“The largest student demonstration in Duke’s history, which came down to be known as the ‘Silent Vigil,’ developed over the period from April 4 to 12, 1968. They were eight days that changed Duke forever.
“Events began with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on Thursday, April 4, which created ‘a mixture of sadness, fear, guilt and frustration’ on campus, said one contemporary account. As riots erupted across the country, student leaders, principally from campus religious groups, and a growing number of radicals, immediately began to discuss a campus response. One group called for a vigil in front of the chapel; another called for a protest march….”
— From “The Silent Vigil, 1968” by William E. King, university archivist (1997)
“On my way to Charlotte, I had to stop at a convenience store for the restroom. I walked far around one employee on a smoke break outside the store. I was the only person of perhaps 20 inside who was masked and was clearly being given the stink eye.
“I brought a drink to the counter to pay and the employee behind the plexiglass screen asked me if that was all. I said yes, and he said, ‘Take it.’ I was like, ‘Oh thanks, happy Mother’s Day?’ And he said, ‘No, your mask is scaring us.’ ”
— Facebook commenter Kay West of Asheville, cited in “What It’s Like to Wear a Mask in the South” by Margaret Renkl in the New York Times (June 1)
Though Barry Farber, graduate of Greensboro High (’48) and UNC Chapel Hill (’52), would make his reputation as a radio talker, he also ventured into politics on occasion. Most memorable in his 1970 race for House of Representatives was who defeated him: Bella Abzug.
Lost Cause apologist William Scarborough, whose doctorate and bachelor’s degree were from UNC Chapel Hill and whose papers occupy 27 feet of shelf space in the Southern Historical Collection, died May 17 at his home in Hattiesburg, Miss. He was 87.
Here’s what I wrote about Scarborough in 2017 after he sprang to the defense of the Confederate iconography embedded in the Mississippi state flag.
I’m not the only one who likes old baggage tags. Or Piedmont Airlines.
Piedmont merged into USAir in 1989, beating by a few years the advent of not-nearly-as-evocative bar-code tags.
The story of Col. Joseph Shelby, the Overmountain Men and the Battle of Kings Mountain is well documented — less so the cigars named for him in the town named for him.
This ad appeared in the Danville (Va.) Bee on April 18, 1927: “Wanted: Responsible Salesman To sell Hava-Rexa, Champagne, and Colonel Shelby cigars to retailers. Attractive line; liberal commissions. Rex Cigar Co., Shelby, N.C.”
“Colonel Shelbys are growing in favor,” this pitch to dealers claims, but a Cleveland County history notes only that “After several years the business moved from North Carolina and smokers lost the pleasure of a local cigar.”
The “4 More” theme on this somewhat crowded convention badge linked the Clinton-Gore ticket’s bid for an encore in the White House with Gov. Hunt’s simultaneous run for his fourth and final term.
Reelection ruled. Hunt defeated Robin Hayes 56-43 percent. Nationally Clinton received only 49 percent — 44 percent in North Carolina — but that was enough because Ross Perot’s third-party candidacy kept Bob Dole from topping 41 percent.
“The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. created ‘Pride in Tobacco’ to promote this pro-tobacco culture and oppose tobacco-control policies…. through news releases, billboards and also materials such as bumper stickers, posters, window decals, baseball caps, stamps, and brochures….
“A 1978 Tobacco Institute newsletter stated that ‘RJ Reynolds “Pride in Tobacco” campaign won praise in four North Carolina newspapers.’ Examples are ‘Those of us in tobacco country have stood by in embarrassment and shame and have silently taken the abuse for too long. It’s time for us to tell our story’ (Greenville Reflector). The campaign ‘not only is appropriate, it is important to North Carolina’ (Goldsboro News-Argus). ‘The embattled tobacco community must unite in developing a counterattack to bolster its image’ (Wilmington Star). ‘North Carolinians have nothing to be ashamed about in the production of tobacco products’ (Franklin Times).”
— From “Tobacco-Control Policies in Tobacco-Growing States: Where Tobacco Was King” by Amanda Fallin and Stanton A. Glantz in the Milbank Quarterly (June 4, 2015)
Was the desperate clamor of “Pride in Tobacco” the death rattle of decades of North Carolina’s unenlightened self-interest?
Of uncommon origin (Japan) and material (rayon) is this showy souvenir from the Nation’s Safest Beach.
Cruising beneath the Spanish moss is the Lilly III, last of the lake’s fondly-remembered tour boats. It was decommissioned in 1995.
“No Carolinas train tour can omit quaint Hamlet, just east of Rockingham. It was here that the rails of the Seaboard Air Line crossed and headed into the four cardinal directions. At the turn of the 20th century, more than 30 trains a day paused on journeys to New York, New Orleans, Norfolk and Florida.
“ ‘Hamlet was like the Charlotte airport is today,’ says Miranda Chavis, who manages the rail museum beside the restored 1900 passenger station built in grand Queen Anne Victorian style. ‘Small town, big railroads.’
“It was one of the nation’s earliest tourist traps. There were seven hotels and many boarding houses for transferring passengers in the town nicknamed “Hub of the Seaboard.” Shops and restaurants catered to visitors. There was an opera house where tenor Enrico Caruso once performed. Lavish accommodations were to be found at the Seaboard Hotel, which fronted the tracks.
“Hamlet, pop. 6,000, is still a railroad town. Amtrak stops twice a day, and Seaboard’s successor railroad CSX has a massive switching yard just outside town. In front of the Hamlet station, the tracks still cross and trains constantly thunder through, attracting train watchers. In the book ‘Guide to North American Railroad Hot Spots’ by J. David Ingles, Hamlet is listed as the prime watching spot for train fans in North Carolina.”
— From “Love of railroads spans the Carolinas” by Mark Washburn in the Charlotte Observer (May 26, 2013)