I am working with some Hugh Morton negatives today, and I just came across one that seems to be misidentified or misfiled. Morton filed this unidentified negative amidst those of other negatives he pulled together when compiling images for the book Making a Difference in North Carolina—a book we have referred to many times here at A View to Hugh. One slight problem: Morton filed this negative among those for Governor J. Melville Broughton and he’s not depicted. Instead we see a different North Carolina governor, R. Gregg Cherry, seated on a sofa surrounded by eleven other people. Who are they . . . and where and why are they gathered?
Here are a couple guesses to get started:
The person seated in the middle of the scene looking down and away from the camera looks like John W. Harden. In Making a Difference in North Carolina, his chapter is titled, “John W. Harden: PR Pioneer, Noted Communicator.” A caption under one of the photographs in the book notes that Harden served on the State Board of Conservation and Development—a board on which Hugh Morton also served.
The man on the far left looks like Bill Sharpe, one-time editor of The State.
Is that photographer John Hemmer in the righthand corner wearing a striped tie?
Please add a comment if you think you might recognize some of those faces.
Today is International Women’s Day, a day that has been recognized since the early 1900s. The theme for this year is “Be Bold for Change.” In the United States, today is also being observed as “A Day Without a Woman.” A View to Hugh would like to participate in the celebration by asking you to help change some things in the online collection of Hugh Morton photographs: reduce the number of photographs that have in their descriptions the phrase “unidentified woman” or “unidentified women.” The combined total currently stands forty-six images. Wouldn’t it be great if we could reach the ultimate goal of “a day without unidentified women?”
Here’s how you can participate. Click on either of the following linked phrases: “unidentified woman” or “unidentified women.” Each will take you into the online image collection via a pre-determined search. You can then browse through the images looking for anyone you can identify.
If you recognize someone you have two options: add the information to the comment section at the bottom of that webpage, or preferably, add the information as a comment to this blog post so we can see what progress we are making. Commenting here is a great option if you aren’t sure about a possible identification. Just say who you think it might be and we can have a conversation about it.
You’ll want to have either two windows or two tabs open in your Web browser. Before you comment here at A View to Hugh, go to the image’s webpage and click the phrase “Reference URL”—a unique Web address used only for that image’s record—and copy the web address provided in the top box. See the sample below:
Next, come back to this webpage and leave a comment below AND paste the Reference URL into the comment so we know the image you are identifying.
Please note that your comment may not show up immediately. Because of the enormous amount of comment spam we receive, I need to approve comments, especially those commenting for the first time or for comments with multiple links. And most important of all . . . have fun!
So your NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket has been shot to pieces by all the upsets and now you are looking for something educational to satisfy your brain’s curiosity? Well it’s been awhile since we have had a “Who am I?” post, and the photograph above–made by Hugh Morton fifty-eight years ago today on 19 March 1958–presents a good opportunity for a revival.
The photograph above depicts the National Governors Conference Executive Committee meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House. For the occasion Morton shot 120 format roll film, which has twelve exposures per roll; only frame numbers 3, 4, and 7 through 12, however, are extant . . . or at least filed together by Morton as negatives used in the book Making a Difference in North Carolina, which he co-authored with Ed Rankin, Jr. Clicking on the link in the first sentence of this paragraph will take you to the four images from the eight negatives selected for the online Morton collection. From there you can click on each of the images and use the zoom tool to get closer looks at their gubernatorial and presidential faces. In the descriptions for each of those images you will see the following phrase:
Caption in Morton’s book MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN NORTH CAROLINA indicates that the gathering was an 10/1/1957 emergency meeting of Eisenhower and select Southern governors regarding the Little Rock school integration crisis, however, Faubus and Muskie were not in attendance at that meeting.
Those descriptions had stated that the photographs were likely made on March 19, 1958, but did not identify the occasion. Using newspapers.com, I was able to determine the nature of the meeting from three Associated Press articles—if the revised date is correct—and update the description. Background to the photograph
The United States experienced a recession between August 1957 and April 1958, referred to by some sources as “The Eisenhower Recession.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for 1958 rose to 6.8%, up from 4.3% from the previous year. It was the highest unemployment rate by far yet to be experienced after World War II.
