On this day in 1904: The north wall of Winston’s brick reservoir, built in the form of a truncated pyramid, suddenly collapses, sending tons of water rushing down Trade Street toward the railroad tracks. Within moments, the city has suffered its worst disaster. Nine people are dead, the reservoir is rubble and houses in the water’s path are woodpiles.
“A Meeting of the citizens of Forsyth County, irrespective of party, will be held… to take counsel together on the alarming condition of the country.
“South Carolina has seceded from the Union. Commissioners from Alabama and Mississippi are now at our State capital inviting North Carolina to do the same thing. A great question is now before the people — no less than Union or Disunion.
“Believing that there is safety in the voice of the people, all our fellow-citizens, without regard to party, are earnestly invited to attend.”
(signed) MANY PEOPLE
— From a placard announcing “Public Meeting at Winston…On December 29th, 1860”
Such apprehension about secession wasn’t unique to these “MANY PEOPLE.” North Carolina would become the last state to join the Confederacy, reluctantly seceding on May 20, 1861.