Can’t beat this poster for capturing its era, both in content and  design. Signed by “Bellows” — ring a bell with anyone?

Gloria Steinem visited campus as part of a 1974 Women’s Festival. “All feminists are viewed as angry and difficult, but they’re not,” she told a press conference. “We enjoy the movement; it makes us better people. It’s joyful.”

Afterward, according to the Daily Tar Heel, she “strolled into 205 Union flicking her long brown hair away from her famous purple goggle glasses.”

Drama ensued, however, at the evening’s banquet: “Steinem carried her salad outside the Carolina Inn and dumped it on the ground in a demonstration of solidarity with the United Farm Workers lettuce boycott. A line of 10 sign-carrying pickets cheered….”


1. The term “Final Four” was first used to describe the NCAA basketball championship held in what city?

2. True or false: Chautauquas, a popular adult education movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, owe their name to an Indian village in North Carolina.

3. In Bruce Springsteen’s “Cadillac Ranch” (1980) who is “runnin’ thru the woods of Caroline”?

4. On June 13, 1956, Oren Pruitt of Charlotte became the first fatality on a Piedmont Airlines flight. How did he die?

5. What 1831 event led the city of Raleigh to put all free blacks under arrest and a grand jury there to indict abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison for sedition?

Answers below….







1. Greensboro. A recap of the 1974 season appearing in the annual Official Collegiate Basketball Guide mentioned Marquette as “one of the final four in Greensboro.”

2. True. Chautauqua was the name of the Tuscarora settlement that preceded New Bern. Tuscaroras who migrated to upstate New York gave the name to Lake Chautauqua, where the first community assemblies were held.

3. Junior Johnson.

4. Traveling with his wife on a honeymoon trip to Asheville, Pruitt had been drinking. Finding the restroom in use, he opened the DC-3’s rear stair door by mistake and fell 6,500 feet into a Shelby cemetery.

5. The Nat Turner Rebellion, in which slaves in Southampton County, Va., just over the state line, killed more than 50 white men, women and children.



As early as 1913, North Carolina municipalities were empowered to collect local taxes by issuing license plates. The most recent I’ve seen: Blowing Rock 2010.

Most only named the town, but some took the opportunity to self-promote. Take that, Wilson and Tarboro and Rocky Mount!


“In the 1920s, the journalist Nell Battle Lewis of North Carolina never questioned the absolute need for racial segregation even as she criticized the violence committed in the name of Jim Crow. Staying in the racial fold, she was afforded the opportunity to blast her state’s regressive labor and gender politics. Being a white supremacist, even a liberal one, meant that she remained part of the conversation.”

By the 1950s, Battle had dramatically reversed course on “so-called ‘liberalism,’ which so often, like mine was [during the Gastonia strike of 1929], is not only ignorant and neurotic, but very dangerous.”


1. In 1940 only two U.S. cities with populations over 100,000 prohibited Sunday movies. One was Knoxville, Tenn. What was the other?

2. What university was long known as “Eecy-teecy”?

3. In the ’50s and ’60s, drivers on N.C. highways feared “Whammy” — what was it?

4. In 2003 a high school basketball game drew more than 15,000 fans to the Greensboro Coliseum. Who was the attraction?

5. In a bow to the late Charlotte journalist and social satirist, what contemporary writer devised “the (Harry) Golden Rule”?

Answers below….








1. Charlotte. “‘Life is one continuous blue law,” writer W. J. Cash complained about the city. In 1941, however, fearing loss of the Charlotte Army Air Base and its 2,000 soldiers, City Council hastily legalized Sunday movies — and baseball.

2. East Carolina University, which was East Carolina Teachers College until 1951.

3. The state’s first mechanical device to nab speeders. Two air-filled rubber hoses laid across the road turned a timer on and off, giving the officer a mph reading. Although used elsewhere, apparently the device was known as Whammy only in North Carolina. The name likely came from Evil Eye Fleegle, a character in the “Li’l Abner” comic strip.

4. LeBron James, touring with his Akron, Ohio, team a few months before declaring for the NBA.

5. Calvin Trillin. To wit: “In modern America, anyone who attempts to write satirically about the events of the day finds it difficult to concoct a situation so bizarre that it may not actually come to pass while his article is still on the presses.”


Carolina Elephant Token

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, founding Keeper of the North Carolina Collection Gallery.

The Lords Proprietors were ruling landlords of the Province until their descendants sold their interests back to the Crown in 1729.  The Proprietors’ early attempts to populate the Province met with little success, although there were incentives to migrate.

The token takes its name from its full-body image of an elephant on the obverse.  The reverse has the lettering: “GOD : / PRESERVE : / CAROLINA : AND / THE : LORDS : / PROPRIETORS . / 1694.”  The token is copper, 28 mm in diameter, and was probably struck at London’s Tower Mint.  The piece is about the same size and weight as the abundant half-penny tokens that circulated in late seventeenth century London, and this might be the source of its description as a “token.”  A token is a money substitute usually issued by merchants at times when government-produced coins were in short supply.  There is no evidence that it ever circulated in the Province of Carolina or that it was made for that purpose.

Fulghum’s article speculates that the token may have circulated in the Royal Exchange in London and at the nearby Carolina Coffee-House on Birchin Lane.  It is known that the Proprietors and their agents frequented these locations and gave weekly presentations about their colony at the coffeehouse.  The Carolina Elephant token might have been used as a promotional reminder to potential settlers of Carolina.  Holders of Carolina tokens might have been able to redeem the pieces for some offering or premium at the Birchin Lane establishment or at an affiliated company store.

