Elizabeth City welcomes Margaret Sanger

On this day in 1919: In Elizabeth City, Margaret Sanger delivers the South’s first public lecture on birth control.

Sanger, a New Yorker invited by maverick newspaper editor W.O. Saunders, will recall later that she was skeptical of her reception “in a city in which not even a suffragist had delivered a public lecture. To my delight, however, I found that people, both black and white . . . were so eager to know about birth control that every possible moment of my time was given to speaking. . . .

“Never have I met with more sympathy, more serious attention, more complete understanding than in . . . this Southern mill town.”