1. Evelyn Lincoln, secretary to President Kennedy, wrote that on the eve of his trip to Dallas he had told her he might replace Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the 1964 ticket with what North Carolinian?

2. “Your name is James. You’re twenty-three. You live in North Carolina.” These words appear in what controversial 2004 bestseller?

3. The first documented operation on what sick animal was performed in 1993 by veterinarians at N.C. State?

4. If you dug a hole in North Carolina straight through to the opposite side of the world, where would you wind up?

A. Pacific Ocean

B. Indian Ocean

C. Indonesia

D. Australia

5. The protagonist in Tom Wolfe’s 2004 novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons” is a college student from what N.C. town?








1. Gov. Terry Sanford, who later said Kennedy never mentioned the possibility to him.

2. “A Million Little Pieces” the discredited memoir by James Frey.

3. A goldfish.

4. B. Indian Ocean.

5. Sparta.


Though neither a Tar Heel born nor a Tar Heel bred, Tom Wolfe managed quite a number of Miscellany appearances — often juxtaposed with native sons Thomas Wolfe (here,  here  and here) and Junior Johnson (here and here).

In 2000 Wolfe became the first recipient of the Thomas Wolfe Prize.

From his acceptance note, handwritten atop the letter from professor William L. Andrews:

“I’m one of my namesake’s greatest fans. When I was just old enough to read, I noticed that there were two books on the shelves at home with my name on them, Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. My parents had a hard time convincing me that the author was no kin to me. He had to be. And sure enough, I’m ‘a putter-inner’ too….”

The “putter-inner” reference is from Thomas Wolfe’s response to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s criticism of his “unselective” approach to writing: “You say that the great writer like Flaubert has consciously left out the stuff that Bill or Joe will come along presently and put in. Well, don’t forget, Scott, that a great writer is not only a leaver-outer but also a putter-inner, and that Shakespeare and Cervantes and Dostoevsky were great putter-inners—greater putter-inners, in fact, than taker-outers and will be remembered for what they put in….”


Promotional license plate for Highlands, N.C.

No date on this promotional plate, but Highlands lost its bragging rights in 1981 with the incorporation of Beech Mountain (5,506 feet).


“[‘Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America’]  sprang from [Kathleen] Belew’s research on a 1979 anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, in which five members of the Communist Workers Party were murdered. A comment by one of the killers, who was among a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis, stuck with her: ‘I shot communists in Vietnam. Why wouldn’t I do that here?’

” ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about that,’ Belew said. ‘It collapsed peace time and war time, front lines and home fronts, and different kinds of enemies. I looked through the archive generated by this movement, and that was pervasive throughout the materials. The Vietnam War was a major force in uniting this social movement.’ ”

— From “In new book, UChicago historian examines rise of white power movement” at History News Network (May 2)


1. What future terrorist dropped out of Special Forces training at Fort Bragg in 1991 after being unable to complete a 90-minute march with a 45-pound pack?

2. What future terrorist attended Chowan College and graduated from N.C. A&T in mechanical engineering?

3. True or false: The first volcanic eruptions in what is now North Carolina occurred about 820 million years ago.

4. During the Civil War captured Union troops being held at Salisbury Prison introduced what sport to North Carolina?

5. Henderson native Ben E. King‘s best known pop hit made the top 10 in 1961 — and did it again in 1986. What was it?





1. Timothy McVeigh, who admitted setting the bomb that killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

2. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, alleged organizer of 9-11.

3. True. Volcanic activity lasted about 220 million years.

4. Baseball.

5. “Stand by Me,” which was revived in the movie by that name.


Several new titles were just added to “New in the North Carolina Collection.” To see the full list simply click on the link in the entry or click on the “New in the North Carolina Collection” tab at the top of the page. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the Wilson Special Collections Library.

This celluloid badge was distributed by INFACT, a Boston non-profit, as it launched the Challenging Big Tobacco Campaign in 1994.

Philip Morris and its numerous subsidiaries such as Kraft were already under attack by the anti-smoking movement.

“We want to get parents outraged at attempts by the tobacco companies to get children to smoke,” said Joe Tye, president of Stop Teen-Age Addiction to Tobacco, which had started its own boycott in 1990.