The North Carolina Collection holds an electrotype copy likely produced in the nineteenth century and several modern souvenir copies.  Genuine Carolina Elephant tokens are quite rare, and this Artifact of the Month is an important addition to the NCC’s early North Carolina numismatic collection.

Though best known for Texas Pete hot sauce, concocted in 1929, the TW Garner Food Co. has produced a wide and oft-tweaked range of condiments. Among recent additions: Salsas and wing sauces.

Its minimalist pepper sauce has remained a staple, however. “When whole, green Tabasco peppers are soaked in vinegar and salt,” Garner promises, “the result is a tangy, spicy topping with flavor that’ll make you say ‘Heavens to Betsy!’ ”

Where would collards be without it?

Footnote: The four figures at the top of the label represent the company founders — Sam Garner and sons Thad, Ralph and Harold.

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 months ago when editors and women began calling me a sexist and the content of my gags ‘sexual harassment’…

“I wouldn’t want to call it a conspiracy, but there seems to be a ‘Concerted Effort’ to make me drop Miss Buxley….I’m not sure I should cave in to such a minority and deprive my mass readership of its enjoyment….”

Miss Buxley survived, although (eventually) in toned-down circumstances. As noted in the Washington Post’s obit: “In 1997, responding to criticism from feminists who objected to Halftrack’s longtime ogling of Miss Buxley, Mr. Walker had the elderly general attend sensitivity training. Gone were gags such as the one in which Halftrack approves of the three-martini lunch that enables him to see double Miss Buxleys.”


“To the spectators at the streak Wednesday night:

“As loyal streakers to Carolina, who happen to be female, we do not feel that touching our breasts and/or other genitalia is necessary to the spirit of the streak. It was degrading both to us and the people who did it. We feel that it has defeated the spirit of the streak, which is to promote unity and togetherness of men and women.”

— From “Some degraded coed streakers,” a letter to the Daily Tar Heel from “The 64 Carolina Coed Streakers” (March 8, 1974)


AIDS quilt panel display

AIDS Memorial Quilt panel display in the UNC Student Union

Thanks to the efforts of Carolina undergraduate Elizabeth Trefney, UNC is privileged to be hosting an exhibit featuring a panel from the historic AIDS Memorial Quilt. The panel will be on display in the Carolina Student Union Building through January 31. The exhibit serves as a powerful reminder of the devastating global impact of HIV/AIDS, a point also emphasized by a collection of photographs in the North Carolina Collection’s Photographic Archives.

Trefney’s interest in coordinating the Student Union exhibit is both universal and personal: She wanted to remind the UNC community of those whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS, and in particular to honor her late uncle, Jeremy Trefney (1957-1988), who passed away due to complications from HIV and is memorialized on a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt panel’s presence also celebrates the role of UNC’s School of Medicine and other medical research facilities in making groundbreaking advances in HIV/AIDS treatment.

The Jerome Friar Collection

Coincidentally, the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives in the Wilson Special Collections Library holds a collection of photographs that contains images of the quilt on the National Mall in Washington, DC on the Mall, starting with its origins in 1987 and depicting its subsequent periodic display through the late 1990s.

National Mall AIDS Quilt display, 1987

Demonstrations: AIDS: “AIDS quilt on mall,” 11 October 1987 (The first time the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed on the National Mall.) Photograph by Jerome Friar Image from P0090/0586 – Black-and-White Kodak TMY 5053 35mm Roll Film

The photos were made by Jerome Friar, a North Carolina native and photographer who worked in DC in the 1980s and 90s. Friar worked for a stock photography group called Impact Visuals, which provided timely and relevant images to social justice organizations for use in their publications. (Our younger readers may be surprised to learn that such a service was necessary in pre-Internet days.)

AIDS Memorial Quilt display, National Mall

Demonstrations: AIDS: “AIDS quilt on mall,” 11 October 1989. Photograph by Jerome Friar. Image from P0090/0589: Color 35mm Mounted Slide

The Jerome Friar Collection contains approximately 240 (on 13 different rolls of film) images of the quilt on the National Mall. The images taken on October 11, 1987, 1989, 1992, and circa 1995-1997 show how the quilt’s display evolved as the numbers of HIV/AIDS victims grew, as the disease became more widely diagnosed/recognized, and as some of the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS began to recede.

AIDS Quilt display on National Mall

Demonstrations: AIDS: “AIDS quilt on mall,” 11 October 1992. Photo by Jerome Friar. Image from P0090/0605 – Black-and-White Kodak 5063 TX 35mm Roll Film

Hands linked in front of AIDS Quilt display

Demonstrations: AIDS: “AIDS quilt on mall,” 11 October 1992. Photo by Jerome Friar. Image from P0090/0607 – Black-and-White Kodak 5063 TX 35mm Roll Film

Friar was most likely assigned to cover the quilt when it was first displayed on the National Mall in 1987 because it was one of the first large public events organized by AIDS activists. In addition to the images of the quilt, Friar’s photographs also depict numerous HIV/AIDS-related demonstrations organized by groups such as ACT-UP, intended to raise awareness of the disease among politicians in Washington in the 1980s and 90s.

Activists holding signs and shouting

Friar’s photographs of HIV/AIDS-related activism span the 1980s and 90s. Photograph by Jerome Friar. Image from P0090/0587 – Black-and-White Kodak 5053 TMY 35mm Roll Film

hands flipping through envelopes of photographs

Friar’s photographs are available for research in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

A rare opportunity

If you’re on or near the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, don’t miss the chance to see the quilt panel while it’s in the Student Union, through January 31.

Photographs from the Jerome Friar Collection are available for research in the Wilson Special Collections Library at any time. Come visit us!

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