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Archive for the ‘On This Day’ Category

On this day in 1918:  Gov. Thomas Bickett warns wartime slackers that “I have instructed our police officials to rigidly enforce vagrancy laws. All men . . . who refuse to work five days in the week, after having been given notice by the County Council of National Defense, should be prosecuted . . . […]

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On this day in 1931: To mark the opening of its first Charlotte drugstore, Walgreen offers 50 customers free rides in a Sikorsky twin-engine amphibian — said to be the first company-owned and -operated aircraft in the U.S. “See Charlotte from the air,” the ad urges. “You’ll get a a great thrill — you’ll feel […]

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On this day in 1933: Sen. Josiah Bailey of North Carolina takes the floor to note that “Even the mules in the South wear shoes.” Bailey’s is one of many indignant responses to Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins’ characterization of the South as “an untapped market for shoes. . . . A social revolution will […]

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On this day in 1980: Charlotte Motor Speedway makes the mistake of scheduling a Waylon Jennings concert on qualifying day for the World 600 stock-car race. Eight people are injured, 3 are arrested and 175 riot police are called out. “We just got the wrong mix of people,” speedway president H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will recall. […]

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On this day in 1897: Wilmington is visited by what may be the state’s first UFO. According to the Wilmington Messenger, which headlined its account, “Was It an Air Ship?” hundreds of citizens spotted the “remarkable . . . brilliantly lighted” object as it floated above the city, creating “a sensation among all classes of […]

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On this day in 1924: Ty Cobb hits a home run in the first game played at Asheville’s McCormick Field, but the Detroit Tigers lose their exhibition to the Asheville Skylanders, 18-14. By 1991, when the wooden stadium is razed, to be replaced by concrete, it will be the oldest minor-league park in the country. […]

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On this day in 1705: Newly appointed deputy governor Thomas Cary, son-in-law of a Quaker, disappoints N.C. Quakers by refusing to change a policy that effectively bars them from holding public office. By 1711, however, Cary will have allied with the Quakers and undertaken a bizarrely inept armed rebellion against the government. He is arrested […]

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On this day in 1956: A subcommittee of the House Un-American Activities Committee convenes in Charlotte. Two days of hearings will single out Bill McGirt, a poet working at a Winston-Salem fish market, as the state’s top communist, but he and 10 other subpoenaed witnesses refuse to testify, and little new information surfaces. “The conclusion […]

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60 years ago today: Front-page headline in the New York Times: “Negro Educator Chosen to Head Department at Brooklyn College. Howard University Professor Will be First of Race to Hold That Rank Here.” John Hope Franklin‘s appointment marks the first time an African-American has been appointed chairman of any department at a traditionally white institution. […]

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On this day in 1958: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., not yet 30 years old but already famous for having led the Montgomery bus boycott, pays his first visit to Greensboro. The local NAACP has invited King, but only black Bennett College will provide him a hall. He addresses two overflow crowds — morning […]

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