Spring is just around the corner! In the last couple of weeks, Chapel Hill and the East Coast have been abuzz about the weather. With all of our modern day radar and forecasting technology, the elements are still unpredictable. What resources were available 100 years ago to predict the weather? The above article from the April 18, 1905 issue of The Progressive Farmer and the Cotton Plant discusses some of the tools and techniques U.S. government forecasters used to predict the weather in 1905. It touts forecasters’ 80 percent accuracy rate in calling the weather.
Since its inception in 1886, The Progressive Farmer has transformed from a local newspaper to a country life oriented magazine with a strong web presence. The online weather briefing delivered by today’s Progressive Farmer includes numerous forecasts as well as indices for drought and crop moisture.
“This little guy [I-73] sees itself, someday — way over a unicorn-filled rainbow in the distant future — as a direct connection between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the South Carolina Coast. For now it’s the country’s least busy interstate, a wee 77-mile heart line to Andre the Giant’s last home in Ellerbe, North Carolina.”
Stipulating that “ranking the Lower 48’s two-digit, primary Interstates — 66 in all… is a subjective business,” Robert Reid takes into consideration not only “vehicle travel miles per mile of Interstate,” but also “the general joy of the ride as a whole.”
North Carolina’s Interstates fall in the middle of Reid’s pack, except for the one that no traveler of the coastal plain will be surprised to see ranked No. 66. (But that doesn’t mean it lacks excitement!)
“Our engagement here in High Point has been most pleasant. This morning, I read to the various colored schools, and at the white high school. Sold gangs of books….” –From a letter from Langston Hughes to Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP (Dec. 8, 1931).
As noted by Nicholas Graham, Hughes’ eventful stay in Chapel Hill has been well chronicled. Less so his subsequent visit to High Point. I haven’t been able to find an account of his appearance at “the white high school” (High Point High), but the student newspaper at (white) High Point College covered what seems to have been a thoroughly uninflammatory reading at (black) William Penn High School:
“Langston Hughes, called by some ‘the greatest living negro poet,’… explained his compositions by telling the stories and incidents which gave rise to them….
“[His] love poems expressed the colored peoples’ life of romance. Most of the poems were short, with a clever sense of realism and emotion.
“Spiritual or religious poems…expressed the negroes’ emotions. Just opposite his spirituals are his ‘blues’ poems. They represent the emotional life of the negro, dealing with his troubles and loneliness….
“Perhaps his best known poem is ‘The Negro Mother,’in which he pays tribute to the colored race of all past ages and predicts for ‘the colored children’ happier and more worthy achievements.
“[Professor of religion] Dr. P. E. Lindley…reports a very enjoyable and delightful evening. He considers Hughes a very prominent rising negro scholar and poet.”