On March 8th Eisenhower wrote a letter to the Republican minority leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives concerning measures to aid economic growth. Eisenhower acknowledged the government needed to take steps to stimulate the economy, but he was “concerned over the sudden upsurge of pump-priming schemes” emerging from Congress. The president’s letter detailed several actions that his administration had already taken, but it also included the following:
I deeply believe that we must move promptly to meet the needs of those wage earners who have exhausted their unemployment compensation benefits under state laws and have not yet found employment. I have requested the Secretary of Labor to present to me next week a proposal which, without intruding on present state obligations and prerogatives, would extend for a brief period the duration of benefits for these unemployed workers. This would enable eligible unemployed individuals to receive weekly benefits for a longer period than is now permitted under state laws and thus enable them to continue to seek jobs with a greater measure of security. I shall shortly place such a proposal before the Congress.
That letter eventually led to the meeting with the governors. James Bell wrote one of the three Associated Press articles mentioned above, and it explained the context of the March 19th meeting: Congress was drawing up “job-creating measures while it awaited President Eisenhower’s unemployment compensation measures.”
The second AP article, written without a byline, mainly reported on the press conference held by the governors after the meeting where California Governor Goodwin Knight outlined the president’s proposal. The article notes that the White House called the governors to the White House, and it contains the names of all the governors in attendance: Luther Hodges of North Carolina, Albert D. Rosellini of Washington, Edmund Muskie of Maine, Orval Faubus of Arkansas, William G. Stratton of Illinois, John E. Davis of North Dakota, and Joseph B Johnson of Vermont. So the “Who Am I?” question is: who is who in Morton’s photographs? Some of the people in the descriptions already have names with faces, but others do not. If you recognize any or can figure them out from other images on the Internet, please leave a comment below.
The third article I uncovered, written by Associated Press News Analyst James Marlow, assessed the meeting. Some newspapers published an AP photograph along with the article. Each newspaper wrote its own headline for Marlow’s analysis; The Salinas Journal (Salinas, Kansas) headline, for example, asked, “Was The Conference A Farce?” Marlow began his article, “In fifteen years in Washington this writer has never seen anything more fouled up than what happened at the White House after President Eisenhower conferred with eight state governors. It was hard to tell whether a rabbit was being pulled out of the hat, or a rabbit was being put back into a hat.” When Eisenhower first floated his idea he seemed to be thinking of a grant that didn’t need to be paid back to the federal government, which is how the governors understood it. Then the administration began talking about it as a loan that states would need to pay back.
Marlow pointed out that all but about six states had adequate unemployment compensation funds to extend the period in which the jobless could could draw upon, and that most states had a maximum of twenty-six weeks, “but they have declined to do so.” Marlow asked one governor, who chose to remain anonymous, “Since no more than six states might need federal help to extend the jobless pay periods and all the rest have enough money to do it, if they want to why should the government have to hand out money to those other 42?” The governor responded, ” That is the best question of the day. And the best answer to it is that the question answers itself.”
On March 21st The Daily Times-News of Burlington, N.C wrote an an editorial titled “Let’s Say a Little Politics Right or Wrong in this Case.” It characterized Hodges’ impression of the meeting as “a waste of time for all concerned.” While Hodges agreed that a number of states had unemployment benefit finance troubles, he stated that North Carolina had a reserve fund of $178 million at the time. The editorial continued, “Governor Hodges is quoted as having said this: ‘I did not think and I do not think now the problem was serious enough to warrant calling the people together and making such a hullabaloo. My own conviction is that they should have done a lot more checking with the states before making any announcements that the administration planned to offer a proposal to extend unemployment benefits.'”
On June 4th President Eisenhower signed the Unemployment Compensation Act of 1958, which treated federal funds for unemployment compensation, accepted by states that requested them, as loans.
