When Marines rejected Japanese-Americans

“Beside refusing enlistment to Negroes [at the beginning of World War II], the Marines also refused enlistment to all non-Caucasians. At the end of December 1941, George Keshi, a Japanese-American juggler with the Wallace Brothers Circus, tried to enlist at the Charlotte recruiting station, but he was informed by Sgt. Homer E. Tinklepaugh, ‘So sorry — the Marines no acceptee any Japs for enlistee rightee now.’

“Undaunted, Keshi joined the Navy.”

— From “The Queen City at War” by Stephen Herman Dew (2001)


Recipes to help you with those resolutions.

Diet jello salad - Hyde County Cookbook

Diet Jello Salad from Hyde County cook book.

Elegant Low-Calorie Flounder-The Wild and Free Cookbook

Elegant Low-Calorie Flounder from The wild and free cookbook.

low fat low sugar muffins - Columbus County Cookbook II

Low Fat-Low Sugar Muffins from Columbus County cookbook II.

Skinny dip - Classic Cookbook of Duke Hospital

Skinny Dip from Classic cookbook.

Low Cholesterol Waffles-Good Eatin' from Duke Memorial

Low Cholesterol Waffles from Good eatin’ from Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, Durham, North Carolina.

Carob-Chip Whole Wheat Cookies - Mountain Elegance

Carob-Chip Whole Wheat Cookies from Mountain elegance : a collection of favorite recipes.

No Fat Salad Dressing - Vegetarian Delights

No-Fat Salad Dressing from Vegetarian delights : a hearty collection of natural food recipes.

Former slaves built schoolhouse whites never did

“Throughout the South, blacks in 1865 and 1866 formed societies and raised money among themselves to purchase land, build schoolhouses, and pay teachers’ salaries. Some communities voluntarily taxed themselves, while in others black schools charged tuition, although often a certain number of the poorest families were allowed to enroll their children free of charge….

“Contemporaries could not but note the contrast between white families seemingly indifferent to education and blacks who ‘toil and strive, labour and endure in order that their children “may have a schooling.” ‘ As one Northern educator remarked: ‘Is it not significant that…  one hundred and forty-four years since the settlement [of Beaufort, North Carolina], the Freedmen are building the first public school-house ever erected here?’ ”

— From “Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (2002)


Remembering a governor generous with clemency

On this day in 1905: After commuting a 15-year manslaughter conviction to 6 1/2 years, his last official act, Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock proudly points out to the press his desk’s bare top and empty compartments.

It is an appropriate exit for Aycock, who has set records by extending clemency in 458 cases and granting 369 full pardons. On one occasion, to his embarrassment, he even pardoned a man who had died in prison several months earlier.

Aycock would likely be appalled to see how seldom recent North Carolina governors have used their pardon power.


Early photos of Chapel Hill and UNC

Old Well in Battle Album
The Old Well as it appears in the Battle photo album
Image of gym from the Battle album. Phillips Hall currently sits at the site.
Image of gym from the Battle photo album. Phillips Hall currently sits at the site.

There is only one known existing image of the iconic Old Well that dates back past the pillars and marble to when a wooden structure was simply known as ‘the well.’

Taken for former University of North Carolina President Kemp Plummer Battle, and wedged between the pages of a 120-year-old photo album, the faded photo is among a collection of images showcasing 19th century life in Chapel Hill.

‘This is the most comprehensive set of images from a set period of time,’ said Stephen Fletcher, photo archivist for the North Carolina Collection.’This would be the earliest set of town scenes.’

Photograph archivists at the Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection recently reorganized and relaunched the photo album online to give viewers a full experience of the 19th century artifact. All 74 images of the book have been scanned and formatted into a virtual album, which allows researchers the ability to flip through the book like intended when it was created in 1894.

‘We made a conscious effort to be able to show the album as an album,’ Fletcher said. ‘We didn’t just photograph the individual images. We wanted people to see what the album looks like and be able to recreate the experience of turning the pages and seeing the images.’

“Century-old photo album shows Chapel Hill’s history”
by Brandon Bieltz for “Spotlight” section of UNC-Chapel Hill website. Library staff have experimented with restoring details and color to some of the images in the Battle album. One example is below:

Restored image of Old Well. Image is from the Battle photo album.
Restored image of Old Well. Image is from the Battle photo album.

