On this day in 1952: “A preacher in Rocky Mount, N.C., announced he would burn a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible to protest the substitution of ‘young woman’ for ‘virgin’ and other changes from the King James version. He also charged that the National Council of Churches of Christ was deriving an ‘unmoral profit’ from royalties on the book. ‘I think their price is a little steep anyhow,’ he added.”
Birthed as the William Hayes Ackland Art Center, the Ackland Art Museum turns sixty today. The art center held a special preview for UNC faculty on Friday evening, September 19, 1958. The official dedication ceremony took place the next morning, featuring a talk titled, “The Role of the College Museum in America” by S. Lane Faison, head of the art department and director of the art museum at Williams College in Massachusetts. The opening exhibition was a composition of paintings, prints, etchings, drawings, and sculptures from the collections of several college and university art museums across the country.
The university slated Joseph Curtis Sloane, then at Bryn Mawr College, to become chairman of the Art Department and director of the new art center.
William D. Carmichael Jr., Vice President and Financial Officer of The University of North Carolina, accepted the building on behalf of the consolidated university.
Care to learn more about the Ackland’s origins? The Daily Tar Heel covered the story, including the background of the William Hayes Ackland bequest and the works of art in the opening exhibition on September 18th in advance of the dedication ceremony, and reported on the formal opening on September 21st.
On this day in 1943: In a war-benefit exhibition game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams meet in uniform for the second and last time during their careers.
Ruth, 48 and long retired, manages and pinch-hits for a team of New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. Williams, 24, plays for the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters, made up of major leaguers undergoing training at Marine pre-flight school in Chapel Hill.
On this day in 1907: Billed as “an extra added attraction,” Carry Nation appears in Salisbury’s Fourth of July parade. After inspecting local saloons — at 61, she is no longer busting them up — she declares the town a “hell hole.“
Nation’s month-long N.C. tour concludes in Raleigh. Raleigh Electric Co., whose streetcars profit from ferrying her supporters to Pullen Park, pays her $35. She makes an additional $25 from sale of souvenir cardboard and pewter hatchets.
On this day in 1961: Tom and Judy Alexander, looking to occupy their ranch hands during the offseason, open Cataloochee Ski Ranch in Haywood County. Three college students become the first paying customers of North Carolina’s infant ski industry.
By 2015 more than 650,000 customers are visiting the state’s six ski resorts each winter.
Today marks the 142nd birthday of photographer Bayard Wootten. Born 17 December 1875, Wootten began her photographic career in 1905 in New Bern. The photograph above depicts Wooting blowing out candles on one of her many birthday cakes, probably around 1940. She died on 6 April 1959 in her 83rd year.
In 1998 the University of North Carolina Press published Jerry Cotten’s biography of Wootten, which received the Mary Ellen LoPresti Award from the southeast chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America. In October of this year on the eve of the books twentieth anniversary, UNC Press reissued the biography as a paperback edition featuring photographs reproduced from Wootten’s original negatives using twenty-first digital imaging technology. The results are photographs reproduced with even more richness, both subtle and dramatic, than the first printing.
When you get your new 2018 calendar, circle March 27th. On that evening, Jerry Cotten and I will each give a presentation during a program titled, “Bayard Wootten: Then and Now.” Jerry will talk about Wootten and her accomplishments as featured in the biography, and I will discuss what we have learned about Wootten during the twenty years since the book’s initial publication. The presentations will follow a brief opening reception for a new exhibition in The Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson Library, and a book signing will follow the presentations.
On this day in 1938: Accepting an honorary degree at the University of North Carolina (three years after the school gave one to his wife, Eleanor), President Franklin D. Roosevelt shrugs off New Deal losses in the recent elections: “The liberal forces have often been killed and buried, with the inevitable result that they have come to life again more vigorous than before.”
In a phrase that will come to identify the speech at Woollen Gymnasium, FDR denies that his favorite breakfast dish is “grilled millionaire.”
On this day in 1962: Deflating state archivist H.G. Jones’ hopes of establishing that the song “Carolina Moon” refers exclusively to North Carolina, lyricist Benny Davis insists that the question leaves him “really at sea.”
Jones was inquiring at the behest of Gov. Terry Sanford, who had been startled to see S.C. Gov. Ernest Hollings jump to his feet when “Carolina Moon” was played at a governors’ conference. In his letter to Davis, Jones noted that “one has only to read the lyrics to know that you were dreaming of the Tar Heel state as you wrote them. Even the word ‘pining’ gives it away. North Carolina is the state of the long leaf pine. All they grow south of us are palmettos and other nuts.”
On this day in 1980: Esquire magazine profiles Shelby’s Rolls-Royce-leasing Earl Owensby as “A Very Minor Movie Mogul.” The Washington Post will dub him “the red-clay Cecil B. DeMacho.”
By whatever title, Owensby churns out low-budget action films (e.g., “Chain Gang,” “Rottweiler, Dogs From Hell” and “Rutherford County Line”) that bomb with American audiences but do nicely overseas. By decade’s end, however, Owensby has run into financial problems and the soundstages at EO Studios fall quiet.
On this day in 1934: In an unlikely industrial recruitment session at the Sir Walter Hotel in Raleigh, Chamber of Commerce officials from across the state discuss what to do if (in the words of The News & Observer) Upton Sinclair, the Big Bad Wolf of California politics, chases the Three Little Pigs and the rest of the movie people out of Hollywood.”
Novelist Sinclair’s socialistic gubernatorial campaign does indeed have the moguls in a swivet, but his big lead vanishes — in large part because of Hollywood’s ahead-of-its-time newsreel propaganda — and North Carolina will have to wait half a century to welcome its [recently shrunken] moviemaking colony.