?
    Black and white 120 roll film negatives
    13 images
  • Roll Film Box P081/120C-1
    Envelope 1.1.103-4-1
    Cape Lookout Lighthouse (gathering/event, with models, helicopter, air views), 1980s?
    Color 120 roll film negatives
    15 images

Notice that there is no reference to the “Down-East” gathering associated with the Cape Lookout negatives, so the logical place to file them was by location.  And guess what? The Bob Scott negative shown above wasn’t filed by the event either; that negative is filed with other negatives related to Scott that Morton gathered in one place for consideration when producing the book, Making a Difference in North Carolina. These are two examples of why you should think broadly when using the Morton collection: negatives from the same event are filed in three different places, and maybe more.

Here are three scans made from the Cape Lookout negatives:

P081_NTCR1_1-1-103_4_1_10

Hugh Morton (left) and Julia Morton (second from right), entertaining during a picnic on Cape Lookout, while a photographer looks on.

Hugh Morton (left) and Julia Morton (second from right), entertaining during a picnic on Cape Lookout, while a photographer looks on. The photographer is unknown, and this is not the image that appears in the Carteret County News-Times.

P081_NTBR1_1-1-103_3_1_12

In a few of the frames there is a person on the beach who wears a boater-style “Morton For Governor” straw hat (third from the left in the above photograph).  Another Hugh Morton mystery solved . . . one I didn’t know we had before working on this blog post.

Turning to other newspapers, however, helped to fill in the “Down-East” story.  The Wilmington Morning Star surprisingly did not cover the nearby event, especially given that is Morton’s hometown.

Howard Covington, writing for the Charlotte Observer‘s Piedmont Edition on September 18th provided context for the event.  The jamboree, he wrote, “is the unofficial opening of the 1972 political season and the first half of a fund-raising effort that will close next month in Asheville with the annual Vance-Aycock party dinner.”

So Morton nor any of the other “hopefuls” were official candidates during the jamboree, but a potential candidate.  This was true for the other participating “candidates”  as well, and explains Morton’s official announcement came several weeks later.

Roy Parker, Jr.’s column for Raleigh’s News and Observer for September 20th had the best photograph of the Cape Lookout picnic, made by Ken Cooke, which showed the Mortons and some of their supporters on the beach, while the helicopter flies behind them with the lighthouse in the distance.

That day’s News and Observer column “Under the Dome” noted”:

Hugh Morton, the Grandfather Mountain owner who is preparing to seek the Democratic nomination for governor, has other candidates somewhat green with envy because of his close ties with North Carolina news media.

Morton is acknowledged to be one of the state’s msot effective public relations men, a photographer of notewhose pictures are ubiquitous in travel literature and on postcards, and a familiar figure in scores of weekly newspapers offices, city rooms and station studios.

And by being owner of a famous resort like Grandfather Mountain Golf and Country Club, Morton doesn’t even have to go to the media—they come to him.

For instance, North Carolina members of the American Society of Newspaper Editors are scheduled to gather at the resort in early October.

That includes just about every editor of the major dailies in the state, as well as many from the smaller regional newspapers.

C. A. (Pete) McKnight, editor of the Charlotte Observer and current national ASNE president, has informed his colleagues that he will host a cookout at the affair, and that Morton will be glad to arrange accommodations.

Looks like it may be time to comb through the collection finding aid a bit more . . . . maybe looking for “Vance-Aycock,” “Asheville,” and “news editors?”

War times

But how soon will we free Americans forsake the healthy 1914 status for a return to the rapid mobilization of 1917?

—editorial column, The Daily Tar Heel, 15 September 1939

"North Carolina Rifle Team, Camp Perry, Ohio." Hugh Morton (rear, left, with Camp Yonahnoka patch) and other young men posing with rifles.

“North Carolina Rifle Team, Camp Perry, Ohio.” Hugh Morton (rear, left, with Camp Yonahnoka patch) and other young men posing with rifles. The date of this photograph is uncertain, but thought to be circa 1939-1940.

From the standpoint of military remembrances, we are living today within a curious historical alignment: we are amid the final year of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, which ended in April 1865; we look back 100 years on the start of “The Great War,” which began in the last days of July 1914; and we mark 75 years since the beginning of World War II in September 1939.  It is that final conflict that falls within the sphere of Hugh Morton, who 75 years ago today began his first day of classes as a freshman at the University of North Carolina.

