“Aycock Brown was the first writer to extoll the virtues of Tony Seaman’s seafoods at the Sanitary Fish Market in Morehead City, and his squibs led to a growing clip file of free publicity the like of which has never been shared by another Tar Heel restaurateur. When Aycock was day-dreaming about photographic equipment for free-lancing, the grateful Seaman dropped a $350 press camera into his lap and launched him on his own….”
— From “Aycock Brown sang the praises of the North Carolina coast” by Jack Riley in the News & Observer (1949) [h/t Teresa Leonard]
At some point in its 80-year history – 1950s? — the Sanitary Fish Market piled on further promotion by distributing these pisciform pocket screwdriver and bottle opener tools on behalf of the VFW Welfare Fund.
“Although Jefferson Davis never enforced his order to enslave captured black soldiers, some of his senior officers committed atrocities against black troops in violation of the code of war….
“Even more common was violence committed against individual black soldiers in captured areas of the South. In Morehead City, North Carolina, whites murdered a black soldier for taking ‘rather more liberty than an Anglo-Saxon [man] likes to submit to.’
“Soldiers expected danger from uniformed opponents, and Northern blacks were raised to be wary of white neighbors, but few were prepared for the threat of assassination in the dead of night….”
— From “The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era” by Douglas R. Egerton (2014)
On this day in 1994: Pat Crawford, last surviving member of the famed “Gashouse Gang” — the 1934 world champion St. Louis Cardinals — dies at a Morehead City nursing home at age 91.
Crawford had been the top pinch-hitter for the Gashouse Gang, named for the club’s rambunctious style. Unlike such teammates as Pepper Martin, Leo Durocher and Dizzy Dean, however, Crawford held two college degrees (Davidson and Ohio State), abstained from tobacco and alcohol and preferred to turn in early.
The Gang’s next-to-last survivor, Tarboro native Burgess Whitehead, died two months before at his home in Windsor.
On this day in 1879: Winds of 135 mph and tides 4 feet above normal hit the North Carolina coast. “Beaufort and Morehead City are classed as ruined . . . completely wrecked,” reports the Raleigh Daily News.
Only two lives are lost, both in rescue attempts, but the storm destroys Beaufort’s landmark three-story Atlantic Hotel. Among guests whose belongings are swept away: Gov. Thomas Jarvis, who returns to Raleigh two days later wearing a sailor suit.
“James Ferguson, a witness for the prosecution, told of finding a letter floating in the water near Morehead City, North Carolina. The letter was in cipher. A translation of the letter, addressed to ‘John’ and dated April 15, was read into the court record.
“The letter makes coded references to killing Lincoln and others, including Generals Sherman and Grant. The letter appears to be a fabrication, but by whom and for what purpose is unclear.”
— From “The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia” by Edward Steers (2010)