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Archive for December, 2016

“[I am] pained at the implication in your letter that I was ashamed of North Carolina — only what is N.C. willing to do for me? I don’t think there is a place there now for anyone who cares for anything besides Rotary and Lions and Boosters Clubs, real-estate speculation, ‘heap much’ money, social fawning, […]

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On this day in 1984: Andy Griffith puts the brakes on efforts to find a North Carolina town willing to rename itself Mayberry. He calls the campaign by John Meroney III, 14-year-old founder of The Andy Griffith Show Appreciation Society, “enormously embarrassing.” .

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“A rare 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I resided for nearly 60 years at the Lost Colony site in Manteo. Proud locals dubbed it ‘the Manteo Queen.’ “Late last year, however, the North Carolina garden club that owned the portrait shipped it quietly to Britain where a buyer acquired it for a reported $51,000 […]

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“There early began to be some internal development and growth of self-consciousness among the Negroes…. In North Carolina until 1835 [its] Constitution extended the franchise to every freeman, and when Negroes were disfranchised, several hundred colored men were deprived of the vote. In fact, as Albert Bushnell Hart says, ‘In the colonies freed Negroes, like […]

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It’s hard to believe that, in more than thirteen years of this blog, we haven’t once mentioned Goody’s Headache Powders. But a search through our archive suggests that may well be true. We’ll remedy that [pun sheepishly intended] with our December Artifact of the Month, a Goody’s Headache Powder store poster. According to NCPedia, headache […]

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Eaton Brooks, the UNC sophomore whose drunken chandelier-swinging at a 1964 Hamptons house party  earned him a trip to court and attention in the national press, has been a longtime occupant of my  “Whatever happened to…” list. This 1980 profile in Charlottesville’s Albemarle magazine answers that question in rich detail, at least up to his […]

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“In Richmond, Va., an enterprising New York Life agent sold more than 30 policies in a single day in February 1846. Soon, advertisements began appearing in newspapers from Wilmington, N.C., to Louisville as the New York-based company encouraged Southerners to buy insurance to protect their most precious commodity: their slaves…. “Policy No. 1150 covered Anthony, […]

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On this day in 1965: Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, recuperating at Fort Bragg from a punji-stick wound suffered in Vietnam, records “The Ballad of the Green Berets.” The tribute to his Special Forces comrades (“Fearless men who jump and die. . . . Men who mean just what they say. . . . “) will […]

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Possibly nothing is more festive during the holiday season than making a special trip to a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in Germany, filled with fragrant firs, twinkling lights, and warm Glühwein. Short of booking a trip to Germany to experience this first-hand, the next best thing may be to witness something akin to German Christmas traditions right here […]

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Thanks to Joe Elliott of Asheville for this response to my query about the fate of the aluminum house conceived and built (circa 1951) by his father-in-law, Thomas Edison Westall of Marion: “Ed built onto the structure later, converting part of it into a popular local restaurant called the Pilot House. Sometime after the restaurant […]

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