Frosh Morton likely would have read the school year’s first issue of The Daily Tar Heel, in which the student newspaper’s editors reprinted one of its articles from 1918 about the first world war and now called for neutrality in the second.  In an editorial titled, “The War: Stay Sane; Stay Out of Europe” they wrote,

. . . may the University student body of 1939—well augmented as it is this morning by a heavy influx of new blood, the Men of ’43—steep itself in the attitude of the 1914 group: a general interest in keeping America neutral and uninvolved!

The “Men of ’43,” however, included women.  The Daily Tar Heel noted elsewhere that coed registrations had already surpassed 300 women, with the total anticipated to reach 500—a number dwarfed by total registrations expected to reach 3,600.

There are few photographs in the collection from these early days at Chapel Hill, either of or by Hugh Morton, because his camera was stolen soon after he arrived on campus.  The group portrait above is one of the few in the collection that depict Morton during this time period.  It is not related to the war, but it is interesting to note that Hugh Morton was a sharpshooter with a rifle.  Perhaps this posting will lead to some additional identifications and a more precise date.  The only clues we have about the above photograph stem from comments made on a post a few years ago about a photograph made around the same time on the Canadian border.

Much like developments between 1914 and 1917, American neutrality ended at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Hugh Morton enlisted in the Army in 1942, and his military service relied on his eye as sharpshooter—not as rifleman, but as a combat movie cameraman.

Photographer Hugh Morton at military encampment, holding movie camera. Taken during Morton's World War II service with the 161st Signal Photography Corps.

Photographer Hugh Morton at military encampment, holding movie camera. Taken during Morton’s World War II service with the 161st Signal Photography Corps.

A Hall for All . . . Old, New, and Renovated

Nine years ago on September 8, 2005, the “new and improved” Memorial Hall on the UNC campus was celebrated with a grand re-opening weekend. On this special anniversary, Morton Collection volunteer, Jack Hilliard, takes a look back at this iconic building.

Memorial Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, April 22 1987.

Memorial Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, April 22 1987.

It became painfully clear during UNC’s commencement weekend of 1883 that Gerrard Hall was too small for Carolina’s growing family.  Afterward, officials quickly drew plans for a new 4,000-seat building on a site just west of Gerrard to be named Memorial Hall in honor of David Lowry Swain, President of the University from 1835 until 1868, and North Carolina’s Governor from 1832 until 1835.  Soon after construction began, however, the university expanded the memorial honor to include UNC alumni who died in the Civil War as well as additional outstanding Carolina alumni and North Carolina citizens.

A lagging fund raising campaign and cost overruns plagued the project, but finally construction was completed and Memorial Hall was dedicated on June 3, 1885. A project that had an original estimated cost of $20,000 had a final cost about $45,000. (That’s $1.074 million in today’s dollars.)  Despite a poor architectural design and major acoustical problems, the facility served the University until 1929. In 1896, after the campus gymnasium became a dining hall, Memorial Hall was used as a gymnasium and remained in that capacity until Bynum Gym was opened on May 29, 1905. By 1929, Memorial Hall had suffered major damage to its foundation.  The building was declared unsafe and torn down.

On January 18, 1930 John Sprunt Hill, speaking for the University building committee, recommended “the erection of a modern fireproof building of greater dignity, to replace old Memorial Hall.”  The State Emergency Fund provided $150,000 to construct a new structure on the site of the old hall.  The new Memorial Hall was completed in mid-summer 1931 at a final cost of $182,000 ($2.6 million in today’s dollars).  On University Day, October 12th, the new facility was dedicated and the building was presented to University trustee, John Sprunt Hill, by North Carolina Governor O. Max Gardner.

The first performance on stage in the new building was dancer Carola Goya. For almost 30 years, Memorial Hall served the University and Chapel Hill community well with entertainment, freshman orientations sessions, awards nights, baccalaureate exercises, commencement ceremonies, lectures, pep rallies, the North Carolina Symphony, and even a beauty pageant in 1966. The list of those appearing on stage reads like a who’s who . . . Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Montovani, Marcel Marceau.  On January 31, 1942, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited campus as keynote speaker at a jointly-sponsored International Student Service-Carolina Political Union Conference on “Youth’s Stake in War Aims and Peace Plans.”

