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Archive for the ‘Memorabilia Moment’ Category

  The cardboard shades were pretty much standard issue for watching the 2017 total solar eclipse, but the noisemaker is specific to Cherokee legend. Tribal storyteller Mike Crowe of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian told Blue Ridge Public Radio, “A long time ago, whenever there was an eclipse, they had an explanation for this. […]

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“The Dixie Chicks, performing at Walnut Creek [Amphitheatre in Raleigh], said they considered boycotting the show [to protest HB2]. Instead, they handed out baseball caps that said ‘No Hate in our State.’ “ ‘We have a favor to ask,’ lead singer Natalie Maines told the crowd after a few songs. ‘Since we didn’t cancel our […]

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  When Elvis died — Aug. 16, 1977 — the Charlotte Observer wasn’t prepared for the enormous demand for single copies. (We weren’t the only ones.) A year later, however, the Observer and the afternoon Charlotte News had days of commemorative coverage lined up, as these two rack cards illustrate.  

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  “Never before had there been a coordinated statewide effort to showcase North Carolina as a destination. Tourism had the potential to lift the state out of economic despair. So in 1937, the newly created Division of State Advertising embarked on a campaign under the slogan ‘Variety Vacationland’…. “The phrase … would become mostly history […]

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. Before flat-screen TVs there were chubby TVs — and these miniature souvenir knockoffs made in Hong Kong. “Blowing Rock N.C. on television” offers eight click-through color images, including Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. (Spot any unlisted Hugh Mortons, Stephen Fletcher?) Viewers of “Outer Banks N.C. / television” can gaze at only a single color […]

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Somebody went to a lot of trouble to put together this souvenir trinket — miniature foldout photos of North Carolina landmarks (State Capitol, Duke Chapel, etc.), encased in a  leather-like cover with metallic emblem, all attached to a link bracelet. The black and white images are “real photos” — like early postcards — rather than […]

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  This beat-up, taped-up employee badge is a humble reminder of a once-thriving outpost of the Cannon textile empire. Wiscassett Mills was founded in Albemarle in 1898. During World War II,  its yarns were used for machine gun belts and parachute harnesses. In 1978 Wiscassett was purchased by Cannon Mills. By 2000 when the plant […]

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  Soap Box Derby used to be be big, both nationally and in North Carolina. Today the derby apparently survives in the state only in Morganton, where it has its own track at the Burke County Fairgrounds under the sponsorship of the Morganton Optimist Club. Newspaper archives offer a look back at the race’s glory […]

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  Hats off to the enthusiastic sign maker, but the 1936 Republican presidential ticket foundered both nationally and in North Carolina. Alf Landon, Kansas governor, and Frank Knox, Chicago newspaper publisher, won only Maine and Vermont against incumbents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner. In 1928 Harden, co-founder of Alamance County’s short-lived streetcar system […]

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Quite a big deal it was in 1987, when Charlotte Douglas International Airport was awarded its first nonstop transatlantic passenger service. Piedmont Airlines even commissioned this ambitiously-detailed souvenir tin box, made in England, to celebrate the Gatwick connection.  

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