Bailey wanted black Southerners to ‘feel secure’

“A bespectacled, priggish-looking former editor of the Biblical Recorder, [Sen. Josiah Bailey of North Carolina] had supported FDR in 1932 and 1936 but had recently soured on the New Deal, mainly because of its trespasses against states’ rights. He had been preparing this speech [against FDR’s plan to “pack” the Supreme Court] for weeks, and as he rose to begin, senators summoned their colleagues from the cloakroom.

“Bailey held forth with his customary melodramatics, shouting his points, banging his desk, shaking a preacher’s finger. The Southerner was offering an argument calculated to appeal to his colleagues from the North  — that ‘the Negroes in the South feel secure tonight because they know there is a Constitution and an independent Court.'”

— From “FDR v. the Constitution” (2009) by Burt Solomon

N.C. I.O.O.F.–Buttons From the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection

As a follow-up to Bridget’s post about the “N.C. I.O.O.F.,” here are several I.O.O.F.-related items from the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection.




I have to say that I love the somewhat-racy button showing the lady’s leg, garter, and her “Tar Heel.”

N.C. I.O.O.F.


Above is a postcard showing an Odd Fellows’ Lodge in Beaufort, NC.  It turns out we’ve got a lot of materials relating to various secret societies and fraternal orders in North Carolina, including the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Interestingly, the card mentions that the lodge is over a hundred years old, which places the construction of the lodge to  ca. 1805-1815.

Below is an excerpt from the inside of the front cover of the “Ritual of a Subordinate Lodge under the Jurisdiction of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,” published by the I.O.O.F. in 1908 (VC097 O22r).  While it was used in the Centennial Lodge of Elm City, it dates to roughly the same time the postcard was created.


So sue us, said N.C. We will, said S.D.

In the financially intemperate 1840s no fewer than eight states, including North Carolina, defaulted on their bond obligations.

“The Constitution forbade the states to tear up their contracts,” Robert Wernick wrote in the December 1964 issue of American Heritage. “But to get their money back, bondholders would have to sue the states, and the Eleventh Amendment says a state may not be sued by a private citizen without its consent. None of the delinquent states has ever given its consent.

“Ingenious lawyers, glimpsing all those millions of dollars in perfectly valid obligations, have tried again and again to figure out a way of getting into that paradise. But the flaming sword of the Eleventh Amendment has always kept them out. Except once. In 1904 the state of South Dakota found itself in possession of North Carolina bonds left by a citizen for the use of the state university…. The Supreme Court held for the plaintiff, and North Carolina had to fork over $27,400. The shock was so great that North Carolina promptly made a deal with private holders in England to buy off their bonds  —  at a low price, but paid in hard cash.

“Other aggrieved parties have had no such luck. Private citizens tried deeding defaulted North Carolina bonds to, say, Massachusetts, since one sovereign state may sue another, but the Supreme Court held that this was only a dodge to get around the Eleventh Amendment and would hear nothing of it.”

WUN–TOO–TH-R-R-EE…Using The Phone In North Carolina, Ca. 1923

I love flipping through old phone books in the NC Collection; I’m always amazed at what I find. While looking at a Red Springs and Maxton, North Carolina, phone book from 1923 (Cp971.78 R31c 1923), I found the following list of instructions.

[Be sure to read the sections on “Always Call By Number–Not By Name,” “Unauthorized Use of the Telephone,” and “Attachments to Telephone.”]



How Andy Taylor made Ted Turner

“We had rights to ‘Ironside’ and ‘Marcus Welby,’ two shows highly regarded on their networks but which turned out to be duds in syndication. We swapped them [to WSOC-TV, another Charlotte station] for ‘The Andy Griffith Show’… a huge hit that really helped turn the station around (and made us a lot of money for years to come).”

— From “Call Me Ted,” Ted Turner’s 2008 autobiography. In 1970 Turner had bought a struggling Charlotte UHF station and renamed it WRET (from his initials). In 1980 he sold the now-lucrative station to Westinghouse and used the proceeds to launch CNN.

November 1879: Colored Industrial Association Fair

This Month in North Carolina History

On November 18, 1879, the North Carolina Colored Industrial Association Fair opened in Raleigh at the site of what had been a military hospital. Thousands of African Americans flocked to the state capital to participate for the first time in an event that would display to all the extent to which they had established themselves in the world of free people. Held about a mile outside Raleigh, the fair featured a speech by Governor Thomas J. Jarvis, who was conveyed to the fairground in a parade of decorated carriages and African American military units. The four main buildings at the fair were devoted to handicrafts, agriculture, machinery, and art. Displays of tobacco, wine, corn, hams, and pumpkins vied with exhibits of wagons, plows, harnesses and even coffins. Many of the handicrafts, especially the spreads and baby hoods, would, in one reporter’s opinion, “hold their own in any Northern fair I have ever attended.” Amusements such as a Punch and Judy show and an “electric machine” were much admired and, in the case of the latter, a bit feared. Horse races and a walking race provided entertainment.

The fair was the brainchild of Charles Norfleet Hunter. Born into slavery in Raleigh in the late 1850s, Hunter became a journalist and educator after the Civil War and was a voice of the African American community in North Carolina. He believed that African Americans in North Carolina and throughout the South had made great progress since emancipation and had much in which to take pride. He also believed that the progress of the race depended and would continue to depend on the goodwill and kindness of whites. The Colored Industrial Association Fair embodied these beliefs. It was a showcase of African American achievement, but Hunter emphasized to reporters the importance of the support of prominent white people in bringing the fair about. In the end, however, it was race pride that made the fair an important part of North Carolina’s Black community for nearly fifty years.

Logan, Frenise A. “The Colored Industrial Association of North Carolina and its Fair of 1886,” North Carolina Historical Review, XXXIV:1 (January 1957) : 58-67.

Haley, John H. Charles N. Hunter and Race Relations in North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, December 6, 1879.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse Anniversay

Cape Lookout

From the Cape Lookout National Seashore (National Park Service) webpage:

“On the evening of November 1, 1859, Lighthouse Keeper John Royal climbed the 216 steps to the lantern carrying a 5 gallon container of whale oil. Carefully stepping inside the giant glass lens, Keeper Royal filled the lamp with oil and installed and carefully trimmed the wicks. Then exactly at sunset, Keeper Royal lit the lamp and the new Cape Lookout Lighthouse shone its light out to sea for the first time.”

Happy 150th!