Eleanor Roosevelt standing at the stage entrance to Memorial Hall with her secretary Malvina Thompson on the left, Frank Porter Graham (second from left), and Josephus Daniels (right), during Roosevelt's January 1942 visit to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as the keynote speaker at a jointly-sponsored International Student Service-Carolina Political Union conference on “Youth’s Stake in War Aims and Peace Plans.”

Eleanor Roosevelt standing at the stage entrance to Memorial Hall with her secretary Malvina Thompson on the left, Frank Porter Graham (second from left), and Josephus Daniels (right), during Roosevelt’s January 1942 visit to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as the keynote speaker at a jointly-sponsored International Student Service-Carolina Political Union conference on “Youth’s Stake in War Aims and Peace Plans.”

Over the years, Hal Holbrook with his “Evening with Mark Twain” made several appearances as did Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya. At the height of the folk music era  Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary stopped by. In 1987 Charles Kuralt and Loonis McGlohon performed “North Carolina is My Home.”  A speakers list includes, Billy Graham, Terry Sanford, and Ted Kennedy. Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather have been featured at the Nelson Benton Memorial Lecture series sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and coaches Carl Snavely, Wallace Wade, and Dean Smith were featured as part of an ongoing series on sportsmanship.  On May 13, 1989 as part of Graduation/Reunion Weekend, Hugh Morton presented a slide show from Carolina’s Golden Age to a near-full house in the storied facility.

Dan Rather during his appearance at the Nelson Benton Lecture series at UNC-Chapel Hill in Memorial Hall on April 26, 1991.

Dan Rather during his appearance at the Nelson Benton Lecture series at UNC-Chapel Hill in Memorial Hall on April 26, 1991.

When UNC’s Clef Hangers completed their annual spring concert on April 20, 2002 the doors to the ‘Great Hall” were closed for a three-year major building transformation. A partnership between the State of North Carolina and hundreds of generous donors funded the $18 million project. The new Memorial Hall now has air conditioning, seven dressing rooms, new marble lobby floor, and a new stage that is twice the size of the original. The auditorium seating configuration is improved with wider aisles and better sight lines.

On September 8, 2005 a ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off the Grand Reopening Gala that featured stars Tony Bennett, Itzhak Perlman, and Leonard Slatkin—plus our own North Carolina Symphony.  Following the hall’s renovation, Carolina Performing Arts has continued to offer world-class performances in music, dance and theater, and the caliber of performers picked up right where it had left off before closing with Bonnie Raitt, Yo-Yo Ma, Nanci Griffith, and Vince Gill.  In 2005, National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” originated a nation-wide broadcast from Memorial Hall, and in 2009 the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet performed a first ever concert in the Southeast.

The future is just as bright for Memorial Hall.  Performances this season include the Pittsburgh Symphony under the direction of Manfred Honeck, and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. And of course the Holidays would not be complete without the Carolina Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Barton College next stop for exhibit “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective”

Model and photographer at Fort Macon, North Carolina.  This Morton photograph, though more tightly cropped, was on the magazine cover of The State, 1 April 1955.

Model and photographer at Fort Macon, North Carolina. This Morton photograph, though more tightly cropped, was on the magazine cover of The State, 1 April 1955.

Jack Morton, a professional photographer in Raleigh and grandson of Hugh Morton will give a presentation titled “My Grandfather and His Camera” this evening at Barton College as part of the opening reception for the exhibit “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective.”  Installed in the Barton Art Galleries (Case Art Building, 700 Vance St. NE, Wilson, NC) the reception begins at 5:00 p.m and the presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will be at Barton College through October 3.  This is the third venue for the exhibit, which debuted a year ago.

Jack Morton will talk about the influence his grandfather had on him and his development as an artist. Regular readers of A View to Hugh may recall “The Doors Shall Remain Open,” a post written by Jack Hilliard last year that includes a photograph of the two Mortons on the sidelines during a UNC football game.  That post has a link to an article also titled “My Grandfather and his Camera” written by Jack Morton in 2003.  It will be interesting to hear how Jack continues to be influenced by his grandfather’s photography more than a decade later.

