1. What are the six poisonous snakes found in North Carolina?

2. Greensboro surgeon John Lyday served as the model for what well-known movie and TV character?

3. True or false: North Carolina has no buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

4. “Positively no dogs of any size, value, color or ugliness allowed. Guests who attempt to smuggle them in vanity boxes or suit cases will be asked to vacate their rooms.” What well known hotel included this warning in a 1920 brochure?

5. Until 2012, what company owned the Star-News in Wilmington, the Times-News in Hendersonville and the Dispatch in Lexington?






1. Copperhead, Carolina pygmy rattlesnake, Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, cottonmouth and Eastern coral snake.

2. Trapper John on “M*A*S*H.” While serving in the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea, Lyday worked with another surgeon, Dr. Dick Hornberger, who under the pen name Richard Hooker wrote a novel that became the basis for the movie and TV series. He died at age 78 in 1999 in Greensboro.

3. True. Although Wright designed homes in Morganton and Asheville, as well as a housing complex for blacks in Whiteville, none was ever built.

4. The Grove Park Inn in Asheville.

5. The New York Times.


“In no State is it unlawful for Mongolians [Asians] and Indians, Negroes and Mongolians, or Negroes and Indians to intermarry. The only exception to the last is that in North Carolina it is unlawful for Negroes to intermarry with Croatan [later Lumbee] Indians or to go to the same school with them. To this statute hangs a beautiful historical tradition….

“All that is left of Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony is this tradition supported by the presence of Indians with fair skin and eyes, and the statute of North Carolina that the blood of these early settlers shall not be further adulterated, by miscegenation, with the blood of the Negro.”

— From “Race Distinctions in American Law” by Gilbert Thomas Stephenson (1910) 

In this letter the Pembroke town council explains to Atlantic Coast Line why its new station needs to include three waiting rooms rather than two (1913).


Pennant for Ghost Town in Maggie Valley

“Sitting at 4,600 ft. elevation, Ghost Town in the Sky [later Ghost Town Village]  has been in existence since 1961. R.B. Coburn built the Wild West-themed amusement park on Buck Mountain for $1 million.

“During its peak seasons, the park welcomed around 500,000 guests. These guests moved quickly through the park as the chairlift impressively transported 1,200 people per hour….”

— From “North Carolina’s ‘Ghost Town in the Sky’ is up for Sale” by Courtney Giardina in Wide Open Country (Aug. 4, 2017)

After decades of problems — mechanical breakdowns, a gunfighter shot with a real bullet, declining interest in Westerns — Ghost Town is  closed to the public — unless you’re a drone pilot!  

Maggie Valley officials are seeking a developer for the abandoned property.


1. Evelyn Lincoln, secretary to President Kennedy, wrote that on the eve of his trip to Dallas he had told her he might replace Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the 1964 ticket with what North Carolinian?

2. “Your name is James. You’re twenty-three. You live in North Carolina.” These words appear in what controversial 2004 bestseller?

3. The first documented operation on what sick animal was performed in 1993 by veterinarians at N.C. State?

4. If you dug a hole in North Carolina straight through to the opposite side of the world, where would you wind up?

A. Pacific Ocean

B. Indian Ocean

C. Indonesia

D. Australia

5. The protagonist in Tom Wolfe’s 2004 novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons” is a college student from what N.C. town?








1. Gov. Terry Sanford, who later said Kennedy never mentioned the possibility to him.

2. “A Million Little Pieces” the discredited memoir by James Frey.

3. A goldfish.

4. B. Indian Ocean.

5. Sparta.


Though neither a Tar Heel born nor a Tar Heel bred, Tom Wolfe managed quite a number of Miscellany appearances — often juxtaposed with native sons Thomas Wolfe (here,  here  and here) and Junior Johnson (here and here).

In 2000 Wolfe became the first recipient of the Thomas Wolfe Prize.

From his acceptance note, handwritten atop the letter from professor William L. Andrews:

“I’m one of my namesake’s greatest fans. When I was just old enough to read, I noticed that there were two books on the shelves at home with my name on them, Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. My parents had a hard time convincing me that the author was no kin to me. He had to be. And sure enough, I’m ‘a putter-inner’ too….”

The “putter-inner” reference is from Thomas Wolfe’s response to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s criticism of his “unselective” approach to writing: “You say that the great writer like Flaubert has consciously left out the stuff that Bill or Joe will come along presently and put in. Well, don’t forget, Scott, that a great writer is not only a leaver-outer but also a putter-inner, and that Shakespeare and Cervantes and Dostoevsky were great putter-inners—greater putter-inners, in fact, than taker-outers and will be remembered for what they put in….”


Promotional license plate for Highlands, N.C.

No date on this promotional plate, but Highlands lost its bragging rights in 1981 with the incorporation of Beech Mountain (5,506 feet).


“[‘Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America’]  sprang from [Kathleen] Belew’s research on a 1979 anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, in which five members of the Communist Workers Party were murdered. A comment by one of the killers, who was among a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis, stuck with her: ‘I shot communists in Vietnam. Why wouldn’t I do that here?’

” ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about that,’ Belew said. ‘It collapsed peace time and war time, front lines and home fronts, and different kinds of enemies. I looked through the archive generated by this movement, and that was pervasive throughout the materials. The Vietnam War was a major force in uniting this social movement.’ ”

— From “In new book, UChicago historian examines rise of white power movement” at History News Network (May 2)


1. What future terrorist dropped out of Special Forces training at Fort Bragg in 1991 after being unable to complete a 90-minute march with a 45-pound pack?

2. What future terrorist attended Chowan College and graduated from N.C. A&T in mechanical engineering?

3. True or false: The first volcanic eruptions in what is now North Carolina occurred about 820 million years ago.

4. During the Civil War captured Union troops being held at Salisbury Prison introduced what sport to North Carolina?

5. Henderson native Ben E. King‘s best known pop hit made the top 10 in 1961 — and did it again in 1986. What was it?





1. Timothy McVeigh, who admitted setting the bomb that killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

2. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, alleged organizer of 9-11.

3. True. Volcanic activity lasted about 220 million years.

4. Baseball.

5. “Stand by Me,” which was revived in the movie by that name.


Several new titles were just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

This celluloid badge was distributed by INFACT, a Boston non-profit, as it launched the Challenging Big Tobacco Campaign in 1994.

Philip Morris and its numerous subsidiaries such as Kraft were already under attack by the anti-smoking movement.

“We want to get parents outraged at attempts by the tobacco companies to get children to smoke,” said Joe Tye, president of Stop Teen-Age Addiction to Tobacco, which had started its own boycott in 1990.

At the same time Philip Morris was facing opposition for its support of a different  North Carolina product.


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