“Oaths among gentlemen also figured in political activities. In 1823, for example, Willie P. Mangum, a North Carolina planter [and future U.S. senator], came to an agreement with Daniel L. Barringer, a militia general and rival for [Congress]. The pair swore before Sheriff H. B. Adams not to campaign for votes — canvassing being considered beneath dignity in low-country North Carolina.
“But later, before the election, each accused the other of violations. Adams certified that, though both had ‘pledged their honours…. in a most sacred manner,’ Barringer had violated his oath. Furious and embarrassed, Barringer challenged Mangum to a duel, but friends intervened successfully to prevent it.”
-- 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, daniel l barringer, southern honor, willie p mangum | Leave a Comment »
“People cry more than you would think in the archives. Emotions can run very high when an individual is confronting information that impacts their lives.
“Once a colleague of Dr. King, well into his 80s, burst into tears
looking at essays he’d written that were with Dr. King when he died. Recently, a
high school junior cried over the hand-written manuscript of ‘The Color Purple.’
“Archives are about humanity as much as scholarship.”
– Courtney Chartier, head of Research Services for the Manuscript,
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged archives, courtney chartier, dr martin luther king, emory university, the color purple, the southern register | Leave a Comment »
“1969: As integration spreads at Southern schools, some black cheerleaders refuse to dance to ‘Dixie’ or wave the Confederate flag…. Violence erupts in Burlington, North Carolina, after recently integrated Walter Williams High School fails to select any black cheerleaders. The governor [Bob Scott] declares a state of emergency and a curfew, and 400 National Guard troops arrive to quell riots. A black 15-year-old student named Leon Mebane is killed.”
No one was ever charged in Leon Mebane’s death.
“It’s like a blank moment in history,” said Daniel Koehler, who recalled the case in a 2010 documentary, “Burlington: A City Divided.” “The newspapers say Mebane was caught in the crossfire, but eyewitness reports say that Leon was stopped by Burlington police, put up his hands and was shot 17 times.”
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged burlington nc, daniel koehler, hands up, leon mebane, mother jones | Leave a Comment »
How are you traveling home for the holidays? In 1903, your travels may have included a ride in a horse-drawn carriage or buggy such as the one pictured above from the Corbitt Buggy Company of Henderson, N.C. The company would go on to manufacture North Carolina’s first commercially produced car in 1907, “The Corbitt Motor Buggy.” Read more about the manufacture of automobiles at the Corbitt buggy factory in the July 15, 1909 issue of the Henderson Gold Leaf.
Posted in From the Stacks, History, NC Historic Newspapers, Tar Heelia | Tagged automobiles, factories, henderson nc, transportation | Leave a Comment »
UNC can count many popular musicians on its list of notable alumni. Among the very earliest is Hal Kemp, the big band leader of the 1920s and 30s who started his musical career at UNC and went on to achieve national fame. Kemp’s saxophone and clarinet are our December Artifacts of the Month.
Kemp organized his first dance band, the five-piece Merrymakers, when he was still in high school at Charlotte Central High. After entering UNC in 1922 he started the Carolina Club Orchestra, which recorded for Okeh records and performed in Europe during summer breaks. Before graduating, Kemp invited Kay Kyser to take over as bandleader for the Carolina Club Orchestra.
The seven-piece combo Kemp formed during his senior year became the foundation for the professional band he established in the spring of 1926, the year he graduated. While it was active, Kemp’s band recorded some of the era’s major hits and consistently appeared in the top ten of the Billboard’s College Poll. It was the first band featured in a motion picture — 1938’s Radio City Revels.
Kemp’s instruments were generously donated by his nephew, Howard Yates Dunaway, Jr.
Dunaway traveled with the band as a teenager in the 1930s, helping to set up the band members’ instruments. When he brought the saxophone and clarinet, Dunaway, now in his 90s, shared his memories of life on the road with his uncle’s band.
Kemp’s saxophone is a Buescher Aristocrat.
Howard Dunaway and his brother Kemp Dunaway inherited the family’s musical talent: Howard played violin in the Charlotte Symphony at age 16. And his brother Kemp played these very instruments, which he had inherited from his uncle.
