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Archive for the ‘Just A Bite’ Category

“Townsmen did not take lightly affronts to their virgins. In Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1845, for instance, three young men had made up enormous posters directing obscenities against ‘some of the respected young ladies of the community,’ the local editor said, and had nailed the signs to the courthouse door. “Early the next morning the […]

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“In the eyes of some, passenger pigeon parts [beyond the feathers used for stuffing pillows and beds] held one more valuable property: medicinal. “Dr. John Brickell, writing on the natural history of North Carolina in 1737, stated that the blood was effective in the treatment of the eyes and, when swallowed, ‘cures bloody fluxes.’ “He […]

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Q: You’ve lived in New York over 17 years, but I understand you’re from a small town in North Carolina. Was that a difficult transition? A: It’s impossible for people who grow up within the orbit of large cities to fully understand how alien and incredible and impossible and overwhelming a place they appear to […]

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“On 1902, a shoeless boy from the Great Smoky Mountains stood before the dean at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine…..His name was John Romulus Brinkley, he was 17 years old, and he wanted to be a doctor. The dean surveyed the boy and cruelly laughed. He said the boy had better run on home […]

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“[In the late 1800s] fan systems — steam-driven, then electric — became the norm for the well-dressed department store. But they offered little in the way of cooling…. Belk Brothers of Charlotte, North Carolina, maintained a barrel filled with ice water at their store’s front entrance; five tin cups were tethered to the barrel for […]

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” ‘Manteo to Murphy’ is a phrase often used in reference to the entire east-west width of North Carolina, particularly when describing a phenomenon that touches all regions of the state. “The phrase was famously applied to the 1876 gubernatorial campaign between Zebulon B. Vance and Supreme Court Justice Thomas Settle Jr., in which Vance’s […]

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“When the United States chose Nevada as the site for atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons four decades ago, Government officials knew the choice would mean that more people would be exposed to radiation than at an alternative site in North Carolina, a new study asserts. “But officials chose the Nevada site because it was already […]

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The New York Times: What’s the one book you wish someone else would write? Rick Perlstein, author of “The Invisible Bridge”: I used to think some history graduate student looking for a dissertation topic should do a biography of Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society. Back then I thought of it as […]

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“A radically tolerant American palate drove the development of American foodways, necessarily requiring settlers — freemen, slaves, and servants; men, women, and children — to remain temperamentally open to any number of unexpected culinary influences that might, one way or another, quietly shape the national diet while citizens were otherwise preoccupied with more remunerative endeavors. […]

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“The Dismal Swamp Canal, on the border between Virginia and North Carolina… was basically a dredged passage through the marshes, and it enjoyed brief fame because of a hotel built on its banks directly on top of the state line. “Young eighteenth century swells would hold duels here, one man standing in Virginia, the other […]

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