So you think you know North Carolina…. No. 49

1. In 1948 citizens of Newport News petitioned Virginia’s governor to close its southern border — why?

2. In 1988 officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport teasingly distributed pinback buttons asking, “Parlez-vous Francais, Charlotte?” — why?

3. After this educator’s death at the age of 39, Frederick Douglass lamented that “the race has lost its ablest advocate.” To whom was he referring?

4. Duke Ellington composed what 1930s classic at a party in Durham’s North Carolina Mutual Building?

5. The last Confederate veteran in Congress served until 1910, 1920 or 1930?

Answers below





1. North Carolina was suffering the nation’s worst epidemic of infantile paralysis — better known today as polio. In 1959 the state became the first to require children to be inoculated with the new Salk vaccine.

2. RDU had just added an American Airlines flight to Paris — a direct connection then lacking at Charlotte/Douglas International. (American dropped the Paris flight in 1994 and shut its RDU hub a year later.)

3. Joseph C. Price, founder of Livingstone College.

4. “In a Sentimental Mood.” As Ellington recalled: “We had played a big dance in a tobacco warehouse, and afterwards a friend of mine, an executive in the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company [treasurer Edward Merrick], threw a party for us….

“I was playing piano when another one of our friends had some trouble with two chicks. To pacify them, I composed this there and then, with one chick standing on each side of the piano.”

5. 1930. Former Confederate major Charles Manly Stedman, elected to the House 10 times by his Greensboro district, died at age 89.