Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, 1962

UPDATED, 2/27: As Jack Hilliard points out in a comment below, the page I first posted didn’t include the whole block. I added the previous page, which also includes at least one business still operating in its 1962 location.

One of the favorite pastimes of UNC alums returning to campus is to lament how much has changed, especially on Franklin Street, the University’s “Main Street,” home to many restaurants and bars long frequented by UNC undergraduates.

The North Carolina City Directories collection on DigitalNC now includes four directories from Chapel Hill, from the years 1957, 1959, 1961, and 1962. The directories have a street directory section, enabling readers to browse residents or businesses by location. Here are the pages from the 1962 Chapel Hill directory showing the main block of Franklin Street:

Hill's Chapel Hill (Orange County, N.C.) City Directory, includi

Hill's Chapel Hill (Orange County, N.C.) City Directory, includi

So how much has changed since then? Quite a lot. At first glance I can see only one business that’s still operating in its current location (not counting churches). Can anyone else find it? Are there any others that I missed?

‘Those who want to, please pray’ — and a song is born

On this day in 1943: Returning from a World War II mission over Germany, a B-17 bomber piloted by Hugh Ashcraft of Charlotte is flak-riddled and minus one engine. “Those who want to,” Ashcraft tells his crew, “please pray.”

The “Southern Comfort” makes it back to England, receiving wide attention and inspiring both a hit record and an enduring expression: “Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer.” Ashcraft in later life will become president of the Harris Teeter supermarket chain.

Lots more interesting details here.