“Elizabeth City State University… is talking about ending seven undergraduate degree programs because of state funding declines and enrollment shortfalls….
“Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said the proposed cuts were ‘shocking and potentially debilitating,’ but she was especially concerned that an HBCU would deplete its capacity to teach history.
” ‘Nothing is more fundamental than history to students’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens of this diverse and still decidedly unequal democracy,’ she said. ‘Cutting out history means cutting out both memory and hope.’
“Elizabeth City was founded a quarter-century after the Civil War for the purpose of ‘teaching and training teachers of the colored race to teach in the common schools of North Carolina.’
” ‘We’re talking about a university whose primary mission has been the education of African-American Southerners,’ said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, ‘and to say to those students and to their parents and to the community that history is not important is deeply tragic.’ ”
– From “The End of History?” by Ry Rivard at Inside Higher Ed (Oct. 29, 2013)
Update: More protests against ECSU’s
laying waste to “right sizing” its history curriculum.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged American Historical Association, Association of American Colleges and Universities, carol geary schneider, elizabeth city state university, historically black colleges, inside higher ed, james grossman, university of north carolina | Leave a Comment »
On this day in 1864: Capt. Conley of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteers, escaped prisoner of war, describes the Union sympathizers with whom he is hiding in Transylvania County:
“We found them to be rugged stalwart mountaineers; most of them had little culture, but . . . seemed to be determined to die rather than serve in the rebel army. All the men who were liable to military duty and consequently to conscription, spent most of their time in the woods, only coming home for supplies. All of them were heavily armed. I met a number of men here who carried, each, two guns and two revolvers.
“Posses of rebels had frequently been sent in there to hunt up these people, but had almost invariably met with defeat, as these mountaineers would band together and ambush them. We were told that they also tried to capture them with bloodhounds, but that also proved a failure; as not one bloodhound brought in ever got out alive.
“I have never anywhere else known such bitterness as existed between neighbors here. The persecution and hardship that the Union men had been subjected to, very naturally, brought a spirit of retaliation. It was not unusual, as we learned, for persons to be waylaid, and assassinated when passing along the public highways.”
Posted in On This Day | Tagged 101st Pennsylvania Volunteers, civil war pows, transylvania county nc | Leave a Comment »
In addition to the previously mentioned “Uncle Joe” Cannon (1923), Henry L. Stevens Jr. (1932) and Frank McNinch (1938), these Time magazine cover subjects are among those with various degrees of rootedness in North Carolina:
Wallace Wade, Duke football coach (1937). The cover line, noting the South’s newfound football prowess, was classic Timespeak: “Southward the course of history takes its way.”
Ava Gardner (1951).
Billy Graham (1954). Graham would repeat in 1993 (“A Christian in Winter: Billy Graham at 75″), in 1996 with son Franklin Graham (“The Prodigal Son”) and in 2007 (“The Political Confessions of Billy Graham”).
Althea Gibson, tennis player born in Silver, S.C., and reared as a teenager in Wilmington (1957).
Bowman Gray, chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (1960). Check out the illustration.
James Taylor (1971).
Sam Ervin (1973). The first of more than two dozen Watergate covers in coming months.
Jesse Helms (1981). “To the right, march!”
Stanley Pons of Valdese, supposed “cold fusion” discoverer, with colleague Martin Fleischmann (1989). “Fusion or illusion?”
Elizabeth Dole with Hillary Clinton (1996). “Who would be better First Lady?”
Michael Jordan (1998). “We may never see his likes again” — followed a year later by “The world’s biggest superstar calls it quits.”
John Edwards with John Kerry (2004).
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged althea gibson, ava gardner, billy graham, bowman gray, elizabeth dole, james taylor, jesse helms, john edwards, michael jordan, sam ervin, stanley pons, time magazine covers, wallace wade | 1 Comment »
In media eras past, fame was indisputably validated by getting your picture on the cover of Time magazine (not to be confused, of course, with getting it on “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”)
Although the debut cover of Time (March 3, 1923) depicted a Guilford County native — former House Speaker “Uncle Joe” Cannon of Illinois — the Encyclopedia of North Carolina considers little-remembered Henry L. Stevens Jr. of Warsaw the first North Carolinian to achieve the cover (1932).
From the essay supporting the highway historical marker 2 blocks south of Stevens’ home:
“Thrust into the national spotlight in 1931-32, Henry L. Stevens Jr. led the American Legion through a tumultuous period. Himself a decorated veteran of World War I, Stevens presided over the organization’s convention [in Detroit] in September 1931. Following a personal appeal from President Herbert Hoover, the group voted 902-507 not to support the demands of veterans to cash in the remaining 50 percent of their Adjusted Service Certificates.
“Earlier that year, Congress had overridden Hoover’s veto of a measure to permit vets to cash in half of the bonus, resulting in withdrawal of over $1 billion from the treasury. Stevens bore the brunt of criticism and was burned in effigy. Demands were heard for his resignation as national commander….
