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Archive for the ‘On This Day’ Category

 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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On this day in 1995: After a 24-hour stakeout of his Raleigh apartment building, FBI agents capture Kevin Mitnick, “the most wanted computer hacker in the world.”  Mitnick, 31, had used his sophisticated skills to worm his way into the nation’s telephone and cellular telephone networks and vandalize government, corporate and university computer systems. He […]

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We’ve seen much ink spilled in these parts on the question of whether Abraham Lincoln has North Carolina roots. In short, the most commonly-told story goes this way. Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, arrived in North Carolina as a teenager. She lived with Abraham Enloe (also spelled Inlow) and his family in Rutherford County. At some […]

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It’s unclear whether Governor David S. Reid’s offer of a $300 reward resulted in the arrest of the three members of Johnson & Co’s People’s Circus charged with killing Milton Mathis. But perhaps the answer lies in a subsequent edition of William Woods Holden’s Semi-Weekly North-Carolina Standard. Consider this your invitation to search. I’m happy […]

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