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Archive for April, 2011

“The colonists’ bete noir was the horse thief. A North Carolina act of 1786 provided that ‘for the first offense the culprit should stand in the pillory for one hour, be publicly whipped with 39 lashes, nailed to the pillory by the ears, which were afterwards to be cut off, and be branded on the […]

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“Every June since 1880 the Carolina Cotillion Club has given a German which provides fun and frolic for thousands, makes the thriving tobacco town of Rocky Mount a cynosure¬† for invited guests from many another State. This year’s German, underwritten by the club’s 220 members who paid $10 each, attracted 8,000 guests, was witnessed by […]

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A few years ago, the North Carolina Collection acquired a set of Soviet-made maps, featuring North Carolina towns and dating from the late 1970s. See if you can guess which town is pictured below (and the feature just to the top left of that town). The top image shows the name of the town, and […]

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“[The ailanthus tree] rarely lives more than 50 years, so any chance of finding [Betty] Smith’s original tree still growing in Brooklyn was out of the question. “But [Nancy] Pfeiffer told me about the ailanthus her mother planted in the walled-in garden behind her home in Chapel Hill, where Smith lived almost her entire life […]

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Sorry I snoozed through the 50th anniversary (April 23) of Judy Garland’s comeback concert at Carnegie Hall, which she prepped for with winning performances in Charlotte and Greensboro. In Charlotte she helped hasten demolition of the classic but run-down Southern Railway passenger station, remarking that it was “a helluva station…. What happened to it?” Four […]

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“The Rev. Kirby Hensley, who ordained millions around the world through a mail-order ministry based in Modesto, Calif., died [March 19, 1999] of cancer. He was 87. “Rev. Hensley’s Universal Life Church was viewed as something of a lark by many who sent him $5 for ministerial licenses, but it was an intensely serious matter […]

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The varied portraits of Sir Walter Raleigh has been on our minds recently. Earlier this month we played host to Raleigh-scholar Mark Nichols, co-author of the recently published Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life & Legend. Nichol’s talk inspired a few of us to wonder how Raleigh has been depicted over time. The Elizabethan courtier has […]

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“In western North Carolina, some members of the Eastern Cherokee band expressed a willingness to serve with the Confederacy, but racism nearly kept them out of the ranks. William Thomas, an influential friend of the Cherokees, tried to get a state bill passed authorizing him to raise a Cherokee battalion. The legislature voted it down, […]

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“Their worldly possessions jammed into the back of his Volkswagen, Colin [Powell] and his pregnant wife were on their way to Fort Bragg. [In 1962] there was no on-base married housing for temporary, Vietnam-bound trainees; they planned to rent a furnished house or apartment in Fayetteville…. “After a frustrating day of house hunting, the Powells […]

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“Upset at the Chesterfield people for some reason, [Arthur Godfrey] once avoided doing a commercial through the entire program. Just as he was about to sign off, he said, ‘Oh, and today we’re brought to you by Chesterfields. They’re cigarettes’…. “One day he departed from the script he was handed for a Chesterfield ad and […]

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