No hate in our state hat.

“The Dixie Chicks, performing at Walnut Creek [Amphitheatre in Raleigh], said they considered boycotting the show [to protest HB2]. Instead, they handed out baseball caps that said ‘No Hate in our State.’

“ ‘We have a favor to ask,’ lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd after a few songs. ‘Since we didn’t cancel our show – you’re also the only state we bought gifts for – could you pull out the hats that we gave you? ’Cause we love to support positivity. Peace and love, peace and love.’ ”

— From “With HB2 gone, Maroon 5 and some other acts are coming back to NC” by David Menconi in the News & Observer (Nov. 1, 2017)

This “No Hate” hat was distributed at the Dixie Chicks’ show in Charlotte on Aug. 13, 2016.


“Spruce Pine, it turns out, is the source of the purest natural quartz—a species of pristine sand—ever found on Earth. This ultra‑elite deposit of silicon dioxide particles plays a key role in manufacturing the silicon used to make computer chips. In fact, there’s an excellent chance the chip that makes your laptop or cell phone work was made using sand from this obscure Appalachian backwater….”

— From “The Ultra-Pure, Super-Secret Sand That Makes Your Phone Possible” by Vince Beiser in Wired

Fascinating story! And it even mentions the bunkers at Augusta National.


1. Of North Carolina’s 100 counties how many are named for women?

2. What well-known food processor is located at the corner of Cucumber and Vine streets?

3. True or false: Though now often associated with North Carolina, the term “Tobacco Road” was first used in reference to Georgia.

4. On the Monopoly game board, what color is North Carolina?

5. Nearly one-third of North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians have one of what two surnames?

Answers below





1. Three: Dare County, named for Virginia Dare, first child of English parents born in the New World; Wake County, named for Margaret Wake, wife of colonial Gov. William Tryon; Mecklenburg County, named for Princess Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of George III.

2. Mt. Olive Pickle Co., in Mount Olive. Mt. Olive ranks third, behind Vlasic and Claussen, as the best-selling brand in the country.

3. True. It was the Augusta-area address of Jeeter Lester in Erskine Caldwell’s scandalous 1932 novel by that name.

4. Green.

5. Oxendine and Locklear.


Charlotte News rack card for Elvis series beginning August 12

Charlotte Observer rack card for Elvis series beginning August 13


When Elvis died — Aug. 16, 1977 — the Charlotte Observer wasn’t prepared for the enormous demand for single copies. (We weren’t the only ones.)

A year later, however, the Observer and the afternoon Charlotte News had days of commemorative coverage lined up, as these two rack cards illustrate.


Fans of the sugary beverage known as Pepsi-Cola should note it was just 120 years ago this month that the beverage was “Born in the Carolinas,” as its logo claims. In August 1898, pharmacist Caleb Bradham renamed his healthy and refreshing ‘Brads Drink’ to ‘Pepsi-Cola’ and international enterprise began.

Rectangle postcard

Postcard of ‘The Home of Pepsi-Cola at New Bern N.C. – built by us for our own use’, 1920s. Durwood Barbour Collection of NC Postcards (PO77)

Bradham, from Chinquapin, NC, attended UNC in 1886, leaving for medical school in 1889. He became a pharmacist in the growing coastal town of New Bern, opening Bradham’s Pharmacy with an in-store soda fountain in 1892. Bradham enjoyed making delicious drinks as well as making medicines, and his pharmacy quickly became a staple of downtown. Bradham focused on making a safe drink from natural ingredients (his original recipe didn’t even have caffeine) believed to help with digestion. He was inspired by the Greek word ‘pepsis’ meaning ‘digestion’ and changed the name to Pepsi-Cola in August 1898.

square pin-back button

Carolina-focused advertising pin-back button, 2000s.
NCC Lew Powell Collection, (CK.1287.1745)

His Pepsi-Cola Company was worth more than $1 million by 1915, but tragedy was just around the corner. By the 1920s, World War I was over, but supplies, like sugar, were expensive. In 1923 Pepsi-Cola Company declared bankruptcy. Purchased by a Wall Street Banker forjust $30,000, Pepsi would never again be under North Carolina ownership. Although financially crippled, Bradham’s connection to UNC continued. He sponsored the Bradham Prize for scholarship at the School of Pharmacy until 1930.

