“Clothing designers sent the grunge look down runways for spring, but thanks to the Dickens Fair, Raleigh will be full of fashionables sporting their own brand of street-urchin wear next weekend.
“Fayetteville Street Mall will be transformed into Victorian England for the street fair celebrating of one of the world’s most celebrated writers.
“Dickens Pen & Inc. — an outgrowth of the Dickens Disciples, kind of a Charles Dickens fan club organized by N.C. State University adjunct English professor Elliot Engel — is offering an incentive: Anyone dressed in period costume gets into the fair free.”
–From “A Dickens of a Dress Code” by Mary E. Miller in the News & Observer (Dec. 4, 1992)
I’ve been stymied in unearthing the history behind these two bicycle licenses.
What mention of bike licenses I did find was in Charlotte: In 1954 the city enacted an ordinance requiring a 25-cent metal registration tag. “The move is designed to cope with widespread bicycle theft,” the Observer explained. By 1964 the metal tag seems to have given way to reflector tape, and after that the Observer archives yield not a single mention of the license ordinance. By the 21st century letters to the editor were calling for licensing not to thwart thieves but to crack down on cyclists seen as disrespectful of drivers.
How relevant is any of this to Raleigh and Rocky Mount? Maybe not at all — suggestions welcome!
“In the 1950s, back in the days when legislators stayed in downtown Raleigh’sHotel Sir Walter during legislative sessions, you couldn’t buy a drink anywhere in town.
“And didn’t need to. Each of the 45 liquor salesmen who supplied N.C. ABC stores had three cases of liquor a month to give away – and much of it was delivered to the loading dock of the Hotel Sir Walter and quickly stored (wink, wink) in a room ostensibly rented to A.B. Carter. Notice anything cute about Mr. Carter’s initials?
“A memorable front page from the News & Observer on May 28, 1957 featured seven photographs of liquor arriving, being unloaded, carried into the hotel and delivered to certain rooms by a bellhop around noon. The local Alcoholic Beverage Control board office was notified at 3 p.m. and sprang into action. And sprang. And sprang. After, oh, about an hour and a half, ABC agents finally entered the room where the contraband booze had been taken – and it was empty. What a surprise. The newspaper’s photos proved what had happened, and once again the state’s ABC law enforcement officers looked like Keystone Kops – without as much action….”
— From “Liquor in North Carolina, from A to C” by Jack Betts in the Charlotte Observer (Dec. 3, 1995)
“A.B. Carter” was actually Frank Sims, former lobbyist for the Association of County ABC Boards, who was later fined $100 for registering at a hotel under an assumed name.
Forgive me if I like to imagine one of those deliveries being made to this key’s Room 940.
“The Raleigh Canteen House and Service Station… will cause thousands of soldiers to look back as long as they live to their one hour’s stay in Raleigh as being altogether different than any other experience they had on the way from home to France and from France back home. The Raleigh Canteen and Service Station is like an oasis in the desert; or the shadow of a great rock in a weary journey….”
If your jam band has been touring (with a couple of breaks) since 1983, you generate mountains of merch. But I particularly like this sticker from Phish‘s 2018 performance at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek (mouthful!) in Raleigh.
“Nearly forgotten, Dr. King spoke in Raleigh to an integrated audience of about 5,000 at Reynolds Coliseum at 4 p.m. on July 31, 1966. A counter-protest began two hours earlier with speeches at Memorial Auditorium and continued with a march by members from two factions of the Ku Klux Klan….
“King spoke against ‘Black supremacy’ in Raleigh because Stokely Carmichael had stirred crowds just weeks before in Mississippi by repeating violent declarations of ‘Black Power.’ He also declared. ‘The Negro needs the white man to save him from his fear, and the white man needs the Negro to save him from his guilt.’ ”
On this day in 1907: Billed as “an extra added attraction,” Carry Nation appears in Salisbury’s Fourth of July parade. After inspecting local saloons — at 61, she is no longer busting them up — she declares the town a “hell hole.“
Nation’s month-long N.C. tour concludes in Raleigh. Raleigh Electric Co., whose streetcars profit from ferrying her supporters to Pullen Park, pays her $35. She makes an additional $25 from sale of souvenir cardboard and pewter hatchets.
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 days in Raleigh and in Charlotte.