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Archive for the ‘On This Day’ Category

On this day in 1824: In an ad in the Star of Raleigh, tailor James J. Selby offers a $10 reward for the return of two apprentices: “RAN AWAY from the Subscriber, on the night of the 15th instant, two apprentice boys, legally bound, named WILLIAM and ANDREW JOHNSON. The former is of a dark […]

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On this day in 1945: Helen Keller, advocate of the disabled, arrives in Asheville for a five-day tour of service hospitals. A Citizen-Times interviewer notes that Miss Keller’s secretary and companion, Polly Thomson, “turned to her and translated the reporter’s first question by touching the palm of Miss Keller’s hand with the tips of her […]

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On this day in 1942: Charlotte-born John Scott Trotter conducts the orchestra for Bing Crosby’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” The record will sell more than 30 million copies — the best-selling single in history. Trotter, the roly-poly son of a wholesale grocery salesman, launched his career as pianist and arranger in fellow Charlottean […]

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 On this day in  1942: In Hollywood, Roy Acuff records “The Wreck on the Highway,” based on a real-life accident in Rockingham. The melancholy song will become a country-music classic and a staple of Acuff’s long career, but it was first recorded (as “Crash on the Highway” or “I Didn’t Hear Anybody Pray”) in Charlotte […]

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On this day in 1930: By a 41-39 vote, the U.S. Senate rejects Supreme Court nominee John J. Parker. Born in Union County and living in Charlotte, Parker would have been the first North Carolinian on the court in 120 years. Parker, a Republican who had run unsuccessfully for governor, was serving on the 4th […]

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On this day in 1983: Claude Sitton, editor of the News and Observer of Raleigh, wins the Pulitzer Prize for commentary — the paper’s first. . Sitton made his reputation as chief Southern correspondent for the New York Times during the civil rights movement (his peers appreciated his inventing the “Sitton notebook,” a cut-down version […]

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On this day in 1947: Before 1,500 fans at Charlotte’s Griffith Park, Buck Leonard has three hits to lead the Homestead Grays to a 17-0 exhibition victory over the hometown Charlotte Black Hornets. First baseman Leonard began his career in 1925 with his hometown Rocky Mount Black Swans. He becomes best known for his 17 […]

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On this day in 1919: Professor Frederick Koch’s Carolina Playmakers debut with a trio of short plays in the Chapel Hill High School auditorium. Leading the bill: “The Return of Buck Gavin, A Tragedy of the Mountain People,” written by Thomas Wolfe, who also plays the part of Buck. Among Prof Koch’s other notable early […]

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On this day in 1966: University of North Carolina police prevent Herbert Aptheker, historian and member of the American Communist Party, from speaking on the Chapel Hill campus. Aptheker first attempted to address students from the ledge of a campus landmark, the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. Thwarted, he steps a few feet away, […]

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On this day in 1970: The pregnant wife and two young daughters of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald are murdered at their Fort Bragg apartment. MacDonald blames drug-crazed hippie intruders who chant, “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs,” but prosecutors will contend it was he who clubbed and stabbed his wife and 5-year-old in a fit of rage, […]

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