On September 16, I will be giving a presentation at Barton titled “Hugh Morton’s Rise To His Photographic Peak.”  I explore the first three decades of Morton’s photographic career, share my experience of curating and producing the exhibit, and discuss several photographs that are part of the exhibition.  During the day I’ll be meeting in the gallery with a hisory of photography class.  I am looking forward to both trips to Wilson!

Please note: “Operator error” caused a number of reader’s comments from the past few weeks to disappear from the blog a couple days ago.  I ceased activities on the blog until I could recover them this morning.  My apologies!

 

The best of times: the “Golden Era” at UNC (1945-1950)

With the title caption "A New 'Shot' of the Old Well and South Building" in the October 1946 issue of The Alumni Review, this is Hugh Morton's first UNC scene published in that magazine after WWII—with the columns vertically straightened, its edges cropped on all sides for publication, and accompanied by a long caption about Morton war service. This scan shows the entire negative. This was also on the magazine cover of The State for its October 5th issue, cropped even more tightly at the base of the well to accommodate the magazine's masthead.

With the title caption “A New ‘Shot’ of the Old Well and South Building” in the October 1946 issue of The Alumni Review, this is Hugh Morton’s first UNC scene published in that magazine after WWII—with the columns vertically straightened, its edges cropped on all sides for publication, and accompanied by a long caption about Morton war service. This scan shows the entire negative. This was also on the magazine cover of The State for its October 5th issue, cropped even more tightly at the base of the well to accommodate the magazine’s masthead.

A View to Hugh has been on a summer vacation of sorts as other projects have pressed to the fore.  This week marks the start of another school year at UNC, and the resumption of more frequent posts.  Today, Hugh Morton collection volunteer Jack Hilliard looks back 68 years to another time that many believe was “the best of times” at UNC.

But first . . . some background on the photographs used for this post.  Above is Morton’s first post World War II photograph of a UNC scene published in The Alumni Review. Along with a long caption about Morton’s war service, the image filled an entire page inside the October 1946 issue.  The November issue featured the photograph below on its cover, and its caption states that Morton had recently “presented to the Alumni Office a half dozen new pictures of familiar campus scenes.”  Those photographs, most of which are not in the online Morton collection, illustrate this blog post. (If you are counting, however, you’ll come up with seven after the one above.)

The November 1946 issue of The Alumni Review featured on its cover a cropped version of this photograph of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower.

The November 1946 issue of The Alumni Review featured on its cover a cropped version of this photograph of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower.

It was a heterogeneous group of different ages and experiences—all due to a terrible war which had interrupted or affected the lives of most of us. . . We developed a tremendous school spirit in a very short time, and we were pretty charged up about changing the world and making it better.

Class of 1947 “Revised Yackety Yack” 25th Reunion Edition, May 1972 by Sibyl Goerch Powe

Most UNC alumni consider their time in Chapel Hill as the best.  I grew up in North Carolina during the late 1940s and early ‘50s and I remember that period as being the best.  Many at Carolina, however, describe the years between VJ-Day (“Victory over Japan Day” celebrated on 2 September 1945 in the United States) and the Korean War—the years 1945 through 1950—as UNC’s “Golden Era.”  World War II was finally over and Tar Heels everywhere could look ahead to the better times.

This era was born near the end of WWII when, on June 22, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944—forever to be known as the “GI Bill.”  Among its many provisions, Title II Chapter IV revolutionized education in the United States, especially for those returning from service during World War II, because it empowered the federal government to reimburse colleges and other approved educational institutions for “the customary cost of tuition, and such laboratory, library, health, infirmary, and other similar fees as are customarily charged, and may pay for books, supplies, equipment, and other necessary expenses” of qualifying veterans—not to exceed $500 for “an ordinary school year.”  The bill also allotted subsistence provisions of $50 per month for single veterans and $75 per month for those with dependents.

This night photograph of South Building appeared in the November 1946 issue of The Alumni Review with the caption title "Columns of South." The caption writer described this photograph as being "symbolic of the University--old and new" showing "the 'new' side, looking south toward the area of greatest physical expansion of the campus in the years since the building period of the 'Twenties."

This night photograph of South Building appeared in the November 1946 issue of The Alumni Review with the caption title “Columns of South.” The caption writer described this photograph as being “symbolic of the University–old and new” showing “the ‘new’ side, looking south toward the area of greatest physical expansion of the campus in the years since the building period of the ‘Twenties.”

