Another ‘No. 1’? Well, We Were Hoping

The origin of this pinback button puzzled me for several years, until I stumbled onto the story while looking up something else in the North Carolina Collection reading room. (Not the first time for that experience.) Clue: The year was 1946. Can you identify it?

What, no takers? Clue No. 2: It was part of a campaign that also included the song “It’s All Up to You (to Make North Carolina No. 1 in Good ——).”

4 thoughts on “Another ‘No. 1’? Well, We Were Hoping”

  1. It’s a promotional pin for the N.C. Good Health Movement. Only reason I know is because I interviewed Bill McLendon on the subject for an OUR STATE article that ran in January. He is co-author of a recent UNC Press book called “Bettering the Health of the People: W. Reece Berryhill, the UNC School of Medicine, and the North Carolina Good Health Movement.” A lot of celebrities with N.C. ties helped to publicize the need for better health in the state. Popular band leader Kay Kyser was foremost among them. His band played the song you mention, which was sung by Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore, 10,000 copies of which were distributed around the state.

  2. Yes, indeed, “Good Health” it was.
    A statewide radio broadcast “direct from Hollywood” kicked off the campaign to arouse support for better health facilities.
    “Did you know,” asked entertainer Skinnay Ennis of Salisbury, “that we had the highest percentage of draft rejections of any state in the Union?”
    The half-hour show also featured Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Kay Kyser of Rocky Mount, Ava Gardner of Smithfield, John Scott Trotter of Charlotte and Anne Jeffreys of Goldsboro.

  3. I didn’t recognize the “No. 1” pin, but am familiar with the North Carolina Good Health Movement, which is featured as part of an online exhibition entitled: “The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health: Meeting the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century.”

    Interested readers can access the lyrics and an MP3 excerpt of the song, “It’s All Up To You,” as well as the digitized text of “To the Good Health of All North Carolina,” an influential collection of state government reports on the need for improved health care published in 1945, at

    Dr. McLendon’s book, noted by Mr. Blackburn above, is also highly recommended, and multiple copies are available from various libraries at UNC (

    Daniel Smith
    Special Collections Librarian
    UNC Health Sciences Library

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *