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“FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The nation’s worst two-truck highway wreck has claimed its 20th victim, one more than the previous record set in a similar wreck in Texas in 1947.
“Thursday’s fiery collision occurred at an intersection [U.S. 301 and N.C. 162] about 9 miles south of here….
“The victims were members of a crew of about 40 Negro farm laborers, heading toward the day’s job of bean picking….”

— From “Wreck toll now standing at 20 dead” (Associated Press, June 8, 1957)

 The death toll on the overburdened highway already known as Bloody 301 would later reach 21.

Chick Jacobs has a detailed look back in the Fayetteville Observer.

 

“In the fall of 1814 [after the British burning of Washington] Congress crowded into one of the few surviving public buildings, the Patent Office (now the National Museum of American Art), and debated whether the capital should be moved someplace else, perhaps inland, to a location ‘with greater security and less inconvenience.’

“Congressmen who supported remaining in Washington argued on more defiant symbolic grounds. ‘I would rather sit under canvas in the city than remove one mile out of it to a palace,’  declared Samuel Farrow of South Carolina. Or, as Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina warned: ‘If the seat of government is once set on wheels, there is no saying where it will stop.’ ”

— From “American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Addressby Stephen Puleo (2016)

Given Macon’s reputation for fiscal tightfistedness, he might also have wanted to avoid the expense of relocation.

 

On this day in 1888: George Washington Vanderbilt, age 25, purchases the first of 661 parcels that will ultimately become his 125,000-acre Biltmore Estate near Asheville. He is the youngest of eight children of railroad tycoon William Henry Vanderbilt, reputedly the world’s richest man.

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We’re a day late in marking the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth. But, on the principle of better late than never (that’s always been my view on gift giving and receipt), North Carolina Miscellany and its sister blog A View to Hugh share with you images of the 35th President.

Many of the North Carolina Collection’s images of Kennedy are found in the Hugh Morton Collection. Morton, less than four years younger than JFK, photographed Kennedy on several occasions. The photo above features Kennedy, at the time a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, addressing the North Carolina Caucus at the 1956 Democratic National Convention.

In 1961, as President, Kennedy visited Chapel Hill and spoke at UNC’s University Day celebration in Kenan Stadium. Morton was among the photographers who snapped photographs that day.

The North Carolina Collection’s photographic archivist, Stephen Fletcher, has shared the stories behind some of Morton’s photographs of Kennedy on A View to Hugh.

The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives includes the works of other photographers who captured Kennedy on film. Burlington Times-News staff photographer Edward J. McCauley covered a Kennedy campaign appearance in Greensboro in 1960. The future president appeared with Terry Sanford (to his left and campaigning for Governor), Governor Luther H. Hodges and Senator Sam J. Ervin.

Photographs of Kennedy and his 1960 Presidential campaign opponent Richard Nixon helped the Charlotte Observer‘s Don Sturkey win recognition as National Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1961. In the photo below Kennedy is joined by U.S. Congressman Herbert C. Bonner and Sanford on a campaign stop at East Carolina University in Greenville.

Copyright is held by Don Sturkey. All use requires permission of Don Sturkey.

Word has it that our collections may include images of Kennedy captured by different photographers at the same event. One photographer may have even included another photographer in his shot. That’s for you to verify. Happy hunting!

“What I like most about Frank Deford‘s new novel—and I like many things about it—is the stunning fidelity with which it brings back to life a place and time that I knew intimately: North Carolina, Chapel Hill in particular, during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. How he does this mystifies me, for he is neither a native North Carolinian nor an alumnus of the University of North Carolina; but he reveals himself in Everybody’s All-American (Viking, $13.95) to be about as close to a Tar Heel born and bred as any Baltimore Yankee (which Deford is) could ever hope to be….

“Deford recaptures the North Carolina scene dating back to 1954, the year his fictional protagonist, Gavin Grey, finished up at UNC. Not merely does Deford know all the words to all the songs, he knows the accents and inflections they were sung in and what the singers wore….”

— From “In Frank Deford’s novel, a football hero finds the hurrahs don’t last” by Jonathan Yardley in Sports Illustrated (Oct. 26, 1981)

Deford died Sunday in Key West. He was 78.

 

“We played the Love Valley Festival up in North Carolina, and I’m not sure we ever got paid. Love Valley was the idea of this old man named Andy Barker….

“The local sheriff tried to put my brother in jail, because Duane got a ticket for speeding on his way in there…. Barker told him, ‘As soon as you’re done playing, boy, you have to go into that jail.’ …

“We just started playing. We were playing good too…. and somebody threw mud up on my brother’s guitar. Big mistake, because that was it. He finished the set, walked off the stage, got in his car, and left.”

– From “My Cross to Bear” by Gregg Allman (2012)

Scholars of rock star autobiographies won’t be surprised to learn that this one contains at least 171 f-bombs (according to Amazon) and that the above passage is heavily expurgated.

