Have you ever seen a picture and thought, I bet that person/cat/dog/inanimate object is thinking/saying…? Well if you’ve been wanting to creatively caption a photo, here’s your chance with University Archives’ caption contest!
Take a look at the photo below and the kid circled in red on the left. Doesn’t look too thrilled to be at his grandfather’s reunion, does he?
Taken at a 1946 reunion supper, the photograph above shows the “Old Students Club” and their guests. The club was comprised of students who had graduated 50 or more years previously. The circled child, Billy Turrentine, was the grandson of another man on the second row, Dr. Samuel Bryant Turrentine of Greensboro. Dr. Turrentine graduated from UNC in 1887 with both an AB and MA (presumably in journalism).
If you have an idea of what Billy might be thinking, leave us a comment below. We’ll post the winning caption next week along with a few of our favorites.
Inspired by the New Yorker Magazine’s cartoon caption contest. See the contest and past captions here.
But at University Archives, December 18th is important for two different reasons. One, the mandate for a state-run university in North Carolina, and two, the chartering of the University of North Carolina.
After the Declaration of Independence was signed, North Carolina ratified its first constitution, the Constitution of 1776, on December 18th, 1776. It was in this document that the provincial congress first called for a state-run university.
Article 41 of the Constitution of 1776 set forth the following mandate:
“…that a school or schools shall be established by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices; and, all usefull [sic] learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities.”
However it was not until 1789 that the University of North Carolina was chartered.
On December 18th of that year, the Board of Trustees convened for the first time in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It was at that meeting that William Richardson Davie informed the trustees that Colonel Benjamin Smith had donated 20,000 acres of land in what would become Tennessee to the University. The trustees sold the land and used the resulting funds to support the fledgling institution in its early years. Later, the Trustees chose to honor Colonel Smith by naming a campus building after him– Smith Hall, which was completed in 1851. Smith Hall is now known as the Playmakers Theater.
While the landing of the Mayflower is a very important moment in United States history, the chartering of the nation’s first public university to open its doors is important, too.
Today we celebrate the University of North Carolina, which has been serving the state for 218 years. But our University would be nothing without the students, faculty, and staff who learn, teach, and work here. Thank you all, and happy December 18th!
Over the past year and a half, UNC Chapel Hill’s University Archives has actively pursued student groups in an effort to better represent the history of student life. However, there are a lot of student groups to choose from on our active campus. One of our priorities has been to collect Greek life materials. Because more than 3,000 students on our campus are involved in Greek life, fraternities and sororities are a part of the Carolina Experience for many students.
This semester, Phi Mu will be the first of UNC’s sororities to deposit its materials in University Archives for safekeeping. While we have some fraternity records (including Delta Kappa Epsilon and Chi Psi), sorority records have been noticeably absent in our holdings. As the Gamma Lambda chapter of Phi Mu approached planning for its 50th anniversary in 2014, alumnae began to reflect on their chapter’s history. Realizing that historic materials were stored in several disparate places and that many items could use conservation and preservation, they were eager to find a way to store them in a single location under archival conditions. Participating in the new University Archives initiative will accomplish this and facilitate all future anniversary research.
When Phi Mu’s Gamma Lambda chapter colonized at Carolina in 1964, the Board of Trustees had just approved the admittance of women regardless of their residence or major; however, admittance was still extremely competitive because of the scarcity of housing for female students. With the loan of Phi Mu’s 1964-1965 scrapbook and other materials to University Archives, researchers and chapter sisters alike will be able to understand how Phi Mu began its first 50 years on Carolina’s campus.
We look forward to working with Phi Mu as well as other sororities this year to increase the representation of Greek organizations in University Archives!
If you are a member of a Greek fraternity or sorority and wish to deposit materials in the archives for safe keeping, please contact us!
This past weekend saw the opening of Wilson Library’s newest exhibit — “Bill Friday: In His Own Words.” President Friday was a central figure in the University as well as an influential leader at the state and national levels. Come on by and learn more about the man who led Carolina through integration, consolidation, sports scandals, and much more.
See the online portion of this exhibit at https://billfriday.web.unc.edu/. The physical portion is open in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room, 3rd floor, Wilson Library.
