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Archive for May, 2011

– “The North Carolina Medical Society overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to take in Negro doctors. Argued Dr. Millard Hill of Raleigh: as members, they would ‘seek to capitalize on their privileges and try to mix socially with whites.’ “ –– From Time magazine,  May 17, 1954

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On this day in 1990: Muppets creator Jim Henson, feeling under the weather, cuts short a Mother’s Day visit to Ahoskie to return to New York City. Three days later he will die of a fast-spreading form of bacterial pneumonia. Henson, 53, often visited Ahoskie, where his mother, Barbara Henson, had retired in the early […]

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“In North Carolina, the ‘Moonshine Capital of the World’ (3,846 stills seized in 1954), state officials have inaugurated a shrewd new strategy against moonshiners. “On the shelves of state liquor stores there has appeared a civilized but untamed 100-proof corn liquor respectably labeled ‘White Lightning — Clear as the Mountain Dew’ and respectably distilled on […]

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From the Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards “Special attention is given to the use of electricity. Twenty years’ experience has proven it invaluable in cases of nervous prostration, incipient paralysis, insomnia, the opium and whiskey habits and those nervous affections due to uterine or ovarian disorders.” -Promotional copy for Glenwood Park Sanitarium “In […]

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” ‘Cold Mountain’ can best be understood as a feminist antiwar film that turns almost every Lost Cause convention on its head. In the process, it distorts history at least as much as ‘Gods and Generals’… a film celebratory of Confederates at war…. “Virtually all white southern women in ‘Cold Mountain’ are either indifferent or […]

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— He says soda, she says pop — can this marriage be saved? — In praise of street preachers. — Can any N.C. newspaper name top the Yadkin Ripple? Well, maybe. —  As war encroaches, Wilmington goes a little crazy. — Is it just me, or are UNC degrees always popping up in unexpected bios?

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In addition to being a Chapel Hill insurance agent, John Umstead was the brother of Gov. William Umstead, the UNC roommate of Frank Porter Graham and, as a legislator, the impassioned reformer of the state’s mental health hospitals. He seems to have given this paperweight-mirror to policyholders such as Mrs. W. S. Kutz. Insurance mirrors […]

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On this day in 1961: The “Freedom Riders,” headed from Washington to Jackson, Miss., to challenge the South’s segregated bus facilities, incur their first arrest during an overnight stop in Charlotte. Joe Perkins, a 27-year-old New Yorker, refuses to leave after being denied a shoeshine in the bus station’s white-only barbershop and is jailed for […]

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To an alumnus of a school that only recently gave up its own retro  mascot, these pinbacks from the collection bring back memories, if not exactly nostalgia. Top and bottom: Cape Fear Academy, founded in 1967 in response to desegregation of New Hanover County public schools, called on imagery typical of the time. In 2005, […]

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“Slowly the conviction deepens that not even Mr. Sinclair Lewis was able to do full justice to the Babbitt type…. “In a North Carolinian city, the local committees, Rotarians, Chamber of Commerce and the like, met to decide upon a form of welcome for the visiting [New York Symphony] which would sustain the South’s reputation […]

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