“Two years ago this weekend, Michael Hoffman, then a U.S. Marine, was marching across the border of Kuwait as the war in Iraq began. On Saturday, he marched through the streets of this military town [Fayetteville] with other veterans, military family members and anti-war activists protesting the invasion he now believes was wrong….
“[Such demonstrations come] as national anti-war efforts try to regain footing after the re-election of President Bush.
“That is partly why one of the larger events was in Fayetteville, home of Ft. Bragg Army base, the Army Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division, now on its second tour of duty in Iraq. Police estimated that 3,000 people gathered in a park Saturday for Fayetteville‘s largest anti-war rally since Jane Fonda protested the Vietnam War here in 1971.”
— From “Army town draws anti-war protest; Thousands march across U.S., Europe on Iraq anniversary” by Dahleen Glanton in the Chicago Tribune (March 20, 2005)
The initialisms around the edge of this pinback button represent organizations such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Military Families Speak Out.
“Putt-Putt golf was created in Fayetteville in 1954 when businessman Don Clayton opened the first course. Putt-Putt is a specific type of miniature golf that Clayton patented to focus on putting skills rather than gimmicks such as windmills and scenery.
“Putt-Putt became immensely popular, and though the corporation remained in North Carolina, more than 200 courses now exist throughout the nation.”
— From “Play Putt-Putt golf in the state where it was created” at VisitNC.com
“Mac Healy announced that the North Carolina Civil War History Center had been renamed the North Carolina Civil War and Reconstruction History Center. Healy is the chairman of the foundation promoting what would become the state’s premier Civil War center.
“Reconstruction refers to not only the formal time period recognized by historians as between 1865 to 1877, but to the years after that. Healy said people were still feeling the [effects] of the war after that period.
“ ‘North Carolina was defined by the Civil War, but you have to keep in mind that there were relatively few battles fought here, so that’s why our center is searching for stories of how families dealt with the hardships that came as a result of the Civil War,’ Healy said.”
— From “City Council raises concerns about poverty initiative, Civil War center” by in the Fayetteville Observer (Jan. 2)
Today’s rock ‘n’ roll fans wouldn’t think of the late Fats Domino — “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’ ” — as an incendiary performer, but this isn’t 1956, when a riot broke out at his show in Fayetteville. Police used tear gas to break up the unruly crowd, and Fats jumped out a window to avoid the melee. He and two other band members were slightly injured.
Wonder if he and Chuck Berry ever compared notes about their experiences in Fayetteville….
On this day in 1983: Highest temperature ever recorded in North Carolina: 110 degrees, at Fayetteville.
Less than two years later the state’s lowest temperature will be reached at Mt. Mitchell.
On this day in 1831: In Raleigh, a workman who goes to breakfast in the midst of soldering leaks in the zinc roof accidentally burns down the Capitol.
Backers of Fayetteville, a larger town with livelier commerce — that was just recovering from its own disastrous fire — will lobby unsuccessfully to have the capital relocated there.
“FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The nation’s worst two-truck highway wreck has claimed its 20th victim, one more than the previous record set in a similar wreck in Texas in 1947.
“Thursday’s fiery collision occurred at an intersection [U.S. 301 and N.C. 162] about 9 miles south of here….
“The victims were members of a crew of about 40 Negro farm laborers, heading toward the day’s job of bean picking….”
— From “Wreck toll now standing at 20 dead” (Associated Press, June 8, 1957)
The death toll on the overburdened highway already known as Bloody 301 would later reach 21.
Chick Jacobs has a detailed look back in the Fayetteville Observer.
The Fayetteville Observer makes smart use of the oft-mocked listicle to lay out “Top 10 game changers in Fayetteville’s history” (June 20), from the town’s failed attempt to secure the state capital in 1788 to the still-disputatious “Big Bang” annexation of 2005.
Here’s Matt Leclercq’s entry on the birth of Fort Bragg:
“Fayetteville was a sleepy town post-Civil War, with a population hovering around 5,000. Then came a ‘dusty June day in 1918’ when two government men from Washington were scouting sites for an artillery range and camp. There were few maps, and few roads, historian Roy Parker Jr. wrote, and they traveled by compass and ‘dead-reckoning.’ On the fourth day of their drive, they came across a rise north of Fayetteville and saw undulating, pine-covered sand ridges, Parker recounts. The War Department soon established Camp Bragg, which would become one of the largest military bases in the world.”
“The recent visit of Mickey Rooney to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I am stationed, is an event I shall always remember, even though he left my morale just where he found it. Young Mr. Rooney dropped in more or less under the auspices of the U.S.O. His arrival was breathlessly awaited and, though my buddies and I were naturally not permitted to leave our duties to greet him at the railroad station in the adjacent town of Fayetteville, we heard later that enough affectionate townsfolk had tried to pull his clothes off to make the reception a success.
“After that orthodox beginning, his visit became rather strange, for a movie star. His manager, a ubiquitous gentleman who seemed to be under the impression he was escorting the Holy Grail, somehow persuaded the camp authorities that his lively cargo’s cruise around the post should not be chronicled by the local press. At this the press became highly indignant. One correspondent, denied the privilege of speaking directly with the great man, reported uncharitably that Rooney’s face, off the screen, was as green as his suit….”
— From “Andy Hardy Comes to Camp” by Pvt. E. J. Kahn Jr. in The New Yorker (June 13, 1942)
According to the recent “The Life and Times of Mickey Rooney” by Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes, Rooney put on a much more winning performance in a sidetrip to meet the mother of Ava Gardner, to whom he was secretly married.
“The words very and must didn’t exist in the rural North Carolina dialect I spoke. All my relatives and neighbors used mighty where Yankees would use very.
“I recall the first time I heard must coming from the mouth of a Southerner. Our high school was having career day and had invited a pianist from Fayetteville who had tried his luck in New York. He said, ‘I must go now; I have another session….’ I was so struck by the incident, that I remember it to this day, a half century later. Now very and must are commonplace….”
— From Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog (Sept. 18, 2013)
Offline, Dr. Goodword is Robert E. Beard, native of Fayetteville, graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and professor emeritus of languages at Bucknell University.