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Archive for the ‘Tar Heelia’ Category

1. True or false: Among the crimes requiring the death penalty in early 19th-century North Carolina were burglary, bigamy, sodomy, highway robbery, dueling where death occurs and hiding a slave with intent to free him. 2. In three years FDR’s Works Progress Administration built 63,311 of these in North Carolina — what were they? 3. […]

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1. During the Depression the Raleigh Community Chest gave destitute families a food allowance of how much per day — a nickel, a quarter or a dollar? 2. What governor and U.S. senator characterized North Carolina as a state “given to sober second-thought”? 3. True or false: Sir Walter Raleigh never spelled his name as […]

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1. In 1943, Charlotte’s VFW and American Legion posts each held street dances, attended by thousands, to benefit what cause? 2. According to legend, the waters off the Outer Banks were first referred to as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” by what future political figure? 3. True or false: Wild boars are native to North […]

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“Recently, an investigation into the history of the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ as a seasonal greeting in the United States by self-described history nerd Jeremy Aldrich turned up its usage as early as 1863, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. By the middle of the 20th century, the phrase was well established in popular usage, as shown in […]

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  Today marks the 142nd birthday of photographer Bayard Wootten.  Born 17 December 1875, Wootten began her photographic career in 1905 in New Bern.  The photograph above depicts Wooting blowing out candles on one of her many birthday cakes, probably around 1940.  She died on 6 April 1959 in her 83rd year. In 1998 the […]

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“Burlington’s original name, Company Shops, is a shortened version of Company’s Repair Shops, and in 1864 the townspeople — who hated the name — briefly changed it to Vance, only to have the North Carolina Railroad tell them to change it back to Company Shops. “On February 1, 1887, after the North Carolina Railroad had […]

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Several new titles just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in […]

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Today’s rock ‘n’ roll fans wouldn’t think of the late Fats Domino — “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’ ” — as an incendiary performer, but this isn’t 1956, when a riot broke out at his show in Fayetteville.  Police used tear gas to break up the unruly crowd, and Fats jumped out a window to avoid […]

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This sheet showing the “Great Carolina Wren”, from John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, published in 1826-1832, is in the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It came to the University with a bequest from Josephine and Mangum Weeks in 1981, one of 76 prints […]

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The N&O’s David Menconi leaves few strings unfretted in this appreciation of MacArthur winner Rhiannon Giddens, but I can’t pass up an excuse to recall Giddens’s poignant acknowledgement of her North Carolina roots: “I’m a mixed-race person, so I grew up exploring…. I knew there was Indian in the family, so I joined [a drumming […]

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