Howard Dunaway, from the 1947 UNC yearbook the Yackety Yack.
Kemp Dunaway, from the 1947 Yackety Yack.
Hal Kemp wasn’t with us long enough. He died following an auto accident in 1940 at just 35. But his recordings will be with us forever — and so will his instruments. The North Carolina Collection Gallery is proud to care for these artifacts, which tell an important story of a time when UNC made significant contributions to the world of popular music.
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“I spent September, October and November, 1865, in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia….
“I judge, from the stories told to me by various persons, that my reception was something better than that accorded to the majority of Northern men traveling in that section….
“In one of the principal towns of Western North Carolina, the landlord of the hotel said to a customer, while he was settling his bill, that he would be glad to have him say a good word for the house to any of his friends; ‘but,’ added he, ‘you may tell all d—d Yankees I can git ‘long jest as well, if they keep clar o’ me'; and when I asked if the Yankees were poor pay, or made him extra trouble, he answered, ‘I don’t want ‘em ’round. I ha’n’t got no use for ‘em nohow.’ In another town in the same State, a landlord said to me, when I paid my two-days’ bill, that ‘no d—n Yankee’ could have a bed in his house.’ ”
– From “Three Months Among the Reconstructionists” by Sidney Andrews in Atlantic Monthly (February 1866)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged atlantic monthly, reconstruction in nc, sidney andrews | Leave a Comment »
“The China National Tobacco Corp. is by far the largest cigarette maker in the world. In 2013 it manufactured about 2.5 trillion cigarettes. Its next largest competitor, Philip Morris International, produced 880 billion. …
“Last year, China National opened an office in suburban Raleigh to facilitate its growing purchases of American tobacco…..
“A few years ago, a delegation from China National showed up at the farm of Thaddeus ‘Pender’ Sharp III, whose family has grown tobacco near Sims, N.C., since the late 1800s. Wearing business attire and bearing gifts, they told Sharp they wanted to buy some of his tobacco. Sharp says China’s cigarette market reminds him of the U.S. of his childhood, when ‘people smoked everywhere but church’ and the government didn’t care much about tobacco’s effects. Inevitably, he says, China will strengthen its antismoking laws….For now, though, China National represents a way for the Sharp family to prosper.
” ‘It’s not like we are going to quit because 50 years from now everyone might not smoke,’ says Sharp, who hangs his gift from China National, a hand-painted scroll, near the door of his office. ‘Hell, no! We are going to make a living for 50 years.’ ”
— From “The Chinese Government Is Getting Rich Selling Cigarettes” b at businessweek.com (Dec. 11)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged business week, china national tobacco corp, lucama nc, nc tobacco farming, raleigh nc, sims nc | Leave a Comment »
“Ministers from mainstream Southern denominations preached pro-war sermons, such as the one delivered by the Presbyterian minister in Dunn, North Carolina, in January 1918 and headlined in the Raleigh News & Observer: ‘Teutons Cannot Win, Proof from Bible.’
“Other Christians had different views. In March 1917, before the declaration of war, a group of ministers from Littleton, North Carolina, wrote to [House Majority Leader] Claude Kitchin that ‘War entered into until every effort that can be made to avert it is made is murder.’… ”
– From “Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight: Race, Class, and Power in the Rural South” by Jeanette Keith (2004)
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged cluade kitchin, dunn nc, food administration, herbert hoover, littleton nc, wheat production, wwi in nc | Leave a Comment »
Curious about how often the New York Times has referred to “Tar Heel” over the past century and a half, I applied the Chronicle tool and was surprised to see a prominent spike in 1970. A big year for politics in North Carolina, perhaps? Or sports?
Of the 73 citations I found — only .06 percent of all Times articles — no fewer than 65 reported in agate type on harness racing results from Yonkers and Roosevelt tracks. Mentioned in all: a horse known as Claire’s Tar Heel.
Note to self: Remember to look skeptically at small sample sizes.
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged harness racing, ny times chronicle | Leave a Comment »