On this day in 1863: Hungry and unable to pay inflated prices, 75 Salisbury women, most of them wives of Confederate soldiers, arm themselves with axes and go in search of hoarded food.
The railroad agent turns them away from the depot, claiming he has no flour. They break into a warehouse, taking 10 barrels, and find seven more at a store. After coming up empty at a government warehouse, they collar a suspected speculator and relieve him of a bag of salt.
The women then return to the depot, storm past the uncooperative agent and claim 10 more barrels of flour.
Soon after, a farmer arrives at the station with a wagonload of tobacco for shipment. When the agent tells him about the rampaging women, according to a contemporary account, the farmer hurriedly drives off, “fearful that they would learn to chew.”
Academics falls outside my usual hodgepodge of interests, but I couldn’t help noticing — hat tip, slate.com — the 2013 World Reputation Rankings published by Times Higher Education.
According to the magazine, “The world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey [is intended] to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands…. The table is based on nothing more than subjective judgement — but it is the considered expert judgement of senior, published academics — the people best placed to know the most about excellence in our universities.”
In 2013, UNC Chapel Hill is included among those colleges clustered between Nos. 51 and 60 — a position most colleges can only envy, of course. In 2012, however, UNC ranked No. 46 and in 2011 No. 41.
Does anyone dispute that this decline in reputation is real?… Or that it is justified?
This month we turn our focus to another group of athletic students who are equally agile but far too often unsung: cheerleaders. This month we bring you not just one but three artifacts, all of them from a UNC cheerleader who graduated in 1968.
This sweater, a bit darker than the Carolina blue we see these days, features a very realistic-looking Rameses (the UNC mascot).
In this framed program from a UNC-Duke football game, two cheerleaders accompany the real live Rameses into the stadium. The cheerleader on the left is Jack Betts, the donor of these artifacts and the sweater’s former owner. Betts followed in the footsteps of his uncle Henry Betts, who had been a cheerleader at UNC in the early 1930s.
Our third artifact is this megaphone, which is about two-and-a-half feet long and, as the photo shows, in less-than-great shape. Betts explains that members of the squad would beat on their megaphones to generate noise during games — the reason for the wear and tear.
Jack Betts attended UNC from the fall of 1964 to the spring of 1968. He fondly recalls being a cheerleader during the time when the basketball team moved from the much-smaller Woollen Gymnasium to Carmichael Arena, which seated just over 8,000 people. The thrill of being right on the court, of watching the games from such a short distance, he says, was dizzying.
The staff of the NCC Gallery will never know the excitement of standing on the court during a nail-biting game. But as far as we’re concerned, the thrill of adding these great artifacts to our collection is excitement enough.
North Carolina Historic Newspapers recently finalized its list of newspaper titles on microfilm to digitize as part of its partnership with the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The project’s advisory board met in the fall of 2012 to make a preliminary list of titles based on research value, geographic representation, temporal coverage and other selection criteria as defined by the NDNP. Project staff then inspected the selected titles’ microfilm for conformance to the NDNP’s technical requirements. The finalized list is comprised of 21 newspaper titles totaling 100,000 pages of North Carolina newspapers dating from 1836 – 1922. The digitized newspaper pages will be added incrementally to the Library of Congress’ collection of historic American newspapers on the Chronicling America website, with all pages to be delivered to the Library of Congress by the summer of 2014.
Runs from the following titles will be digitized:
Watauga Democrat, Boone
The North-Carolina Standard, Raleigh
The Asheville Citizen, Asheville
The Independent, Elizabeth City
Newbern Weekly Progress, New Bern
The Charlotte Democrat, Charlotte
Tarboro Press, Tarboro
Rockingham Post-Dispatch, Rockingham
Fisherman & Farmer, Edenton and Elizabeth City
The Review, High Point
The French Broad Hustler, Hendersonville
The Durham Daily Globe, Durham
The Semi-weekly Messenger, Wilmington
The Sun, Fayetteville
Journal of Freedom, Raleigh
The Gold Leaf, Henderson
The Weekly Caucasian, Clinton, Goldsboro and Raleigh
The Progressive Farmer, Winston and Raleigh
The Western Democrat, Charlotte
Wilmington Journal, Wilmington
Cherokee Scout, Murphy
Project titles distributed across North Carolina can be found on this map:
North Carolina Historic Newspapers has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: We the People. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this post do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“When I say I want a miracle, I mean by that, I want a good one. All the miracles recorded in the New Testament could have been simulated. A fellow could have pretended to be dead, or blind, or dumb, or deaf….
“I would like to see a miracle like that performed in North Carolina. Two men were disputing about the relative merits of the salve they had for sale.
“One of the men, in order to demonstrate that his salve was better than any other, cut off a dog’s tail and applied a little of the salve to the stump, and, in the presence of the spectators, a new TAIL grew out.
“But the other man, who also had salve for sale, took up the piece of tail that had been cast away, put a little salve at the end of that, and a new DOG grew out, and the last heard of those parties they were quarreling as to who owned the second dog.
“It’s one thing to persuade hipsters in Portland, Ore., or Brooklyn to grow organic — hey, how cool is an artisan radish — in their rooftop gardens. It’s a much tougher push to get Big Ag, made up mostly of stubborn older men, to change its ways.
“But imagine if a farmer led the cause against climate change. Franklin Roosevelt chose Hugh Bennett, a son of the North Carolina soil, to rally Americans against the abusive farming practices that led to the Dust Bowl. Big Hugh was blunt, smart and convincing. ‘Of all the countries in the world, we Americans have been the greatest destroyers of land of any race of people,’ he said, without apology.