On this day in 1966: University of North Carolina police prevent Herbert Aptheker, historian and member of the American Communist Party, from speaking on the Chapel Hill campus.
Aptheker first attempted to address students from the ledge of a campus landmark, the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. Thwarted, he steps a few feet away, crosses a low stone wall onto town property and faces 2,000 students seated on the campus lawn. His speech proves less than incendiary; its main result is to focus national attention on the state’s 1963 Speaker Ban Law.
Legislators adopted the ban during a period of social unrest and at the height of the Cold War. Secretary of State Thad Eure drafted the law “to regulate visiting speakers at state-supported colleges and universities.” On the blacklist: any “known member of the Communist Party,” anyone who advocated the overthrow of the state or federal constitutions and anyone who had pleaded the Fifth Amendment about “subversive connections.”
In 1968 a federal court will declare the Speaker Ban Law unconstitutional.
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On this day in 1974: Myrtle “Lulu Belle” Wiseman, twice voted America’s most popular female radio entertainer in the 1930s, is elected to the N.C. House.
Before retiring to Spruce Pine in 1958, she and her husband, Scotty, had performed for almost a quarter-century as the Hayloft Sweethearts on the “National Barn Dance” on Chicago’s WLS, hosted a daily TV show for eight years and made seven Hollywood movies.
The Wisemans wrote or co-wrote such classics as “Good Old Mountain Dew” (with Bascom Lamar Lunsford), “Remember Me” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”
In her two terms in the legislature, Lulu Belle Wiseman will make her most dramatic impression when, arguing for the death penalty for rapists, she tells her stunned colleagues about her own rape 10 years earlier.
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged bascom lamar lunsford, have i told you lately that i loved you?, hayloft sweethearts, lulu belle wiseman, national barn dance, nc legislators, scotty wiseman, spruce pine nc, wls | Leave a Comment »
” ‘Southern whites,’ a Freedmen’s Bureau agent observed, ‘are quite indignant if they are not treated with the same deference that they were accustomed to’ under slavery, and behavior that departed from the etiquette of antebellum race relations frequently provoked violence….
“One North Carolina planter complained bitterly to a Union officer that a black soldier had ‘bowed to me and said good morning,’ insisting blacks must never address whites unless spoken to first.”
– From “Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877″ by Eric Foner (2002)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged eric foner, freedmen's bureau, reconstruction in nc, reconstruction: america's unfinished revolution | Leave a Comment »
“[In the early days of Reconstruction] North Carolina Conservatives harped upon the specter of integration in the new public schools, where white children would ‘take in all the base and lowly instincts of the African.’
“Racial appeals, however, often went hand in hand with revulsion at the prospect of governments controlled by what North Carolina Governor [Jonathan] Worth called ‘the dregs of society.’ Universal suffrage — government by ‘mere numbers,‘ Worth wrote, ‘I regard as undermining civilization.’ Civilization he defined as ‘the possession and protection of property.’ It was clear that such remarks did not apply to blacks alone….
“If North Carolina’s constitution needed revision, Worth and other Democratic leaders preferred a return to the frame of government of 1776, which contained substantial property requirements for voting.”
- From “Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877″ by Eric Foner (2002)
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“Winston-Salem was a small city compared to Philadelphia…. We found out that Winston-Salem was where R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was located, which was why we saw all those endless huge fields of tobacco when we were coming down on the train….
“The city itself — and our college, too — was named after Winston and Salem cigarettes, I believe….”
– From “Earl the Pearl: My Story” by Earl Monroe (2013)
Monroe became a sensation on the Winston-Salem State basketball team, averaging 41 points per game his senior year, and later was named to four NBA All-Star teams.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged earl the pearl monroe, r j reynolds tobacco, winston-salem nc, winston-salem state | 1 Comment »
Several new titles just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.
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From the front page of the North Carolina Standard, January 7, 1836
Tippoo S. Brownlow, owner of the La Vallee Female Seminary, placed this advertisement recruiting students to his new school in an 1836 issue of the North Carolina Standard. The school was in operation from 1833-1850, and was located between Halifax and Warrenton, North Carolina. The La Vallee Female Seminary was run out of a small building behind what is now known as the Gray-Brownlow-Willcox House. The school building had two floors in which there would have been space for classes to be conducted and for students to eat meals and socialize, and an attic area which was likely the living quarters for the students. La Vallee Female Seminary was forced to close in 1850, when Brownlow could no longer support the school financially.
The Gray-Brownlow-Willcox House, as pictured in The Historic Architecture of Halifax County, North Carolina
The La Vallee Female Seminary was benefited by an experienced staff. Brownlow had also run a school called the La Vallee Academy elsewhere in Halifax County in the late 1820s, before moving his school to the grounds of the Gray-Brownlow-Willcox House. In addition, the advertisement includes testimonies to the ability of La Vallee’s principal. Mrs. Emma McElvey had previously taught at a female seminary in Schenectady, New York, and her success in that position is attested to by no less than the mayor and the First Judge of Schenectady, the City physician, and several ministers.
It is interesting to note the course offerings at La Vallee Female Seminary. The courses one would expect to see offered at a ladies’ finishing school might include subjects like music and painting. However, La Vallee offered its young ladies courses in chemistry, astronomy, history, geography, and algebra. The course listings for music and art lessons appear at the end of the advertisement, as these courses incurred extra fees.
This advertisement comes from the oldest issue of a North Carolina newspaper that has become available on Chronicling America thus far. View the full advertisement here.
Posted in From the Stacks, History, NC Historic Newspapers, Tar Heelia, Tar Talk | Tagged Chronicling America, finishing school, La Vallee, NC historic newspapers, NDNP, newspaper, north carolina, women's education | 1 Comment »