“There is a newspaper published in Lumberton, which is the largest town in Robeson County and the county seat, named the Robesonian. It is an old paper — it was a hundred years old several years ago — that prints news from all over the county. Shortly after I came to New York City, I subscribed to the Robesonian, out of homesickness, and I still subscribe to it; it is as necessary to me and as much a part of my life as the New York Times….”
In this second and apparently final chapter of Mitchell’s unfinished memoir, he happens onto the 1790 census and finds countless names he still sees on trips back to Robeson County — “on the fronts of stores and filling stations and sawmills and cotton gins and tobacco warehouses and on the sides of trucks and on roadside mailboxes and on miscellaneous roadside signs.”
His deep dive into the minutiae-packed pages of the Robesonian will stir nostalgia in anyone who has ever subscribed to a small-town paper.
“North Carolina, the best state in the South for Negro education, spends for a Negro pupil less than two-thirds of a dollar for every dollar spent for a white pupil; the worst state, Mississippi, spends for a Negro pupil less than one-seventh on every dollar spent for a white pupil….
“Even if funds were more abundant, better Negro schools would not be welcome to many white Southerners. A Gallup Poll has shown that only half of Southern whites believe that Negro school facilities should be equalized to those of whites.”
Several new titles just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the 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.
On this day in 1789 at a convention held in Fayetteville, the state of North Carolina officially became a member of the Union by ratifying the U.S. Constitution. We honor this historic day and show our NC pride with a few North Carolina recipes.
On this day in 1938: University of North Carolina president Frank Porter Graham addresses the opening session of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare in Birmingham, Ala.:
“The black man is the primary test of American democracy and Christianity. [We take our] stand here tonight for the simple thing of human freedom. Repression is the way of frightened power; freedom is the enlightened way. We take our stand for the Sermon on the Mount, the American Bill of Rights and American democracy.”
The unprecedented convention, foreshadowing the civil rights movement, attracts such figures as Hugo Black, Eleanor Roosevelt and C. Vann Woodward — and Swedish social economist Gunnar Myrdal, who is just undertaking “An American Dilemma,” his landmark work on race relations.
“For certain organizations in North Carolina, bingo games can last only up to five hours. The state’s administrative code even contains a few more explicit restrictions on the game: only one in a 48-hour period and no more than a $500 prize.
“Our best guess as to the motivation behind this law? Retirement homes needed to crack down on geriatric bingo sharks.”
In 1882, Littleton Female College opened in Littleton, North Carolina. Originally chartered as the Central Institute for Young Ladies, the school grew from an inaugural class of eleven students to 274 students in 1907.
Our November Artifact of the Month is a commemorative plate that recalls Littleton College (which eventually dropped the word “female” from its name).
Littleton College offered courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics in addition to the domestic courses of study that were common in contemporary women’s schools. Littleton was a private Methodist school, owned by Rev. James Manly Rhodes.
In 1919 a fire destroyed the school’s buildings and Mr. Rhodes didn’t rebuild. But despite Littleton College’s relatively short lifespan, we’re left with some great documentation of the institution and its students.
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has digitized three editions of the Littleton College yearbook, the Pansy.
The commemorative plate, a recent donation from a descendant of several Littleton students, is the Library’s first non-paper artifact from Littleton College. It’s a great addition to the North Carolina Collection Gallery.
“The highlight of [North Carolina’s home demonstration] program was the dress revue….As participants walked across a stage in full view of an audience and panel of judges, they announced their names and the cost of their homemade ensemble….
“The 1933 competition held at North Carolina State University featured county winners from across the state. Forty-eight women modeled outfits in six different categories: house dresses, general wear, ‘remodeled,’ sack garments, afternoon and evening…. Included were a dress made of 20-year-old lace curtains (sewn at no cost), a woman’s suit made of a discarded man’s suit and a woman’s suit made from a fertilizer sack….”