Happy Birthday, Morehead Planetarium

Morhead Planetarium

We assemble in the little village of Chapel Hill on the old campus of the University of North Carolina to dedicate to youth and truth, beauty and goodness, the Morehead Building. This building is now forever to be the home of the Genevieve Morehead Memorial Art Gallery, the Morehead Planetarium, and the Morehead Foundation for scholarships and fellowships. The conjunction of stars in their courses, revealed in the Planetarium, suggests to us the conjunction of persons, ideas, engines, enterprises and nations, revealed in the heritage, life, services and aspirations of John Motley Morehead III, devoted son and benefactor of the University of North Carolina….

As philanthropist, his vision and benefactions will enrich his alma mater and, through a nobler alma mater, will serve the world through unending generations of worthy youth whom his endowment will bring for training in this place for the service of mankind….

The Morehead Gallery and Planetarium are not only for the youth of the University, but as an organic part of the University, which would ever share its life, are also for the people beyond the college walls….In the Planetarium will be the meeting of earth, skies, and people who need new acquaintance with the goodness of the earth and the majesty of the heavens.

To the human being, as an infinitesimal bit of life on a tiny speck called the earth in the vastness of the universe, will come a deeper humility, a higher reverence, and a nobler aspiration of the human spirit in the presence of the God, whose physical laws are as wide as the universe and whose moral sovereignty is deep in the consciousness of men. Humble, reverent, and aspiring, we look upward into the heavens and inward into the soul for God, the Father, Who gives us our majestic heavens, our good earth and our common brotherhood in daily sustenance of the body, mind and spirit of man for the human pilgrimage toward the Kingdom of God.

In the dedication of the Morehead Building, its Foundation, Gallery, and Planetarium, we rededicate the University of North Carolina.

Remarks from U.S. Senator Frank Porter Graham during dedication ceremonies for the Morehead Building (commonly referred to as Morehead Planetarium) on May 10, 1949.

The Lost Colonists set sail for 425 years of fame and mystery

By mid-April three vessels were being readied for the passage to America: a 120-ton ship named Lyon, a flyboat, and a pinnace. When the little fleet finally set sail from Portsmouth on April 26, it was reported that 150 men had signed on as colonists, not counting wives and children and, apparently, some single women.

Two other passengers on White’s vessels are mentioned only casually in the written accounts. These were Indians, natives of coastal Carolina who had been brought back to England by either Lane or Grenville the preceding fall. One was Towaye, who may have been the Indian captured by Grenville when he visited Roanoke Island and found the fort and settlement deserted. The other was Manteo….Having spent his second winter in England, again probably in Raleigh’s household, Manteo seems to have so ingratiated himself with his host that Raleigh instructed White to install him as head of the deceased Wingina’s domain when they returned to Roanoke Island….

The departure of three vessels from English waters, already later than had been customary for the prior crossings of the Atlantic, was delayed further when White made stops at the Isle of Wight and Plymouth after sailing from Portsmouth. It was thus May 8 when they finally cleared for the long crossing to the West Indies, a voyage that took forty-two days….Apparently, they encountered bad weather off the coast of Portugal, for there is a single sentence entry in White’s report that reads, ‘The 16. Simon Ferdinando Master of our Admirall, lewdly foresooke our Flie boat, leaving her distressed in the Baye of Portingall.’

From Roanoke Island: The Beginnings of English America by David Stick. Today marks the 425th anniversary of the departure of a group of English settlers for Roanoke Island. The fate of most remains unknown to this day. They are remembered as the Lost Colony.

The doctor is in (and, sorry, he’s not getting out)

On this day in 1985: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, receives an honorary doctorate from Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh.

Although school officials cite Moon’s humanitarianism, his resume also includes $60,000 in donations. “Anyone who makes a contribution has a right to be honored,” one board member contends.

Moon’s wife accepts the degree in his behalf; her husband is serving time in federal prison for tax evasion.

