Pat McCrory isn’t the first North Carolina governor to strike back at efforts to make cigarette packaging less appealing.
In 1959, Luther Hodges wired Gov. Ralph Herseth of South Dakota to protest a bill that would require tobacco to carry a skull and crossbones label and the statement “Not recommended by state of South Dakota”:
“I know that you would not want the General Assembly of North Carolina to pass a law requiring that any farm products originating from South Dakota and offered for sale in North Carolina must carry labels warning that, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, South Dakota soil has the highest content in the nation of selenium, a well known poison.”
In response, South Dakota took only three days to kill the proposed anti-tobacco measure. Gov. McCrory can only wish Ireland and France were as accommodating.
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged cigarette packaging, gov luther hodges, gov pat mccrory, gov ralph herseth | Leave a Comment »
“The most famous (or infamous) Charlotte draftee in Germany [during World War II] was probably Lt. Kenneth D. Williams. Williams was the bombardier on a Flying Fortress named Murder, Inc. that was shot down over Bremen in December 1943. The Goebbels propaganda ministry photographed Williams in his flight jacket with ‘Murder, Inc.’ emblazoned across the back….
“One Nazi broadcaster in a ‘howling rage’ reportedly declared: ‘Gangster Williams is now in our hands…. He belongs to America’s secret weapon — a mass murder league — which has been set loose against us.’
“Williams’ mother, inspired no doubt by her son’s situation, would later win an award for selling the most bonds during a local War Bond campaign.”
– From “The Queen City at War” by Stephen Herman Dew (2001)
Actually, engine trouble had grounded Murder, Inc. that day, putting its crew in a backup B-17 nicknamed Aristocrap. Lt. Williams didn’t switch jackets, of course.
Williams returned home in 1945 after 17 months in a German POW camp. In 1956 he was named Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s civil defense director, and he retired in 1983 as county emergency management director. He died in 2003.
His “Murder, Inc.” jacket hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Here’s Williams’ first-person account of being shot down, captured and depicted by German officials as a gangster recruited from Alcatraz.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged bremen germany, charlotte nc, kenneth d williams, murder inc, queen city at war, stephen herman dew, world war ii prisoners | 1 Comment »
On this day in 1908: Greensboro opens a week of centennial festivities, including a re-enactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, a parade of Confederate veterans and the dedication of the 20,000-seat Hippodrome Auditorium. (The corrugated iron building, purchased from the Jamestown Exposition of 1907, is billed as second only to Madison Square Garden in seating capacity.)
The Charlotte Observer reports favorably on “the generosity shown by the Greensboro white people to the negroes in their midst. At the fair the darky has been given a show and in the auditorium a section. This broad-minded way of dealing with the negro caused favorable comment by visitors.”
Posted in On This Day | Tagged battle of guilford courthouse, charlotte observer, greensboro nc, hippodrome auditorium, jamestown exposition | Leave a Comment »
“[Harry] Golden claimed that Jews and African-Americans shared a friendly history in the South because Southern Jewish store-owners allowed black customers to try on clothes and addressed them as ‘Mr.’ when others did not. ‘The white Protestant in the South loves “the Jewish people,” but is highly suspicious of the individual Jew. His emotions are in reverse with respect to the Negro. He loves the individual Negro, but hates the “people,”‘ Golden wrote.”
– From “Race And Identity In The ‘Golden’ Era” by Eliza McGraw in the Jewish Week (Oct. 20, 2010)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged harry golden, southern racial attitudes | Leave a Comment »
On this day in 1856: Benjamin Hedrick, chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina, publishes a defense of his abolitionist views in the North Carolina Standard of Raleigh.
In response, the faculty denounces him, the board of trustees dismisses him and an unsuccessful attempt is made to tar and feather him at an educational conference in Salisbury. Hedrick, a native of Davidson County, flees to New York and spends the rest of his life in the North.
Posted in On This Day | Tagged benjamin hedrick, nc abolitionists, salisbury nc, university of north carolina | 1 Comment »
“Townsmen did not take lightly affronts to their virgins. In Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1845, for instance, three young men had made up enormous posters directing obscenities against ‘some of the respected young ladies of the community,’ the local editor said, and had nailed the signs to the courthouse door.
“Early the next morning the villagers were highly agitated. The town’s young men found the culprit out, gained confessions and rode all three on a rail, each covered in the customary feathery garb. The newspaper piously denounced the rough work, but excused it on the grounds that all townsfolk had agreed about the imperative for ‘summary punishment.'”
– From “Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South” by Bertram Wyatt-Brown (2007)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged antebellum nc, bertram wyatt-brown, charlotte nc, southern honor | Leave a Comment »
Although television ads for the U.S. Senate race have been at saturation level since early summer, the traditional campaign season started just this month. Before long our mailboxes will be filled with postcards, letters, and flyers touting or demonizing one candidate or another. You may not love this, but we in the North Carolina Collection do. The North Carolina Collection attempts to document the heritage of the state—and that includes our politics. Would you save the political postcards, letters, and flyers that you receive and send them to the North Carolina Collection?
We’re interested in races at all levels—county sheriff to senator. We would like our collection to be representative of the whole state, both geographically and ideologically. Those of you who are registered as independents are likely to get the most mailings. People who are registered with a party affiliation will get fewer, but many of us have family members or friends who are independents or whose politics differ from ours. Would you consider asking them for the mailings that they get? Whatever you collect can be put in a box or envelope and send them to:
North Carolina Collection
P.O. Box 8890
CB 3930, Wilson Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890
We collected over 1,400 pieces of campaign ephemera relating to the 2008 election and somewhat more than that in 2012. Let’s do it again!
Posted in Tar Heelia | Leave a Comment »
“In the eyes of some, passenger pigeon parts [beyond the feathers used for stuffing pillows and beds] held one more valuable property: medicinal.
“Dr. John Brickell, writing on the natural history of North Carolina in 1737, stated that the blood was effective in the treatment of the eyes and, when swallowed, ‘cures bloody fluxes.’
“He also had a good word for the dung, saying it could relieve most anything that ails, including headaches, pleurisy, apoplexy and lethargy. How the physician administered the dung is left obscure.”
– From “A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction” by Joel Greenberg (2014)
For everything you could ever imagine wanting to know about the passenger pigeon in North Carolina, check out Greenberg’s Project Passenger Pigeon.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged a feathered river across the sky, dr john brickell, joel greenberg, passenger pigeon, project passenger pigeon | 1 Comment »