And They Talked–Always They Talked

Chambers of the Dialectic Society, circa 1935

We hope you’ll join the North Carolina Collection for a special talk this Thursday. Kevin Cherry, North Carolina Miscellany friend (i.e. a regular reader, commenter and source of many leads), is scheduled to deliver the Gladys Hall Coates University History Lecture in the Pleasants Room of Wilson Library here at UNC. Kevin’s talk is titled,“And They Talked–Always They Talked: 215 Years of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies.”

The title may conjure up memories of an occasion when a speaker blathered on and on. But, rest assured, you won’t find that the case on Thursday. Kevin is a dynamic speaker and his talk is chock full of anecdotes about the two oldest student organizations on the UNC campus. He’ll recall Thomas Wolfe’s first speech before the Dialectic Society and share some of the offenses for which society members could be fined. No doubt, the censor morum, the person responsible for monitoring the behavior of fellow society members, would have found today’s flip-flop wearing students frequent offenders of the rule requiring stockings be worn to meetings. Kevin, a program officer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., was president of the Joint Senate of the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies during his days as an undergraduate at UNC, so he has insider’s view and appreciation for the long history of these two vaunted, debating organizations.

Kevin’s talk takes place in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library on April 7th at 5:45 pm. The event will be preceded by a reception and viewing of the exhibition “From Di-Phis to Loreleis: A History of Student Organizations at UNC” in the North Carolina Collection Gallery at 5 pm. We’ll also be featuring a performance by the Loreleis, a female a capella group of UNC students.

Byrd’s criticism extends to N.C. architecture

On this day in 1819: President James Monroe, making a tour through the South, is honored at a ball in the upstairs courtroom of the Chowan County Courthouse in Edenton.

The elegant brick courthouse, adorned with cupola, clock and weather vane, was built in 1767 after William Byrd, the acerbic Virginia aristocrat, likened the county’s 50-year-old wooden courthouse to “a common tobacco barn.”