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Archive for the ‘Just A Bite’ Category

“[James] Leloudis added that Powell’s collection of writings has been so valuable toward historical literature that North Carolina tends to be ‘over-represented,’ in part due to Powell’s work.” — From “NC historian William S. Powell dies at 95″ in the News & Observer (April 11) Dr. Leloudis’s comment about the distorting effect of Bill Powell’s […]

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“[John Archibald] Wheeler struggled to mend a rift in physics between general relativity and quantum mechanics—a rift called time. One day in 1965, while waiting out a layover, Wheeler asked colleague Bryce DeWitt [at UNC Chapel Hill] to keep him company for a few hours. In the [Raleigh-Durham International] terminal, Wheeler and DeWitt wrote down […]

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“Thomas Kunkel’s biography adds some telling details to what [Joseph] Mitchell’s readers already know about his childhood as the eldest son of a prosperous cotton and tobacco grower in North Carolina. Perhaps the most striking of these is Mitchell’s trouble with arithmetic—he couldn’t add, subtract, or multiply to save his soul—to which handicap we may […]

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“On the morning of October 10, 1905, thirty miles off Cape Fear, gunfire erupted in the engine room of the schooner Harry A. Berwin, bound to Philadelphia from Mobile, Alabama. The gunman, a black sailor, methodically shot all of the ship’s white crew members and calmly threw the dead and dying men overboard. Then he […]

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“[Southern] towns prided themselves on their new water works and sewers….When a new water system came to Salisbury, North Carolina, in the late [1880s], Hope Chamberlain recalled, ‘Some of the younger married folks put in bathrooms. We girls called them “The Bath-Tub Aristocracy.” ‘ Those ‘aristocrats’ mentioned their new conveniences as often as possible, deeply […]

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“In the summer of 1877, Mark Twain became fascinated by the case of a real life Flying Dutchman, a Bermuda-based schooner seen drifting helplessly, seaweed-encrusted and sails drooping, in the Gulf Stream waters off Cape Fear, North Carolina. The Jonas Smith had been sold piecemeal for scrap and then taken out to sea one last […]

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“Despite [my] being a professional Jew perpetually in the spotlight, North Carolina and its legions of Christian soldiers have been kind to me and my mishpucha, my extended family. We are, after all, the original chosen people who received the covenant at Sinai, begat the Apostles, and perfected the art of curing pastrami. “They have […]

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“The house faced Bald Mountain, 4000 feet high, a hill that had a very bad reputation some years ago [1874], and was visited by newspaper reporters. This is, in fact, the famous Shaking Mountain. For a long time it had a habit of trembling, as if in an earthquake spasm, but with a shivering motion […]

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Sunday, March 12, dawned blustery. McLendon had scheduled the game when most of Durham, including its police force, would be in church. He hadn’t told the school administration about the game; when a reporter for The Carolina Times, Durham’s black weekly, found out, he agreed not to write anything. No spectators would be allowed. Just […]

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“It was not proximity to cotton fields that explains this sudden expansion of cotton manufacturing in the U.S. South [in the late 19th and early 20th centuries]….The secret of success was plentiful and cheap labor. “The destruction of slavery and the attendant transformation of the countryside had created a large and malleable pool of low-wage […]

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