Allman also notes that his mother, Geraldine (“Gerry”) was from Rocky Mount and that she was working in Raleigh during World War II when she met his father, who on was home on leave from the Army.  

[Gregg Allman died Saturday. This Miscellany post originally appeared in 2012.]

 

On this day in 1917: Black business leaders C.C. Spaulding and Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore tell the Durham Chamber of Commerce that 1,500 to 2,000 blacks have left the city in the previous 90 days.

The exodus of black Southerners to the North, begun during Reconstruction, has accelerated since 1900, when white supremacists resumed legal and political dominance.

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Uncle Otis’s Homebrew from More than moonshine : Appalachian recipes and recollections.

Aunt Bernice’s Chunky Sandwich Spread from Count our blessings : 75 years of recipes and memories / Myers Park Presbyterian Church.

Grandmother’s Stuffed Steak from Favorite recipes of the Carolinas : meats edition, including poultry and seafood.

Mom’s Squash Fritters from Columbus County cookbook II.

Grammy Low’s Meat Pie from Love yourself cookbook : easy recipes for one or two.

Mom de Hoog’s Butter Cookies from Welkom : Terra Ceia cookbook III, a collection of recipes.

Why the recurring preoccupation with [Black Mountain College], a short-lived, unaccredited school at the back of beyond, which never had enough students to pay its way? It could be the school’s believe-it-or-not story and how, the more you learn about it, the more unlikely it seems….

Between Black Mountain and most of today’s universities (and art schools), there lies an unbridgeable gap between teachers willing and able to make a full commitment to students who would do the same, and institutions staffed by poorly paid adjuncts who’d be mad to invest any more care in their fleeting charges than Uber drivers do in their next fare. It’s the gap between a society of members who take responsibility for the whole, and bloated administrations and boards that imagine schools can be run like corporations. It’s the gap between the desire to live and work together as a community day and night, and the fantasy that massive open online courses will allow fewer teachers to impart information to ever more numerous and ever more atomized recipients. It’s the gap between a desire for equality, on the one hand, and the bottom line of profit-making corporations, on the other….”

— From The Weirdness and Joy of Black Mountain College” by Barry Schwabsky in the Nation (Feb. 24, 2016)

 

Services for the poor in the early 20th century were often rooted in church organizations in most parts of North Carolina. The basic social safety nets that exist now were yet to be in those early decades, and welfare programs in many parts of the country were grassroots efforts led by a few well-intentioned humanitarians.

Captain David G. Coy and his wife were career charity workers. Their story draws from an array of local news stories in historic newspapers in and around North Carolina documenting their efforts. After years in service of the Salvation Army in multiple locations, Captain Coy came to work with the Volunteers of America – a group doing similar work to the Salvation Army – in Hickory. The Coys established a Volunteers’ Home in Hickory in 1916. The Volunteers’ Home had ten rooms that the Coys used to provide shelter for the less fortunate. Coy was able to raise the rent of the house from local churches, and fund the remainder of the expenses through community fundraising.

The Hickory Daily Record documented and celebrated the Coys’ efforts in its pages, and played an active role in promoting the charity work. Coy received a donation of a carload of coal from Mr. Otis Mouser, the vice-president of the Stonega Coke and Coal Company (Big Stone Gap, Virginia).  Captain Coy convinced the city of Hickory to cover the freight cost to bring the coal to town. The Hickory Ice and Coal Company offered space for storage, and coal came to needy families in wagons owned by Mr. Eubert Lyerly.

Captain Coy had been active with the Salvation Army in Johnson City, Tennessee, as early as 1910. The Coys took leave of Johnson City for Silver City, New Mexico in the spring of 1911. “The Captain goes there for his health,” explained The Comet. They again left Tennessee for Cincinnati in 1912, but returned to Johnson City in September of that year, again taking charge of the Salvation Army’s efforts.

In Hickory, the Volunteers raised over $300 in 1916 for their Empty Stocking Fund, providing for a Christmas tree in the town, as well as 58 Christmas baskets distributed to families, each containing foodstuffs for a Christmas feast. The Hickory Daily Record supported this effort with a donation certificate run in its pages through the holiday season. Announcements came out every few days on the Daily Record’s front page, calling for more donations and praising local residents who had given a few dollars.

Captain Coy managed to gather resources to host a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. George Bradley, who had given up their children and suffered from tuberculosis. The couple received shelter in the form of a tent set up outside the Volunteers’ Home. The Hickory Daily Record ran personalized stories such as this (“Tent Is Needed For Young Married Couple,” Hickory Daily Record, January 27, 1917) to promote and draw support for the Coys’ efforts.

In 1917, just months after his Christmas season success, there was a public call for Captain Coy to abandon his efforts in Hickory. City residents discovered that Coy and a friend had spent a few days in Atlanta, and gone through around $200 of the charity funds raised from the public. The Coys later went on to work with the Volunteers of America in Jackson, Tennessee.

A charity coupon for Captain Coy’s Volunteers of America; from the Hickory Daily Record, November 25, 1916.

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