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 ——).”

NCC Gallery Exhibit Reveals Rich History of Rogers Road Neighborhood

For 37 years, the Rogers Road community in Chapel Hill has been at the center of a public debate about the impact of the Orange County Landfill, which borders the neighborhood. A new exhibit in the North Carolina Collection Gallery of UNC’s Wilson Library tells a deeper story, uncovering more than two centuries of the community’s history.

The free, public exhibit, We’re All Family Here: Preserving Community Heritage in the Rogers Road Neighborhood of Chapel Hill, will be open June 12 through August 31 in the North Carolina Collection Gallery, on the main floor of Wilson Library.

Read more about it here.

Where Is “The Cradle Of Liberty In America”?

One of my colleagues pointed this item out to me the other day, and I thought it would make a nice “Where the Heel?” posting. I’ve edited the county name out of the image, but I’ve left in the other phrases. Do you know what county claims to be the “Cradle of Liberty in America”? If you have a guess, leave it as a comment. Once the question is satisfactorily answered, I’ll include an image of the unaltered seal and the bibliographic information.

And the answer is New Hanover County. The full image is below.

The editor has this to say about the claim:


The twilight of Liberty in America first showed its brilliancy when the Colonists of the Lower Cape Fear denounced the tyrannical Acts of the British Crown upon her subjects, imposing an unjust tax, without representation, known as The Stamp Act of 1765.

With “Blood and Death” was the answer:—Heroism and determination upon the part of the Colonist crowned their glorious efforts, enhanced by the signal defeat of the British at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge.

The facts are indisputable as true records of events! As the first who defied British Power, more than ten years before the Declaration of Independence, were the people of the Lower Cape Fear.

Hoey And The World’s Fair

Above are two buttons that represented North Carolina at the 1939 World’s Fair held in New York. These buttons come from the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection, and according to Mr. Powell, Gov. Clyde Hoey dedicated the state’s exhibit at the New York World’s Fair with praise for “the English, Scottish, Irish and German… desire of freedom,” for North Carolina’s rise from “the black night of conflict and defeat,” and for “the song of the saw in the vast forests” (punctuated with a recording of a circular saw). “Everyone in North Carolina,” Hoey concluded, “lives long and well and has a good time.”

We also have some other state-produced souvenirs from the 1939 New York World’s Fair in the form of postcards. Below is a postcard showing a downtown street in Wendell, NC. You can view the other World’s Fair postcards that we have digitized here. These cards all bear a pre-printed postscript that reads, “P.S.- I have enjoyed a visit to North Carolina’s exhibit at the New York World’s Fair. You must be sure to see it. For information about North Carolina write Governor’s Hospitality Committee, Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Kings Mountain Postcard–Help!

The image below is from the NC Postcard Collection. If you click on the image, you can find out a little more information on the postcard, but we’re putting it on the blog because we need your help. Does anyone recognize the man included in the inset on the left? This isn’t a quiz or “Who the Heel” posting—we really don’t know. If you have a guess (or hopefully an answer), leave it as a comment. Thanks!

Origin Of The “Germans”

A UNC grad and former student assistant of ours recently shared with us some information that may explain the origins of a term much in use at the University through about the first half of the twentieth century. Some of the student dances at UNC were called Germans. There was usually a Fall German and a Spring German. The dances were organized by a German Club, but so far as we can tell, the club had nothing to do with Germany or the German language. So, where did the name come from? Katie Littlefield emailed us that while doing research on customs and traditions at the University she discovered a passage in Phillips Russell’s These Old Stone Walls claiming that dances at Chapel Hill in antebellum times were called balls. After the Civil War they were called Germans, “…led by gentlemen who could carry out elaborate cotillion figures.” While cotillion dances had dropped out of fashion in the early nineteenth century, Katie notes that they were reintroduced in New York society in 1854 and called “German cotillions.” Could the University’s Germans be a long-forgotten abbreviation of German cotillion? We think it may well be so. How about you?

The image above is from the 1906 Yackety Yack.

New Towns Uploaded to NC Postcards

Over the past few months we’ve uploaded many a new town to NC Postcards, including:

Bostic, Rutherford County
Lake Lure, Rutherford County
New Holland, Hyde County
All Healing Springs, Alexander County
Catawba Springs, Catawba County
Mill Spring, Polk County
Mount Vernon Springs, Chatham County
Panacea, Warren County
Vade Meacum, Stokes County
Park Springs, Caswell County
Jamestown, Guilford County
Longhurst, Person County
Eagle Springs, Moore County
Kenly, Johnston County

and …

Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee

This real photo postcard from Greeneville, Tennessee falls under the scope of NC Postcards for two reasons: Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh and later moved to Greeneville, which was once part of North Carolina. There he worked as a tailor, married, and started a family before entering local politics. Johnson worked his way up through Tennessee state legislature and became President after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Check Out What’s New to the Collection

Several new titles just added to “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?”  To see the full list simply click on the link in this entry or click on the “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?” link under the heading “Pages” in the right column. 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 North Carolina Collection Reading Room.

Archibald “Moonlight” Graham

Have you ever seen the movie Field of Dreams? I have to admit that I love this movie–maybe because of my unfulfilled dreams of being a major league baseball player? One of my favorite characters in the movie is “Moonlight” Graham, played by Burt Lancaster. Did you know that the fictional “Moonlight” was based on a real “Moonlight”? The real “Moonlight” was North Carolina’s own Archibald Graham, brother of University of North Carolina president and United States Senator Frank Porter Graham.

Archibald Graham graduated from UNC in 1901, and I’m including an entry from the Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (published in 1924) below:


618 2nd ave., S. W., Chisholm, Minn.; A.B. 1901; s. m. 1901-02; M.D. Univ. of Md. 1905; Johns Hopkins univ. 1905-06; b. Fayetteville, Nov. 11, 1879; p. Dr. Alexander and Kate Bryan (Sloan); m. Alicia Madden, Sept. 29, 1915; baseball; physician and surg. New York and Minn.; player New York Giants 1903-06; Chisholm health officer; trustee, U. N. C. 1893; Kiwanian; Mason; Presbyterian.

He also played baseball at UNC, so I’ve included a team picture and a close up of Graham from the 1900 Hellenian, which was UNC’s first yearbook.

Reagan Statue Created By North Carolina Artist

A longtime reader and frequent contributor pointed out another North Carolina/President connection. The statue of Ronald Reagan that was just installed in the National Statuary Hall Collection was created by Chas Fagan, an artist from Charlotte. You can read more about it here: “Charlotte sculptor creates Reagan statue.”