Last Tuesday was a fun day at the office. In the morning, library staff gave Carl Kasell a tour of Wilson Library. Kassel, a UNC alumnus, returned to Chapel Hill for an evening event sponsored by the library moderated by WUNC radio host Eric Hodge. Kasell was a member of UNC’s class of 1956 (although he did not graduate, having been drafted into the United States Army after four years as a student). Kasell’s tenure at National Public Radio began in 1975 as a part-time news announcer for Weekend Edition. Starting in 1979 he was the voice of the network’s morning news for the next thirty years. Since retiring from that role at NPR in 2009, Kasell became a “roving ambassador,” and continued as the judge and scorekeeper for the “Oddly Informative News Quiz” Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, which debuted in January 1998.
As you might imagine, Kasell has received several awards during his sonorous career. In 2004 the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication inducted Kasell into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame. In 2010 the National Radio Hall of Fame inducted Kasell into its ranks. In March 2013 the North Carolina Press Association named Kasell “North Carolinian of the Year” for 2013, and the association made a wonderful biographical video available on their YouTube site. Despite his stature in journalism, A View to Hugh has not been able to feature Kasell because Hugh Morton hadn’t photographed him, even though he been a co-founder of WUNC radio with Morton’s long-time friend Charles Kuralt.
Or so we thought.
We featured the above photograph a few years ago in a post about the comeback of The Lost Colony after a fire destroyed the production’s costumes and props. Playing the role of Sir Walter Raleigh (right) is Andy Griffith. But wait . . . wait! Who is the fellow in the lower right corner wearing too much face paint? None other than Carl Kasell!
As seen in the opening photograph, I showed Hugh Morton’s photograph to Mr. Kasell and he confirmed that that indeed was he in the corner. The reference to too much face paint came from a story Kasell told during Tuesday evening’s event, when Andy Griffith told Kasell he had been a bit heavy handed in the makeup room before dress rehearsal. Kasell confided that Griffith later helped him with a more appropriate application of face paint, and that Griffith was “a big, big help” during that season. (Kasell’s high school drama teacher was Clifton Britton, not Griffith as is often incorrectly stated on numerous web pages.)
We don’t know if Morton made the above photograph before or after that cosmetic lesson, but we now know the year Morton made the photograph: Kasell said it was 1952 after he had graduated from high school, and 1952 is the only year Kasell’s name appears in the official program. And because we know what Kasell’s costume looked like, we can now identify other Morton photographs of Kasell.
Kasell played the role of “Wanchese, an Indian chief.” I believe as he looked at Morton’s photograph he dredged up from his memory a couple of his lines: “Mish-wi aga, Wingina” and “Wanchese no more chief. Wanchese now king.”
If you couldn’t make the evening with Carl Kasell, you can watch a video recording of the event, which includes Kasell’s recollections from his performance in The Lost Colony while Morton’s photograph is projected on the screen. Below is an image from a color transparency from the Morton collection not previously scanned.
But least we think that the similarity between the two photographs means that Hugh Morton made the eventual 1953 cover photograph, too, here is a photograph published on page 35 of the 1952 souvenir program:
The cover photograph could have been made by any of the photographers above. . . . But wait . . . wait, don’t tell me! Is that Hugh Morton (center right) among the press photographers?!
Today marks the discovery of the X-Ray . . . and a post that reveals the story behind A View to Hugh mystery from 2008. On this day in 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was the first person to observe X-rays. This important scientific discovery ultimately led to the Hugh Morton photograph seen above, cropped as it appeared in the Wilmington Morning Star on March 31st, 1954. (You can see the full-negative version with its descriptive information by clicking on the photograph.)
Back in April 2008, Elizabeth Hull included this photograph in a Who Am I? post for the Azalea Festival. Lots of comments from readers eventually led Elizabeth to discover that the woman was Neva Jane Langley, Miss America 1953. One commenter speculated that Langley and Grady Cole might be holding an X-ray related to a tuberculosis display at the 1954 Azalea festival.
Today’s science anniversary prompted me to search for the word “X-ray” in the online collection of Morton photographs. Two similar images of Cole and Langley were the only hits, so I turned to the blog post from four years ago. The unresolved speculation in the comments about tuberculosis and that the event could be from the 1954 festival led me to the microfilm room and the Wilmington newspaper for March 1954.
Langley arrived in Wilmington at Bluethenthal Field on Friday, March 26th around 5:00 p.m. Hugh Morton and Grady Cole formed the welcoming committee, with Morton at the wheel of the car that whisked away the reigning beauty queen from the airport. The next day, Langley was to participate in the Azalea Festival Coronation Ball, and Cole was to be its master of ceremonies, so it was a logical choice for Cole to be her official greeter.
Saturday evening was rainy at Wrightsville Beach, where the coronation ball was to take place at the Lumina Ballroom. Here’s the Sunday Star-News account of something that happened that night:
Cole’s Sir Walter Act Ends In Pain
Grady Cole—”Mr. Dixie” of Radio Station WBT Charlotte—did Sir Walter Raleigh one better with Miss America at the Azalea Festival Coronation Ball last night and was in the hospital today with what is believed to be a dislocated vertebra.
Hugh Morton, co-chairman of the festival’s invitations committee, said that during the downpour at Wrightsville Beach Cole carried Neva Jane Langley of Lakeland, Fla.—Miss America of 1953—over puddles of water and up the stairs of Lumina Ballroom. Miss Langley was an honorary celebrity at the crowning of the Azalea Festival Queen—movie and television actress Ella Raines—by Gen. Mark Clark.
Cole carried on his duties as master of ceremonies of the Coronation Ball, then was rushed by the highway patrol to James Walker Memorial Hospital. Morton said it is believed that Cole dislocated a vertebra with his gallantry.
A few days after the festival, the photograph above ran uncredited on the back page of the March 31st Wilmington Morning Star with the following caption:
POSITIVE PROOF — Grady Cole Radios’s “Mr. Dixie,” of WBT, Charlotte and the CBS Network, is shown holding an X-ray of his spine, which was injured at the Azalea Festival Coronation Ball Saturday night when Grady carried Miss Neva Jane Langley, “Miss America of 1953,” across a mud puddle in a heavy downpour of rain. Miss Langley is shown holding the X-ray which revealed that Cole sustained what doctors call “a compressed fracture of his sixth vertebra.” Doctors told Cole he could “never lift a pretty girl again,” and he philosophically replied, “we all have to quit sometime and I’m glad I quit with the best.”
Where in Wilmington did Morton take the photograph? On the right side of the full image, a few business signs are visible. One appears to be for the Cape Fear Dining Room, which was in the Cape Fear Hotel at 121–131 Chestnut Street. Today the building is home to the Cape Fear Hotel Apartments. In the background on the opposite side of the street, the shorter building on the left is the United States Post Office. The building on the right is the Southern Building, which sat on the southwest corner of Chestnut and Front streets.
I stumbled upon today’s topic while searching for an anniversary around which I could build a blog post. April 12th is the anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s’ death in 1945, so I searched the online collection, wondering if I might find something related to FDR. What turned up are three negatives depicting what looks like a presidential inauguration, but the description for the event provided a possible time span of several years—between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman presidencies. (There is a fourth negative, of people in the crowd, but it hasn’t been scanned.) This makes for a perfect opportunity to see if we can collectively narrow down that range, or even get the specific date.
To start things off, I’m guessing that the event is Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s third inauguration in 1941 and here’s why: it’s sunny.
OK, there’s a little more to it than that!
Here are the clues I’ve discovered thus far:
The negative film stock is Agfa Superpan Press. (The words “Agfa Superpan Press” are on the bottom edge of the negatives.) Some background: according to a history of Ansco by William L. Camp, photographic manufacturers Ansco (United States) and Afga (Germany) merged in January 1928 and operated under the corporate name Agfa Ansco. The company introduced Superpan Press, the first ultra-high-speed sheet film, in 1938.
It rained on the 1937 inauguration. A total rainfall of 1.77 inches fell on a cold day. Between 11 am and 1 pm, 0.69 inches of rain fell with a noon temperature of 33°F. Superpan Press would have been helpful on a gray day like that! (Want to know more about past inauguration days weather?) One fact that could support—or be a red herring—is that Hugh Morton went to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. before attending UNC in the fall of 1939.
As a side note, resolving the background of these corporate histories and their film stocks would probably be useful when identifying images based upon dating film type.