Military finds use for banned pinball machines

“North Carolina newspapers recently carried stories about pinball machines helping win the war…. The Army Air Force Training Command discovered that the electrical switches, relays and complicated circuits in the machines are of value in testing the mechanical aptitude of trainees.

“With manufacture having been banned for the duration, such equipment proved difficult to obtain until confiscated pinball machines were rounded up and sent to Atlantic City and Greensboro basic training centers. Both cities have license laws, and evidently the machines in the hands of law enforcement had been seized for violations.”

— From Billboard magazine, March 27, 1943


Early map of Virginia reveals plans for a fort: did Lost Colonists head there?

A portion of Virgenia Pars map with patch
A portion of John White's map "Virgenia Pars." A patch on the map covers a symbol for a fort. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Researchers from the U.S. and U.K. announced earlier today that a 16th century map of coastal Virginia and North Carolina reveals the location of a planned fort or settlement. And, they suggest, that spot, at the confluence of the Roanoke and Chowan rivers, may be where settlers from the Lost Colony headed.

The lozenge shape on John White’s “Virgenia Pars”, which researchers suggest represents a fort, was discovered when experts at the British Museum used lights and other techniques to study details hidden by a patch on the map.

from Examination of patches on a map of the east coast of North America by John White ("La Virginea Pars";1906,0509.1.3), CSR ANALYTICAL REQUEST NO. AR2012-21 . © The Trustees of the British Museum

A panel of historians and archaeologists assembled by the First Colony Foundation discussed their findings and theories this morning at Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. Panelist James Horn, an historian and author of A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, says that before John White left his fellow colonists in 1587, the settlers had already discussed moving about 50 miles inland. That distance roughly compares to the location of the fort depicted on the map. Additional details of the First Colony Foundation’s research and theories are here.

White’s “Virgenia Pars” map is considered relatively accurate in its depiction of the region’s geography. And The News and Observer reports that the site of the planned fort or settlement is “near Scotch Hall Preserve, a golf course and residential community just across the Albemarle Sound from Edenton.”

Although archaeologists expect to study the area of the planned fort or settlement, a timeline for such work has yet to be disclosed.

NC court gives thumbs down to ‘rule of thumb’

“To illustrate the misogynous underpinnings of our society, analysts have referred to the ‘rule of thumb’ by which English and American law as recently as the 18th and 19th century reputedly upheld the right of a man to beat his wife with a rod, provided it was no thicker than his thumb….

“The rule was originally asserted in England by Judge Buller in 1783 — but English legal authorities challenged him and writers and cartoonists lampooned him.

“Some scholars have asserted that the rule of thumb became incorporated into American law…  and a ruling by the State Supreme Court of North Carolina is cited. However, closer inspection reveals that the court repudiated both the right of a husband to beat his wife and specifically the rule of thumb, even ridiculing the latter….
“Although the court did uphold the lower court’s ruling that the husband who had struck his wife with ‘three licks’ from a ‘switch about the size of one of his fingers’ had not violated the law, the judges emphasized that their grounds were ‘not that the husband has the right to whip his wife much or little; but that we will not interfere with family government in trifling cases.’ ”

— From “Handbook of the Sociology of Gender” by Janet Saltzman Chafetz (2006)

Check out what’s new in the North Carolina Collection

Several new titles just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.”  To see the full list simply click on the link in this entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page.  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 Wilson Special Collections Library.

Recipes from the collection – A little sherry goes a long way.

Outside of gelatin molds the number one recipe item I’ve seen thus far in searching through our cookbook collection is sherry.  You can’t go but a few pages without finding some recipe with a dash of sherry here or a cup of sherry there.  So grab your favorite bottle of sherry and try out a few of these recipes.

From The Charlotte Cookbook.

From The Junior Service League’s Chapel Hill Cook Book: Tried and Tested Recipes.

From Dixie Dishes.

From Carolina Cooking.

From High Hampton Hospitality.