“The ‘Bonus Army’ marchers descended on Washington in spring 1932 where they set up camps and eventually were routed by Army troops led by General Douglas MacArthur.”
Stevens, a lawyer and longtime Superior Court judge, died in 1971 at age 75.
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged american legion, bonus army, cover of the rolling stone, douglas macarthur, henry l stevens jr, herbert hoover, nc historical markers, time magazine covers, warsaw nc | 1 Comment »
Our October Artifact of the Month serves as an important reminder: Hollywood dazzle aside, the impulse to turn a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional experience is nothing new.
The artifact in question, a 19th-century stereoscope, comes from the collection of the NCC Photographic Archives. The stereoscope gives the illusion of depth to a side-by-side pair of flat images, which, when viewed through the device, appear as one 3D image.
This model, the Holmes Stereoscope — invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr — was the most popular stereoscope in the 19th century.
Get the 3D experience in person
From now through February 2, you can view a selection of stereographic images from the Photographic Archives in the exhibit “Southern Scenery in 3D: 19th-Century Stereographic Photography.” The exhibit in the NCC Gallery includes scenes made by Rufus Morgan, father of noted North Carolina photographer Bayard Wootten, and offers a glimpse of stereographic scenes of the Wilmington waterfront and western North Carolina.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Wilson Library will host the event “North Carolina Through Student Eyes,” where student recipients of the 2012 and 2013 North Carolina Documentary Photography Award will present their projects.
For details on visiting Wilson Library, including hours, parking, and directions, see the Library’s hours and directions page.
Posted in Artifact of the Month, Events & exhibits | Leave a Comment »
On this day in 1882: Presbyterian minister Joseph Wilson, father of Woodrow Wilson, laments in a letter to his son the demands of his latest flock:
“My work here in Wilmington seems to be done, and I think I see evidences amongst the people that some of them think so too. Yet I never preached so well . The fault they find with me is as to visiting. They want a gad-about gossip.”
Posted in On This Day | Tagged wilmington nc, woodrow wilson | Leave a Comment »
Pat McCrory isn’t the first North Carolina governor to find life in the Executive Mansion less than ideal.
In 1969, after Gov. Bob Scott complained about deteriorating conditions in the 1891 behemoth, WBTV in Charlotte issued a call to raze and replace it:
“Though Victorian architecture leaned toward the frilly, there are many such buildings that have a graceful and airy charm. By contrast, the Executive Mansion is a hodgepodge of turrets, balconies, gables and architectural gingerbread assembled into one tasteless mass. At its best, it’s pompous; at its worst, it’s ludicrous. . . . The governor’s mansion was a mistake when it was built, continues to be a mistake and has little value beyond the furnishings it holds and the price that could be gotten out of the sale of its salvage.”
At the instruction of the legislature, plans were drawn for a “French country” residence for the governor; reaction was overwhelmingly negative, however, and the tide turned in favor of renovation, which was completed in 1975.
Posted in History | Tagged gov bob scott, gov pat mccrory, nc executive mansion, wbtv | Leave a Comment »
“In bluegrass circles, it is being called ‘The Moment,’ and some of the people who saw it wept. I heard about it from Gillian Welch. It involved the master guitar player Tony Rice, who was giving a speech late last month in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the occasion of being inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame.
“Rice, who is sixty-one [and lives in Reidsville], is a revered figure in bluegrass…. He released his first record in 1973, and the shadow of his articulate and forceful style falls across the playing of nearly all other bluegrass guitarists. If you play bluegrass guitar, you have to come to terms with Rice the way portrait photographers have to come to terms with Avedon….”
– From “An Astonishing Moment from a Bluegrass Legend” by Alec Wilkinson at newyorker.com (Oct. 14, 2013)
Wilkinson, a New Yorker staff writer since 1980, has also written appreciatively about North Carolinians Doc Watson and Garland Bunting.
Posted in Just A Bite | Tagged alec wilkinson, bluegrass, raleigh nc, the new yorker, tony rice | Leave a Comment »
In 1925 sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who would later become famous for Mount Rushmore, proposed carving an enormous memorial to Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson on the cliffs at Chimney Rock above Lake Lure.
Borglum, who had become estranged from sponsors of a similar memorial he had already begun at Stone Mountain, Georgia, was scouting for another site and another benefactor. The Lake Lure idea didn’t pan out, and the Stone Mountain project went on without him.
Borglum also sculpted the acclaimed North Carolina monument on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg and the statues of Henry Lawson Wyatt and Gov. Charles B. Aycock in Raleigh’s Capitol Square (both restored in 2008).
Posted in Tar Heelia | Tagged gov charles b aycock, gutzon borglum, henry lawson wyatt, mount rushmore, raleigh capitol square, stone mountain georgia | Leave a Comment »