“There were plenty of emotional moments that [Christina] Koch didn’t expect, especially when she looked down at Earth and saw a thin line of land jutting into the Atlantic that she could follow up the mouth of the New River to her hometown and her home state.
” ‘The biggest surprise I had was how amazing it was to look down and see North Carolina,’ Koch says. ‘I thought it would be kind of neat, but it had a deeper impact on me to see all the places that formed my memories, the place that formed me, to see the place where all the people who supported me and my dream to become an astronaut lived.
“ ‘It was a profound, perspective-changing moment that I was unprepared for.’ ”
— From “Space, the Final Frontier” by Tim Peeler at NC State News (Jan. 31, 2023)
NC State alumna Koch (left) and Jessica Meir made history by completing the first ever all-female spacewalk.
“A 1921 article in the Charlotte Observer previewed a matchup between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Davidson Wildcats by noting that ‘the aerial game’ was expected to be ‘used extensively by both teams,’ while ‘a great ground game if successful is also hazardous.’
“It would take another 60 years for the football terms to enter the political field of play. In a 1981 column for the Los Angeles Times, Andrew Young, then between stints as U.N. ambassador and mayor of Atlanta, made the athletic analogy explicit.
” ‘So get ready for the big playoffs in 1982 and the Super Bowl in 1984,’ Mr. Young wrote, alluding to the coming midterm and presidential elections. ‘The far right will take to the air. The opposition will launch a new ground game, which would be helped by an air attack if the money is available.’ ”
— From “How ‘Ground Game’ Moved From the Gridiron to Politics” by Ben Zimmer in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 5, 2014)
“In teaching about inequality, protest, and social change, I’ve sometimes cited the Moral Mondays/Forward Together movement to offer an example, or to link general principles to local events.
“In doing so, I’ve found that, in a class of thirty or so students, only a few will know what I’m referring to, let alone who is protesting what. I am thus reminded that most of the time students spend on their smartphones is not devoted to following the news but to communicating with their equally detached peers….
“It would be a mistake to blame students for what they don’t know, to chide them for being absorbed in social media or celebrity trivia. Students are products of their culture, time, and place. As are we all. If college students today know more about the Kardashians than about politics and policy, it’s because of what they’ve been taught to mind and taught to ignore….”
On this day in 1988: Basketball legend “Pistol Pete” Maravich, who played at Broughton High School in Raleigh when his father was coaching at N.C. State, dies from cardiac arrest during a pickup game in Pasadena, Calif. He is 40 years old.
Less than a year earlier, Maravich spoke in Charlotte about his recent conversion to Christianity:
“My valley was the bar, it was alcohol, it was women. I had that external glow of happiness, but inside I was so empty. I wouldn’t trade where I am right now for 1,000 NBA championship rings.
“If people just see a basketball player when they look at me, forget it, my life is nothing. The old Pete Maravich is dead and buried.”
“Nobody now fears that a Japanese fleet could deal an unexpected blow to our Pacific possessions…. Radio makes surprises impossible.”
— Josephus Daniels, publisher and former Navy secretary, dedicating station WLAC at North Carolina State College, Oct. 16, 1922.
On this day in 1965: About 1,000 N.C. State students converge on the student newspaper office to demand that editors apologize for having proposed that “Dixie” be stricken from the repertoire of campus musical groups.
About 400 protesters march on to the Capitol. In the evening’s only conflict, a poster reading “Down with Dixie” is ripped from the hands of two black students and destroyed.