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Archive for the ‘On This Day’ Category

On this day in 1955: I. Beverly Lake Sr., assistant attorney general of North Carolina, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court that the state should be given no deadline to desegregate its schools: “Race consciousness is not race prejudice. It is not race hatred. It is not intolerance. It is a deeply ingrained awareness of […]

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On this day in 1930: A throng estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 is on hand for Charlotte’s first air mail delivery. The carrier is Eastern Air Transport, later to be Eastern Air Lines. The story in the next day’s Observer begins: “Roaring out of the darkness of the south, Gene Brown, intrepid air flier of […]

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On this day in 1793: Samuel Spencer, justice of the state supreme court, dies as a result of wounds inflicted by a turkey gobbler. Spencer was sitting on the porch of his home near Wadesboro when he became sleepy and began to nod; his bobbing red cap apparently provoked the turkey to attack. The 59-year-old […]

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On this day in 1879: Workers approaching from both sides complete 1,832-foot Swannanoa Gap tunnel, longest in western North Carolina. Master builder Thad Coleman wires Asheville that the “grades and centers met exactly.” Later the same day, however, a slide at the tunnel kills 21 laborers. (In all, some 400 workers, most of them misdemeanor […]

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On this day in 1935: Once again assailing the Roosevelt administration on the floor of the Senate, rogue populist Huey Long of Louisiana points toward New Deal supporter Josiah Bailey of North Carolina. About the existence of poverty, Long asks rhetorically, “You will take my word for it, won’t you?” Bailey stands and, as gasps […]

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On this day in 1949: In one of a series of color advertisements on the back cover of The New Yorker magazine pairing a Hollywood star with a North Carolina tobacco grower, actress Joan Fontaine says, “In my home, guests always insist on Chesterfields because they’re so MILD,” while farmer Van W. Daniel of Ruffin […]

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On this day in 1869: The Philanthropic Society of Davidson College invites President Andrew Johnson to speak at commencement ceremonies: “Since the decline of the State University, Davidson is by far the most flourishing institution in North Carolina. Our Chapel is said to be the largest in the South, and should you be pleased to […]

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On this day in 1941: After appearing at Raleigh’s State Theatre in the stage version of “The Philadelphia Story,” Katharine Hepburn attends a cast party at the Executive Mansion hosted by Gov. and Mrs. J. Melville Broughton. “Miss Hepburn wore a mink coat over tan gabardine slacks and jacket, with white blouse of crepe silk […]

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On this day in 1983: The first hominid in outer space, the chimpanzee Ham, dies at age 26 at the North Carolina Zoo. Although he lived the past two years at the zoo, his remains will be buried at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamagordo, N.M. Ham’s 1958 flight from Cape Canaveral aboard […]

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On this day in 1905: After commuting a 15-year manslaughter conviction to 6 1/2 years, his last official act, Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock proudly points out to the press his desk’s bare top and empty compartments. It is an appropriate exit for Aycock, who has set records by extending clemency in 458 cases and granting […]

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