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Archive for the ‘Tar Heelia’ Category

The Carolina Elephant token is the earliest known numismatic artifact that refers to the Carolinas.  It is dated 1694, before the 1712 separation of the Province of Carolina into North and South Carolina colonies.  The origin and purpose of the token remain enigmatic despite extensive research that includes a seminal article written by Neil Fulghum, […]

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News of cartoonist Mort Walker’s death came not long after I happened onto a lengthy 1981 letter Walker wrote to Charlotte Observer features editor Bob Ashley defending a newly controversial character in Beetle Bailey: “I’ve been using Miss Buxley once a week for about ten years and never got a complaint really until about three […]

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1. Contrary to plans, the 1928 silver anniversary commemoration of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk didn’t feature a fly-over by squadrons of Naval airships from Virginia. Why? 2. “There is not a modern New York hostess, scarcely even an old-fashioned one, who does not have cigarettes passed after dinner.” This social advice […]

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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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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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