In the seven years following enactment of the GI Bill, approximately 8 million veterans received educational benefits, and of that number about 2.3 million attended colleges and universities. Enrollment at UNC rose to 6,800 which was 2,400 more than any time before.

As one would imagine, this jump in enrollment caused some housing and classroom-size challenges.  An interesting article in October 1945 issue of The Alumni Review discussed the anticipated effects of armistice on UNC’s student housing.  “The exodus of the U. S. Navy Pre-Flight School on October 15 left the University with a surplus of dormitory space for men students for the first time since Pearl Harbor,” the magazine wrote.  “A particular need that developed with the influx of veterans was accommodations for married students.”  The article also noted that Lenoir Dining Hall, which had been reserved for the cadets, could now become “an All-University cafeteria.”

The December 1946 issue of The Alumni Review used this photograph of Manning Hall with a caption that explained the conditions on campus. "Like many other University buildings now, Manning Hall (home of the University's Law School) is crowded with students.  Enrollment in the school is now 217, a sharp rise from the student body of 13 to which the school dropped during the war."

The December 1946 issue of The Alumni Review used this photograph of Manning Hall with a caption that explained the conditions on campus. “Like many other University buildings now, Manning Hall (home of the University’s Law School) is crowded with students. Enrollment in the school is now 217, a sharp rise from the student body of 13 to which the school dropped during the war.”

Quonset huts, trailers and pre-fabs became a way of life, despite the departure of pre-flight school cadets who had occupied ten dormitories.  On south campus, the federal government constructed Victory Village in less than a year on 65-acres at a cost $1.25 million. Many of the returning vets who were married lived there.  The Victory Village address book reads like a who’s who at UNC.  Terry Sanford, William Friday, and William Aycock, along with 349 other families made up the extended neighborhood, which lasted until 1972 when it was torn down to make room for expansion of UNC Hospitals.

For others on campus, cots were set up in the Tin Can and under the seats at Emerson Stadium while many other students lived with Chapel Hill families. The returning veterans along with a normal compliment of high school students presented a conflict of personalities on campus.  Never before had so many students had so little in common—and got along so smoothly together.  Students held dances on special weekends along with fraternity parties and gatherings at the Student Union, which at that time was Graham Memorial. The Big Band Era was still around although winding down and Tommy Dorsey made a return to campus.  He had been a guest, along with Frank Sinatra, in May 1941 prior to our country’s entry into the war.

P081_NTBF3_015527_04

This negative is almost identical to the one used for the January 1947 cover of The Alumni Review. The only difference is the hands on the clock, which stand at 6:30. Morton made the negative used for the cover at 6:20. The latter negative survives, but it suffers from severe acetate negative deterioration. Morton use two different film types; this is a film pack negative. Shown in its entirety here, the cover image cropped the bit of light at the spire’s top and the lower portion of the clock and portions of both sides. The light at the top of the tower appears in both negatives, but it is blackened on the magazine’s cover.

The common denominator for all on campus, however, was sports.  Leading the Carolina Spirit was Head Cheerleader Norman Sper, Jr.  Leading the Carolina Band was Professor Earl Slocum with featured bandsman Andy Griffith.  And the man on the sideline and court-side with the camera was Hugh Morton.  It was during this post-war period that Morton’s photography blossomed.  Interestingly, Morton did not return to Chapel Hill to finish his final year of college despite the GI Bill.  Instead, he entered his grandfather’s real estate business, Hugh McRae & Co., in Wilmington—but a camera was always close at hand.

P081_NTBF3_015528

This scan shows the full negative of the scene used by The Alumni Review for its March 1947 cover. Given the vertical format of the magazine, however, they cropped off the right side of the image. The caption reads in part, “We are indebted again to Hugh Morton ’43 for this month’s cover. With the magic of the camera he has pictured Graham Memorial building (at left) and the trees which line the walk toward Old East Building in a romantic scene.”

