Pat McCrory isn’t the first North Carolina governor to find life in the Executive Mansion less than ideal.
In 1969, after Gov. Bob Scott complained about deteriorating conditions in the 1891 behemoth, WBTV in Charlotte issued a call to raze and replace it:
“Though Victorian architecture leaned toward the frilly, there are many such buildings that have a graceful and airy charm. By contrast, the Executive Mansion is a hodgepodge of turrets, balconies, gables and architectural gingerbread assembled into one tasteless mass. At its best, it’s pompous; at its worst, it’s ludicrous. . . . The governor’s mansion was a mistake when it was built, continues to be a mistake and has little value beyond the furnishings it holds and the price that could be gotten out of the sale of its salvage.”
At the instruction of the legislature, plans were drawn for a “French country” residence for the governor; reaction was overwhelmingly negative, however, and the tide turned in favor of renovation, which was completed in 1975.
On this day in 1951: WBTV in Charlotte and WFMY-TV in Greensboro carry the state’s first Washington Redskins telecast. The image is grainy black and white and the Redskins lose to the Browns 45-0, but North Carolinians like what they see.
The Redskins network was created by team owner George Preston Marshall and sponsored by Amoco gasoline – the NFL’s lucrative TV packages are years away.
Marshall plays to white Southern fans, maintaining an all-white roster until 1962. He signs such regional favorites as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, plays exhibitions in Winston-Salem and even includes in the team fight song “Hail to the Redskins” the line “Fight for old Dixie” (later changed to “Fight for old D.C.”).
On this day in 1945: The day after Hiroshima, country musician Fred Kirby composes “Atomic Power,” the first song to acknowledge “The Bomb.” Billboard magazine calls it “the greatest folk song in 20 years.” The chorus: “Atomic power, atomic power… It was given by the mighty hand of God.”
Other versions will outsell the original by Kirby, who goes on to become a longtime kiddie-show cowboy at Charlotte’s WBTV.