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Archive for May, 2008

NC Ships

In the past few weeks, two US Navy vessels bearing North Carolina-related names have been in the news. A new USS North Carolina, this one a fast-attack nuclear submarine, was christened in April 2007 and commissioned on May 3, 2008. It is the fourth Navy ship to bear the name “North Carolina,” with the previous […]

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The accompanying image depicts “Sir Archy” (Sir Archie being the preferred spelling), a champion racer generally recognized by sport historians as a “foundation sire of the American turf.” Foaled in Virginia in 1805, Sir Archie was purchased by William Ransom Johnson in 1808 and moved to Warrenton, N.C., for training. Sir Archie had several other […]

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A recent comment on our blog mentioned the “Ballad of Otto Wood.” Well, we don’t have the sound clip up yet (though the Southern Folklife Collection does have several versions of the ballad in their collection), but the NC Collection does have the Life History of Otto Wood: Inmate, North Carolina State Prison, 1926. Wood, […]

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This Month in North Carolina for May, 2008, the story of Tom Dooley, is now wired for sound. This is a first for the NCC. The Southern Folklife Collection provided us with an audio file of G. B. Grayson and Henry Whittier performing a version of the Ballad of Tom Dooley from the 1920s. I […]

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The year 2008 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Andrew Johnson, one of three U.S. presidents whom North Carolina claims as a native son. Born in Raleigh on December 29, 1808, Johnson was bound for several years as an apprentice to a local tailor. He left Raleigh while still a teenager and relocated […]

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The Big Desert

I thought I knew something about North Carolina history and geography, and felt pretty confident that I’d already spotted many of the oddities and mysteries lurking in old maps, but then somebody pointed out the Big Desert in Robeson County. It shows up on Samuel Pearce’s 1872 map of the state: I know that sandy […]

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Hilfe!

Part of my job with the North Carolina Postcards project is to describe the postcards, including the messages written on them. Today I came across this Durham postcard, and you’ll notice that the message is written in German. Suffering a severe unfamiliarity with the language, I am having trouble transcribing it, and am wondering if […]

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A closer look at the 1885 UNC dance mentioned in a previous blog post has revealed the event’s importance in the history of dances on campus. According to Battle’s History of the University of North Carolina, it was customary for students to temporarily convert the library, then located in Smith Hall (present-day Playmakers Theater) for […]

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Among the large body of historic material preserved in the North Carolina Collection are thousands of coins and specimens of old paper money, along with hundreds of tokens, medals, and medallions. This high-relief bronze medallion was produced in 1993 during celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for “Old East,” the […]

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