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Archive for the ‘On This Day’ Category

 On this day in 1948: Former vice president Henry Wallace, now presidential candidate of the left-leaning Progressive Party, attends its state convention in Durham. The convention nearly turns into a riot as anti-Wallace demonstrators march with signs, explode firecrackers and pelt Wallace with eggs. Running against Harry Truman, Thomas Dewey and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond, Wallace […]

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Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service (NPS)! On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act establishing the NPS as an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior to coordinate administration of the then 37 national parks and monuments. Today the NPS oversees 412 parks, monuments, and […]

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On this day in 1943: Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” destined to become one of the best-selling novels of all time, hits bookstore shelves across the state. The author is a former Brooklyn telephone operator who arrived in Chapel Hill on a bus with her two young daughters in 1938. She came only […]

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On this day in 1934: Primo Carnera, the only Italian ever to hold the world heavyweight boxing title, stops for supper at the Charlotte Tourist Camp. Carnera, who weighs 260 pounds, finishes off 6 ham sandwiches, 6 fried eggs, 6 raw eggs and 4 bottles of beer. He tells fans he is “touring the country” […]

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On this day in 1917: Gen. Leonard Wood visits Charlotte to inspect possible sites for a World War I training camp. The result will be Camp Greene, built on 2,500 acres and named for Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. The camp trains soldiers for less than two years, but rouses Charlotte’s economy and hastens its […]

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On this day in 1935: The first ABC store in North Carolina  opens in Wilson, with a line of customers waiting — so many that more than 100 had to be turned away at the 6 p.m. closing time. — From “ABCs of N.C. liquor sales” by Ben Steelman, part of a fact-packed and entertaining Wilmington […]

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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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