North Carolina Myths

We’re posting the request below on behalf of Michael Hill, director of NC’s Office of Archives and History Research Branch. You may either leave your suggestions as comments–and they will be forwarded to Mr. Hill–or you may email them to the North Carolina Collection’s general email account:

The Research Branch of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History is developing a project around the idea of myths and North Carolina history. It is undeniable that mythbusting is a prevailing theme in present-day popular history, witness the History Channel’s offerings and History Detectives on PBS. Stephen B. Weeks in 1905 wrote to fellow historian R. D. W. Connor, “North Carolina has been so foolish in laying claim to everything in sight and on every occasion that I am sick unto death of claims that cannot be proved.”

We invite readers of North Carolina Miscellany to help us identify the major myths of North Carolina history. In our initial conversations, the ones that occurred to us are clustered around the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. We particularly would appreciate help in identifying additional modern or twentieth-century examples. For this project, we wish to avoid mysteries such as the Lost Colony. Likewise we have little interest in ghost tales or folklore. Our wish is to select those examples that, for good or ill, have become part of the canon.

Can any NCM readers help?

The Ryder Cup In North Carolina

This is another interesting button from the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection. In 1951, the Ryder Cup, a biennial golf match between the United States and Great Britain (now a team made up of Europeans), was held in Pinehurst—the first and only time this event has been held in North Carolina. The U.S. team, captained by Sam Snead, defeated the British after play was suspended on Saturday afternoon to allow golfers from both teams to attend the Tennessee-UNC football game at Chapel Hill. [Unfortunately, the golfers witnessed a trouncing (0-27) of the Heels by the eventual national champion Volunteers.]