Many years later, on May 13, 1989, as part of UNC’’s Graduation/Reunion Weekend, the General Alumni Association offered its annual presentation of “Saturday Morning in Chapel Hill.”  The ’89 edition featured a panel discussion consisting of ten Tar Heel athletes from the Golden Era, led by Robert V. “Bob” Cox, UNC Class of ’49, and a Hugh Morton slide show.  The title of the program was “Why Did We Have it So Good and What Made US Different?” It played to a near full-house in Memorial Hall on the UNC campus.

Wilson Library, now the home of the Hugh Morton collection, when it was known as the University Library.  The Alumni Review cropped off the right side of this photograph to create a vertical for the cover of its April 1947 issue.

Wilson Library, now the home of the Hugh Morton collection, when it was known as the University Library. The Alumni Review cropped off the right side of this photograph to create a vertical for the cover of its April 1947 issue.

With coaches like Carl Snavely (football), Bunn Hearn (baseball), Tom Scott and Ben Carnevale (basketball), and Chuck Erickson (Golf)—all under the leadership of Athletics Director Robert Fetzer—Carolina won 32 Southern Conference Championships for the years 1945 through 1950 . . . plus 10 National Champions, 3 basketball and 3 football All Americas, 3 major bowls games and a football National Player of the Year. With names like Bones (McKinney), Hook (Dillon), Harvey (Ward), Vic (Seixas), Art (Weiner), Chunk (Simmons) and Sara (Wakefield).  And of course the poster boy for the era was nicknamed “Choo Choo” (Charlie Justice).

Stellar athletes mingled with the regular student population along Franklin Street, just as they do today.  However, the Franklin Street of 1946 was a lot different than the one the class of 2018 will come to know and love,  One of those businesses from 1946 survives today at 138 East Franklin: it’s the Carolina Coffee Shop.  Also back in ’46 there was Danziger’s with pizza on the menu,  The Porthole “with rolls to die-for,” says Charly Mann on the web site “Chapel Hill Memories,” and Harry’s, with food, New York style.  Also along Franklin was the Varsity Shop, Huggins Hardware, Foister’s Camera Store, and the Intimate Book Shop (the original one with the squeaky wooden floors).  And you could go to the movies for $1.20 at the Carolina Theatre and see Hollywood’s top movie from 1946, The Best Years of Our Lives, from director William Wyler and starring Myrna Loy and Fredrick March.

This photograph of South Building appeared full-page in the April 1947 issue of The Alumni Review with a caption that noted that the building had been renovated in 1925. "Of the University's 40,000 matriculates and ex-matriculates" it continued, "three-fourths of them knew this view of South Building in their student days." The photograph as published is cropped significantly and rotated slightly clockwise to make the columns more vertical.

This photograph of South Building appeared full-page in the April 1947 issue of The Alumni Review with a caption that noted that the building had been renovated in 1925. “Of the University’s 40,000 matriculates and ex-matriculates” it continued, “three-fourths of them knew this view of South Building in their student days.” The photograph as published is cropped significantly and rotated slightly clockwise to make the columns more vertical.

A Sidebar:
UNC’s great All America football player Charlie Justice was a Navy veteran and was eligible for the GI Bill. UNC also offered him a football scholarship. So Charlie asked UNC’s Athletics Director Robert Fetzer if his football scholarship could be transferred to his wife. Fetzer said he didn’t know but would check with the Southern Conference and the NCAA to make sure it would be OK.  Turns out it was, and the Justices enrolled at UNC on February 14, 1946.  Sarah Alice Justice became the first and possibly the only female to study at Carolina on a football scholarship.

Spider, Gumdrop, and the “Morton Mystery” of Apollo 9

Today, July 16, 2014, marks the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 carrying the first men to land on the lunar surface. One of the primary stepping-stones for that mission was the launch and flight of Apollo 9.  Like the Apollo 11 launch, there is an Apollo 9–Hugh Morton connection.  So, on this special anniversary, Morton Collection volunteer Jack Hilliard relates a possible scenario for Morton’s Apollo 9 slides.

Apollo9_SlideBoxes

On a recent visit to the Hugh Morton Collection at the Wilson Library on the UNC campus, Photographic Archivist Stephen Fletcher showed me a recent group of slides to be added to the huge Morton photo collection.  Of particular interest were two boxes of color slides marked “Apollo 9.” While I didn’t attend the launch of Apollo 9 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, I remember well following the progress on television.

Apollo 9 was the third manned mission of the Apollo program and the first flight of the Command Service Module (CSM) with the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).  The Command Module was named “Gumdrop” because it arrived at the Kennedy Space Center wrapped in blue cellophane. The Lunar Module was named “Spider,” because of its awkward, gangly appearance. The mission was the second launch of a Saturn V (Five) rocket.  The three-person crew, Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, all trained at the Morehead Planetarium on the UNC campus.

The Apollo 9 preliminary countdown began at 5 am on Saturday, February 22, 1969 and proceeded without problems.  The terminal count started on February 27th at 10 pm.  Twelve hours into that count, there was a three hour built-in hold.  During this hold NASA decided to recycle the count to T minus 42 hours which would put the launch no earlier than Monday, March 3rd at 11 am.  The reason for the delay: the Apollo 9 crew had developed colds.  The delay gave the crew time to recover in time for a March 3rd launch.

The crew spent 10 days in low Earth orbit testing and docking the two spacecrafts. At one point, McDivitt and Schweickart flew the Lunar Module 100 miles away from the Command Module.  On board Apollo 9 were special lightweight, lint-free wash cloths and towels developed by the textile school at North Carolina State.

The 152-orbit mission ended in the calm Atlantic, in sight of the recovery carrier USS Guadalcanal, on March 13, 1969.  That final day in orbit, however, was a busy one. The crew took pictures of the United States from coast to coast.  The picture taken of the North Carolina Outer Banks has become a classic.

OuterBanks_fromApollo9

From the two boxes of Morton slides shown above, plus two others, we can determine that Hugh and Julia made a trip to Florida about mid-February, 1969.  Morton labelled a third box of slides “Busch Gardens / Tampa horse races”; Kodak processed and date stamped those slides “Feb 69.”  The fourth box, processed in March like the two shown above, Morton labeled “Cypress Gardens / Homosossa River.”  The Homosossa River is on the Gulf Coast not far north of Tampa. Among the Cypress Gardens slides is the scene below.

P081_Cypress Gardens_01

The date stamps and frame numbers on the slides suggest the Mortons traveled from the Gulf Coast to Cypress Gardens mid-state near Winter Haven, and then to the Kennedy Space Center.  They took one of the visitor center bus tours of the complex, and there are 34 slides taken at the Space Center.

P081_apollo9_04

On pad A at launch complex 39, Apollo 9 was in place and preparing for a February 28th launch.  The Apollo/Saturn vehicle had been rolled to the pad on January 3rd.  The Mortons were at the pad A press site on February 27th because the Mobile Service Structure (MSS) has been rolled back and the launch vehicle is standing free, and that event occurs the day before a scheduled launch.

P081_apollo9_05

There were about 1,000 other members of the media at the press site and about 10,000 space watchers along the Florida coast.  Among the special invited guests was North Carolina Governor Robert Scott, but his schedule back in Raleigh didn’t permit a KSC visit.

P081_apollo9_07

Now, the mystery part of our story.

While writing posts and comments for A View to Hugh, I have often said, there is an interesting story for each of Hugh’s pictures and the Apollo 9 photographs are no exception.  What makes this set of images interesting is what’s not there.

There are no pictures of Apollo 9 blasting off, instead there are seven slides of a NASA news conference.

P081_apollo9_06

Prominent in Hugh’s news conference images, is Alan Shepard (far left in the photograph above), America’s first astronaut who, in 1969, was head of the astronaut office.  Also, at the new conference desk is Dr. Charles A. Berry (on Shepard’s left), medical director of the US space program and Dr. George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Director of Manned Spaceflight. (There is no name plate for Mueller, so he might be the person holding the microphone, but hidden behind the curtain on the far right).

Dr. Berry, in explaining the delay, said:  “I could guarantee that we would have three sick crewmen on our hands if we launched.”  Dr, Mueller added, “We’d like to launch them when they are well. If there’s any question. I’d rather wait.”

The February 28th launch delay of Apollo 9 was the first time after 18 US man-in-space flights that a launch had been delayed due to crew illness rather than technical issues, and it was “a difficult decision to make,” Berry said.

So, one possible reason for no Morton Apollo 9 launch pictures is that Hugh and Julia got caught up in that delay and were not able to stay through the weekend for the Monday morning launch.

P081_apollo9_02

“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.