Though electricity now seems to pump endlessly and uninterrupted through the university system and hospitals, the role that Energy Services at the University of North Carolina has played over the past forty years has changed significantly. From approximately 1895 to 1976, Energy Services at UNC was the sole provider of electricity to the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. In 1977 with the sale of their resources to Duke Power (now Duke Energy), the University’s Energy Services focused their attention on only the campus.
It seems strange to think of the University functioning without electricity, but it did for over one hundred years, until a Physics professor named Joshua Gore took steps to electrifying the town for what he claimed were safety reasons. Here in the University Archives, we just processed the records of the Department of Energy Services. The records primarily focus on 1977 to 2000, but one can also find maps and drawings dating from the 1930s and 1940s. The records detail some incredibly interesting pieces of information—how did the university modernize for the year 2000? How did energy services check for PCBs after the controversies of the 1980s? What really happens behind the scenes every time you turn on a light switch on campus?
Below is a list of new and revised finding aids for collections held in the University Archives and collections relating to University history. If you have any questions about these collections, please contact Wilson Special Collections Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 1963 to 1971, the end of the spring semester at UNC was marked by Jubilee. The concert progressed from a relatively small affair on the lawn in front of Graham Memorial to much larger events that took place on Polk Place, Fetzer Field, Kenan Stadium, and Navy Field.
In 1963, the Four Preps, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Iain Hamilton performed at the first Jubilee. The Four Preps was the main concert on Friday evening and about 5,000 people attended. The Saturday and Sunday afternoon concerts were each attended by about 2,500 people.
Since then, a variety of musicians and musical groups, and even one comedian has performed at Jubilee, including Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, The Serendipity Singers, The Sinfonians, The Platters, Johnny Cash and June Carter, The Temptations, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, B.B. King, and Joe Cocker. The comedian was Fred Smoot.
In 1966, the first two nights of Jubilee took place in Carmichael Auditorium because of the weather and then in Polk Place on Sunday afternoon.
The Bitter End Singers performed on Friday night in front of 5,500 people. On Saturday, David, della Rosa, and Brooks, Jay and the Americans, and Al Hirt performed for 7,200 people. And on Sunday afternoon Charlie Byrd performed on stage in Polk Place in front of South Building.
Forty years ago on April 30 – May 2, 1971 the last Jubilee concert was held. And by then the concert had changed a lot from its early years. There were more performers and the crowds were much larger. The performers included Chuck Berry, Spirit, Cowboy, Muddy Waters, the J. Geils Band, the Allman Brothers, and Tom Rush, among several others.
The attendance was 17,500 on Friday night, 23,000 for Saturday night, and 9,000 for Sunday afternoon.
A week after the 1971 concert was held, the Student Union Activities Group recommended that Jubilee “be discontinued and that the money be used to increase programming throughout the entire year.” Jubilee had just grown too big and had been marred by complaints about noise, trash, and the large crowds for several years. The 1971 concert with its huge and unruly crowd was the last straw. Concert goers tore down fences and a security guard hired for the event was severely injured trying to stop people from flowing through the holes.
Fortunately, the history of Jubilee at UNC is preserved in the University Archives. From programs, memos between University officials, correspondence, contracts with performers, scrapbooks, fliers, posters, photographs, and pins, you can trace the evolution of Jubilee from a small affair in front of Graham Memorial Union to the large crowd at Navy Field.
Of special note is the film of the 1971 Jubilee created by Jim Bramlett, Rick Gibbs, and Charlie Huntley, as well as H. B. Hough, Bill Hatch, Rod Waldorf, Peter Chaikin, Jim Eldridge, and Tom Eshelman. This film is part of the Records of the Student Union and a DVD is available for viewing in the reading rooms of Wilson Library. A short clip from the beginning of the film is available here:
Materials about Jubilee are available in at least a couple of different collections in Wilson Library, and many of the documents and some photographs have been digitized. For more information and links to digitized materials, please see:
So ask away! But remember that University Archives staff is here everyday to answer any questions you may have about what we do and what we have here at University Archives, UNC history, even records management. And if we can’t answer your question, we will refer you to someone who can.