Rectangle Pin-back button

Pin-back advertising ‘Pepsi Fest East’ for Pepsi memorabilia collectors, 1996.
NCC Lew Powell Collection, (CK.1287.2154)

Pepsi-Cola moved to Richmond, VA after Bradham’s ownership, but the company continues to highlight its North Carolina roots. “Born in the Carolinas” is one of the official trademarks of Pepsi-Cola in its regional marketing strategy. Pepsi has also provided sponsorship to NASCAR and to North Carolina driver Richard Petty. Greenville’s PirateFest is co-sponsored by Pepsi, and Pepsi Fest collector events are held in North Carolina. The nation’s largest privately-held manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi is claimed by Raleigh’s Pepsi Bottling Ventures. New Bern hosts the Birthplace of Pepsi, a private museum that celebrates the site of Pepsi’s beginning.

Round pin-back button

Pin-back featuring two North Carolina-born companies. Food Lion was founded in Salisbury, NC in 1957.
NCC Lew Powell Collection, (CK.1287.2985)

The NC Collection Gallery in Wilson Library holds a variety of Pepsi-related items and artifacts. A small exhibit noting the 120th anniversary of Pepsi-Cola features some of these artifacts. The cabinet to the left at the entrance of the Gallery will now be used for small changing exhibits highlighting various events in North Carolina History.

  • – Bob Schreiner, NCC Gallery

1. What N.C. county is 75 percent water?

2. Mexican Joe was the original name of what familiar tabletop condiment?

3. How do North Carolina, North Dakota and North Korea rank in area?

4. With which of these cities is Charlotte on nearly the same latitude?

A. Tokyo.

B. London.

C. Paris.

D. Rome.

5. What entertainers were born Milton Supman, Richard Fliehr and Randy Traywick?

Answers below





1. Dare County — 383 square miles of land and 1,179 square miles is water.

2. Texas Pete hot sauce, concocted by Thad W. Garner in 1929 and still manufactured in Winston-Salem.

3. North Dakota, 70,702 square miles; North Carolina, 52,669 square miles; North Korea, 46,540 square miles.

4. A. Tokyo. The European cities are all farther north.

5. Comedian Soupy Sales, a Franklinton native; wrestler Ric Flair, a longtime Charlotte resident; and country singer Randy Travis, a Marshville native.


Front license plate that reads "North Carolina Variety Vacationland"


“Never before had there been a coordinated statewide effort to showcase North Carolina as a destination. Tourism had the potential to lift the state out of economic despair. So in 1937, the newly created Division of State Advertising embarked on a campaign under the slogan ‘Variety Vacationland’….

“The phrase … would become mostly history by the 1980s, falling out of favor to another alliterative phrase: First in Flight….”

— From “How North Carolina Became ‘Variety Vacationland’ “ by Bryan Mims in Our State (July 23, 2015) 


On this day in 1943: In a war-benefit exhibition game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams meet in uniform for the second and last time during their careers.

Ruth, 48 and long retired, manages and pinch-hits for a team of New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. Williams, 24, plays for the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters, made up of major leaguers undergoing training at Marine pre-flight school in Chapel Hill.


1. Longtime character actor Murray Hamilton, who was born and died in Washington, N.C., played the husband of Anne Bancroft in what famous movie?

2. True or false: Though now known by its distinctive black and white stripes, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse was once painted red and white.

3. The Durham mansion at the center of the Michael Peterson murder trial was previously owned by what well-known writer and scholar?

4. What are North Carolina’s two hyphenated municipalities?

5. In 1970 a DC-9 returning to Huntington, W.Va., carrying 75 people, including 37 Marshall University football players, crashed while approaching the runway. All died — the worst toll in U.S. sports history. Where had the flight originated?

Answers below






1. “The Graduate” — they were Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. Hamilton is also remembered as the mayor in “Jaws.”

2. True. In 1871 the upper part of the tower was painted red, the lower part white. Two years later it was painted in spiral bands of alternating black and white.

3. Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of “Colored People” and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man,” who taught at Duke University in the early 1990s.

4. Winston-Salem and Fuquay-Varina. Winston merged with Salem in 1913, Fuquay Springs with Varina in 1963.

5. Greenville, where the team had just played East Carolina.


Miniature TVs with images of the Outer Banks and Blowing Rock

Before flat-screen TVs there were chubby TVs — and these miniature souvenir knockoffs made in Hong Kong.
“Blowing Rock N.C. on television” offers eight click-through color images, including Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. (Spot any unlisted Hugh Mortons, Stephen Fletcher?)
Viewers of “Outer Banks N.C. / television” can gaze at only a single color slide of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which opened in 1963 (and is about to be replaced). Original price sticker: $1.39.

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