Marlette’s offense: ‘What Would Mohammed drive?’

“….And offend [Doug Marlette] did. In 2002, when he drew a cartoon showing a man in Arab headdress driving a Ryder rental truck hauling a nuclear missile — under the caption ‘What Would Mohammed Drive? — he set off a campaign orchestrated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations; he and the newspaper received more than 20,000 e-mail messages from people who accused him of bigotry and blasphemy and some who included death threats.

“Writing about the incident in The Tallahassee Democrat, where Mr. Marlette was then on staff, he said: ‘In my 30-year career I have regularly drawn cartoons that offend religious fundamentalists and true believers of every stripe, a fact that I tend to list in the “accomplishments” column of my résumé. I have outraged fundamentalist Christians by skewering Jerry Falwell, Roman Catholics by needling the pope, and Jews by criticizing Israel. I have vast experience upsetting people with my art.”

— From “Doug Marlette, Cartoonist Who Won the Pulitzer Prize, Dies at 57” by Motoko Rich in the New York Times (July 11, 2007)

Marlette, a Greensboro native, last lived in Hillsborough. His 1988 Pulitzer recognized cartoons he had drawn about PTL at the Charlotte Observer.


Their exodus was to Indiana, not to Liberia

“In 1851, Indiana famously had adopted a Constitution that made it illegal for blacks to migrate into the state. One of the backers of the ‘black law’ was Putnam County delegate A.C. Stevenson.

“ ‘He thought blacks should go back to Liberia,’ [Ball State University history professor Nicole Etcheson] said. ‘He said this in his convention address, that blacks in Indiana have the mistaken notion that this is their home.’

“But by 1879, Stevenson was one of the Republicans in Putnam County courting African-Americans to come to Indiana as laborers, a total reversal of his earlier position.

“By the 1880 Census, about 500 blacks had turned up in Putnam County from North Carolina — where the Ku Klux Klan was emerging — as part of the ‘Exoduster Movement’ or ‘Exodus of 1879.’

“ ‘This is the big change that occurs, stripping away Indiana’s status as a black law state,’ Etcheson concluded. ‘The Civil War doesn’t entirely eradicate white supremacy in Indiana, but Indiana… now has to accept the migration of free people into the state and accord them civil rights and allow them to vote. And now inviting blacks into the state, this I think is the real change that the Civil War brought to Indiana.’ ”

— From “Was black Civil War soldier poisoned?” by Seth Slabaugh in the Muncie (Indiana) Star Press (Dec. 29)

Here’s more about “The Exodusters of Putnam County,”  highlighting North Carolinian Dow Whittaker.


At Emerald Isle, a not-quite-old man and the sea

“It’s ridiculous how often you have to say hello on Emerald Isle. Passing someone on the street is one thing, but you have to do it in stores as well, not just to the employees who greet you at the door but to your fellow-shoppers in aisle three. Most of the houses that face the ocean are rented out during the high season, and, from week to week, the people in them come from all over the United States. Houses near the sound are more commonly owner-occupied. They have landscaped yards, and many are fronted by novelty mailboxes. Some are shaped like fish, while others are outfitted in cozies that have various messages — ‘Bless Your Heart’ or ‘Sandy Feet Welcome!’ — printed on them.

“The neighborhoods near the sound are so Southern that people will sometimes wave to you from inside their houses. Workmen, hammers in hand, shout hello from ladders and half-shingled roofs. I’m willing to bet that the local operating rooms are windowless and have doors that are solid wood. Otherwise, the surgeons and nurses would feel obliged to acknowledge everyone who passed down the hall, and patients could possibly die as a result.

“While the sound side of the island feels like an old-fashioned neighborhood, the ocean side is more like an upscale retirement community. Look out a street-facing window on any given morning and you’d think a Centrum commercial was being filmed. All these hale, silver-haired seniors, walking or jogging or cycling past the house. Later in the day, when the heat cranks up, they purr by in golf carts, wearing visors, their noses streaked with sunblock. If you were a teen-ager, you likely wouldn’t give it much thought, but to my sisters and me — people in our mid- to late fifties — it’s chilling. Thatll be us in, like, eight years, we think. How can that be when only yesterday, on this very same beach, we were children?…”

— From “Leviathan: Ways to have fun at the beach” by in The New Yorker (Jan. 5)