The clincher for identifying the year may reside in automotive history. Can anyone identify the vehicles in the photograph? If so, we might have the pièce de résistance!
Portrait of UNC baseball player, most likely on campus in Chapel Hill, NC.
It has been a very busy week in the office—and a short one at that with a three-day weekend holiday . . . and the library closing thirty minutes from when I started today’s post. So this will be a short-and-sweet “Who am I?” post in recognition of opening day of Major League Baseball.
Above is a portrait of an unidentified UNC baseball player from the 1940s. Anyone able to put a name on his uniform? For those who may be curious, he’s holding a Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Louisville Slugger—a 125 LG Lou Gehrig signature model bat.
Next week will feature another “Who am I?” post . . . and it won’t be sports!
Today’s post is the third and final on the 1942 Southern Conference Basketball Tournament, which we have been featuring on its seventieth anniversary in conjunction with the fifty-ninth annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament taking place March 8th through 11th, 2012.
Some of the photographs shown below are not available in the online collection of Hugh Morton’s photographs at the time of this posting. They will be added to the collection in the future. Those images that are available in the collection can be seen without cropping by clicking on the image.
Many of the people portrayed in these photographs are unidentified. If you can provide any identifications please leave a comment!
Duke bench during games versus Washington and Lee, March 5th, 1942.
UNC bench during game against Wake Forest, March 5th, 1942.
North Carolina Sate versus University of South Carolina, March 5th, 1942.
College of William and Mary versus George Washington University, March 5th 1942.
Bench photographs of unidentified teams, players, or coaches
Duke versus Wake Forest, March 6th, 1942.
North Carolina State versus William and Mary, March 7th, 1942.
Championship game, Duke versus North Carolina State, March 7th, 1942.
Tonight, the University of North Carolina and Duke University will take to the hardwood for the 233rd time. Their first contests took place in 1920, so its remarkable to think that when Hugh Morton photographed these two teams playing during his college years, today’s arch rivals had been playing against each other for “only” twenty years or so!
As the caption above describes, The Daily Tar Heel cropped Hugh Morton’s photograph shown above—it focused on the players and left out the referee (before the striped jersey era!) and the basket above the action. Without cropping, the full view gives a better sense of the atmosphere of Woollen Gymnasium.
Below is another photograph from a UNC–Duke basketball game, but this one is without a date. Is this a different game at a different location? Anybody want to try their hand at identifications? (Clicking on the photograph will take you to the online collection, where you can use the zoom tool.)
Back in May, a post called “Unidentified” asked A View to Hugh visitors to explore the online collection of Hugh Morton images by searching on the term “unidentified.” That post garnered more than fifty identifications! While updating those records with their new information, I began to see another tantalizing word: “unknown.”
I just did a search for “unknown” in the online collection and the search results totaled 368 records. Surely we can make a dent in that number! I’ll kick off the party.
While working on a future post, I came across the following three images. The photograph above, which is not part of the online collection, is the first frame on the strip of negatives, so Morton presumably made all of these photographs during the same event.
To me, three people were easily recognizable—North Carolina governor or soon-to-be governor Terry Sanford; one-day CBS television correspondent and possibly at the time Charlotte Observer reporter Charles Kuralt; and former University of North Carolina president Frank Porter Graham, who was then likely serving as the United Nations representative to India and Pakistan concerning a dispute during the long-running Kashmir Conflict. The fourth person, radio talk show host Barry Farber, was “unknown” to me. (Before I saw the identification I thought it was ABC News science editor Jules Bergman!) But what is the event and location, probably around 1960, that brought together these four people—all of whom (including the photographer Hugh Morton) attended UNC?
If you can shed some light on this group of photographs, then please contribute your thoughts and/or identifications as a comment to this blog post. For the rest of the “unknowns” in the online collection, please use the “online feedback form” link at the bottom of the Hugh Morton online image collection home page. While viewing an image, click on the “reference url” link within the left side of the blue band in the upper portion of the record. Copy and paste that URL—it will look similar to this
—into the feedback form along with your identifications so I’ll know exactly which image or images you are writing about.
Happy explorations! And who knows? Any image identifications that reveal an interesting story could become a future blog post!