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Archive for December, 2017

“The diary [of John N. Benners] is an almost daily account of the years 1857 to 1860. I open the old volume to the first page and I am immediately swept up: Jan. 24. 1857. The river still frozen, navigation entirely impeded. A large sea vessel frozen up at Wilkinson’s Point [in what is now […]

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“In 1776, seeking revenge for raids committed by the militant Chickamauga faction of the Cherokees, militias from several colonies set out on a scorched-earth campaign designed to bring the entire Cherokee nation to its knees…. “Captain William Moore commanded a portion of the North Carolina soldiers. In early November, the expedition captured two Cherokee women […]

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“Recently, an investigation into the history of the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ as a seasonal greeting in the United States by self-described history nerd Jeremy Aldrich turned up its usage as early as 1863, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. By the middle of the 20th century, the phrase was well established in popular usage, as shown in […]

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On this day in 1961: Tom and Judy Alexander, looking to occupy their ranch hands during the offseason, open Cataloochee Ski Ranch in Haywood County. Three college students become the first paying customers of North Carolina’s infant ski industry. By 2015 more than 650,000 customers are visiting the state’s six ski resorts each winter.  

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“At the outbreak of the war in 1861, 15,000 slaves were working for Southern railroads…. “Housing often consisted of little more than a tent, and diseases such as scarlet fever, cholera and malaria were rife. [Theodore Kornweibel Jr.] cites a particularly egregious case where a contractor on the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad kept slaves […]

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  Today marks the 142nd birthday of photographer Bayard Wootten.  Born 17 December 1875, Wootten began her photographic career in 1905 in New Bern.  The photograph above depicts Wooting blowing out candles on one of her many birthday cakes, probably around 1940.  She died on 6 April 1959 in her 83rd year. In 1998 the […]

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“Segregation of public facilities — including water fountains and restrooms — was officially outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson…. “In Raleigh, Wilmington and other Southern cities, businesses seem to have complied grudgingly but promptly…. In smaller towns and rural areas, however, Jim Crow customs lingered […]

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“Chang and Eng Bunker’s widows didn’t want to give away their husbands’ bodies after death, even when offered large amounts of money, even though they were left with many children to support. But the College of Physicians of Philadelphia convinced them it was ‘a duty to science and humanity that the family of the deceased […]

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“As both Patriots and Loyalists recognized the war in the South as particularly violent, predictably, each side blamed the other. Among the most notorious rebels was Colonel Benjamin ‘Bull Dog’ Cleveland, who terrorized Loyalists in the Yadkin country. When [British Major Patrick] Ferguson‘s proclamation just before Kings Mountain men­tioned the rebels ‘murdering an unarmed son […]

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On this day in 1938: Accepting an honorary degree at the University of North Carolina (three years after the school gave one to his wife, Eleanor), President Franklin D. Roosevelt shrugs off New Deal losses in the recent elections: “The liberal forces have often been killed and buried, with the inevitable result that they have […]

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