At the same time Philip Morris was facing opposition for its support of a different  North Carolina product.


1. What blues singer chased off a gang of Klansmen at a 1927 appearance in Concord?

2. Forty-two years after North Carolina replaced a Gov. Hodges with a Gov. Sanford, what other state did the same?

3. What aviation breakthrough was achieved in 1915 by the USS North Carolina?

4. Several hundred residents of what town welcome the New Year by firing black-powder muskets?

5. A 47-minute visit by what president inspired the creation of the forerunner of the Charlotte Chamber?






1. Bessie Smith. When half a dozen hooded men attempted to collapse the tent where she and the Harlem Frolics were performing, Smith yelled, “What the — you think you’re doing? I’ll get the whole damn tent out here if I have to. You just pick up them sheets and run.” They did.

2. South Carolina, where Mark Sanford succeeded Jim Hodges in 2003. Terry Sanford had succeeded Luther Hodges in North Carolina.

3. The USS North Carolina (the second of four ships bearing that name) became the first ship ever to launch an aircraft by catapult while under way. This experiment led to the catapults used on battleships and cruisers in World War II and beyond.

4. Cherryville. It’s a good luck tradition begun by German settlers more than 200 years ago.

5. Teddy Roosevelt. In 1904 Roosevelt, traveling by train across the South, spoke long enough to tell an overflow crowd at Vance Park, “This is the age of organization.” The next day saw the organization of the Greater Charlotte Club. Motto: “Watch Charlotte grow.”


There are only a handful of working gristmills in North Carolina today, but they once played a vital role as community centers.

“ ‘In the South, we used to have a mill in almost every county. Everyone knew their local miller,’ says Bryan King, fourth-generation miller of Lakeside Mills in Spindale.

“Though they may not be as commonplace, a few mills have stayed in business thanks to the natural fondness for Southern – and often nostalgic – recipes.

“ ‘The traditional cooks want to buy what they recognize from childhood,’ King says. ‘That’s what your local mills produce. We’re now a niche market.’ ”

— From “Run of the Mills: North Carolina Gristmills” at North Carolina Field & Family (Sept. 20, 2015)

W. J. Worsham’s Old Mill in Ruffin may have produced flour and meal for human consumption, but this paper bag contained five pounds of scratch feed — cracked wheat and corn — for chickens. According to a 1921 issue of the trade journal Operative Miller, Worsham had recently purchased a steel overshot water wheel, 12 feet diameter. Here’s a 1982 photo of a defunct Worsham’s Mill in Ruffin (the bag illustration is probably stock).

Also in the collection: bags from Boonville (Boonville’s Choice), Mt. Olive (Williams mill), Albemarle (Lowder), Princeton (GNC), Marshall (Silvers), Raleigh (Lassiter), Goldston (Dixie), Lenoir (Happy Valley), Whitakers (Fish Creek), Monroe (Morning Glory), Washington (Jo Ho Mo), Lilesville (Allen), Old Fort (Tar Heel), Eureka (Premium), Morganton (Rich), Hiddenite (Hiddenite), Autryville (Autry), Faison (Carolina), Deep Run (Old Fashioned), Warrenton (Whites) and Newton Grove (Houses).


 1. A 1938 visit to the U.S. Fisheries Station at Beaufort inspired what biologist to write about shorebirds in “Under the Sea-Wind”?

2. True or false: The oldest known North Carolinian lived to be 115 years old.

3. What was the “Route of the Pacemakers”?

4. Who was North Carolina’s last popularly elected Roman Catholic governor before Mike Easley?

5. In 1799 Joseph Rice recorded North Carolina’s last known sighting of what animal?






1. Rachel Carson. In “The Edge of the Sea” (1955) Carson describes the estuarine region near Beaufort now known as the Rachel Carson Reserve. Her next book was the environmentalism landmark “Silent Spring” (1962).

2. True. Maggie Barnes of Kenly died in 1998. (Nine of 10 people who live beyond 110 are women.)

3. A slogan of Piedmont Airlines.

4. There wasn’t one.

5. The buffalo. He killed it in Bull Creek Valley in Buncombe County.


« Newer Posts - Older Posts »