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Archive for May, 2011

“At precisely the same moment that Southern Appalachia was being irrevocably altered by widespread industrialization and immigration, social reformers and travel writers insisted on depicting the region as a remote outpost inhabited only by rawboned and coon-capped Anglo-Saxon Celtic (today’s Scotch-Irish) mountaineers. “Harding Davis published a short story in 1875 in Lippincott’s Magazine that excoriated […]

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“The first stop on the tour [of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte] is Bessie, a big Holstein waiting in her stall … to talk about Reverend Graham as a child. Bessie’s head mooves left and right, her lower jaw mooves up and down to approximate speech. She describes young Billy Frank’s cold hands on […]

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“The StarNews continued its odd fascination with traffic-fatality predictions with the main headline on Page 1: ‘Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Toll Promises to Reach Appalling Mark.’ ” ‘Safety experts,’ the story said, ‘stuck to their grim prediction that the period threatened to be “one of the most deadly we have ever recorded.” ‘ The article […]

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1916 was an eventful year for the town of Spruce Pine located in Mitchell County in western North Carolina. Not only did “the burgeoning town” witness the construction of its first brick building in Dr. Charles Peterson’s Spruce Pine Pharmacy, but major flooding of the Toe River on the edge of downtown occurred during the […]

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“The University of North Carolina’s first Negro students found that they were free to eat and study with whites, but not to cheer. At football games, they were barred from the cheering section, herded into special end-zone seats.” – From Time magazine, Oct. 8, 1951 “The University of North Carolina, overwhelmed with protests, changed its […]

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“A 1976 advertisement in Forbes symbolized the state’s priorities. ‘North Carolina has a commitment to provide the most favorable climate to industry that is possible.’  By that year previously agricultural North Carolina had become the eighth most industrialized state…. Only 6.8 percent of its nonagricultural workers belonged to unions…. “A writer for The Progressive believed […]

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“Roger’s long torturous season [1961, in which he hit a record 61 homers] was over…He had committed to a traveling, postseason home-run-derby exhibition that also featured Harmon Killebrew and Jim Gentile…. He had a miserable experience. Again, the press was at the heart of his problems. Gentile recalls: ” ‘We went to Wilson, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro […]

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This eBay item caught my eye. Handsome badge, grand name — but Google returns no  mention of the Daughters of the United Sons of North Carolina (and only a 1932 tax reference to the United Sons themselves). I’m skeptical of the seller’s “Civil War Confederacy” designation. Complicating the question is a ribbon in the collection […]

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“Work goes slow and well, particularly on little-known events, like Roanoke Island, whose neglect I cannot understand…. Loss of that island lost the Confederacy the whole NC coast, both Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and Norfolk to the north. “Also it began the career of Ambrose Burnside — so perhaps it was a Southern gain after […]

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Big map news! Forty-one maps from the renowned William Patterson Cumming Collection at Davidson College are now available online through the North Carolina Maps digital project. Cumming, a longtime faculty member at Davidson College, was an authority on the early mapping of the southeastern United States. His book, The Southeast in Early Maps (UNC Press, […]

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