Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Viewing entries by Kristen Merryman


How North Carolinians reacted to the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969

50 years ago on July 19, 1969 , the Apollo 11 entered lunar orbit and hours later on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module the Eagle on the surface of the moon.  It was there Armstrong famously said “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind.” The moon landing was watched with bated breath by the entire nation, which had been engaged throughout the 1960s in an intense “space race” with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.  The landing also fulfilled the promise President John F. Kennedy had made in a famous speech in 1962 that before the decade was out, America would go to the moon. 

Many resources on DigitalNC show how North Carolinians celebrated the moon landing and how they viewed it in relation to the space race.

black and white photograph of the moon above a poem

Poem written by the editor of the New Bern Mirror commemorating the moon landing

    

The front page of the New Bern Mirror published the Friday after the landing described how many of New Bern’s citizens were glued to their televisions to watch the grainy footage come back to Earth of Aldrin and Armstrong, starting off with “Like us, you’ll find it hard to believe, but there were New Bernians who didn’t have their television sets turned on Sunday afternoon and night.” and later referring to the event as the biggest thing since “Christ rose from the dead.”  The front page spread  also included a poem by the editor of the paper about the landing. 

cartoon of a man sitting at a desk and a short column about pride in the moon landing

Frank Count, a well known local columnist for the Franklin Times’ take on the moon landing.

The Franklin Times had a full page spread about the landing in their July 22, 1969 issue, pulling in not only national press materials but also including a short Frank Count column stating “Me and them…we’re mighty proud of the Ask-her-naughts and we’re mighty proud to be Americans.”  

Headline reading "Our Old Problems Remain Despite the Hope of Apollo"

Headline from the Carolina Times published after the moon landing.

Some publications took a slightly different tone; while being inspired by the scientific feat of getting to the moon, the Carolina Times, the African-American paper in Durham, noted that while it was great the United States got to the moon, on Earth there were still wars being fought, people in extreme poverty, and many other unresolved problems.  The editor closed the editorial wishing for Americans to be inspired to think differently and broader now that they knew they could reach the moon. “The moon landing undoubtedly dramatized the rapidity of change in the world and may therefore encourage new approaches, new attitudes, and new policies toward contemporary problems. In a way, this great achievement focused the mind of the entire race on a single event and said to the world what Lincoln said to the American people in 1862. ‘As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must dis-enthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.'”

Photograph of astronaut's footprint on the surface of the moon

Introduction of the 1970 Junius Rose High School yearbook.

Showing the landing still had an impact a year later, a 1970 yearbook from Junius Rose High School in Greenville, NC compared the graduates of Rose High School to the astronauts who landed on the moon and commented on their next move to make “a giant leap” into adulthood as they leave high school behind.

This is just a small sampling of the many reactions in the newspapers in communities across the state, as well as other materials on our site related to interest in the space race and Cold War, which you can look at here.  The overwhelming feeling from almost all of them is a strong pride in being American and thus a part of this great scientific achievement and a sense that now anything was possible for the country.  


How DigitalNC materials are being used across the web: Bull City 150

We love being sent or just stumbling upon, projects on the web that utilize materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.  We thought since they have done such a great job highlighting us, it’d only be fair to turn around and highlight a few we’ve found recently.  

Black and white photograph of a house with a porch

1 Adams Alley, a house torn down during Urban Renewal in Durham.  Adams Alley no longer exists as an address.

Today’s focus is on a website that’s associated with larger project at Duke called Bull City 150.  Durham celebrates it’s 150th anniversary this month, so it feels appropriate to highlight this project in April.  According to the website, “the mission of Bull City 150 is to invite Durhamites to reckon with the racial and economic injustices of the past 150 years and commit to building a more equitable future.”  The project does this through a variety of public history methods, including the associated website that features several videos put together by students in Documentary Studies classes at Duke.  Two of those videos, one on the important role of the Carolina Times and its’ long time editor, Louis Austin in Durham’s black community, and one on the destruction of Hayti in Durham when the Durham Freeway, Hwy 147, was built, feature materials digitized by DigitalNC.  We have the full run of the Carolina Times available here and many photographs and property surveys digitized for the Durham Urban Renewal Collection from our partner Durham County Library, are featured in the Hayti video

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  To see past highlighted projects, visit past posts here

 


New partner, Fuquay Varina Museums, adds 20 yearbooks in first batch

We are excited to welcome new partner Fuquay-Varina Museums to DigitalNC.  Their first batch with us is a set of 20 yearbooks from Fuquay Varina area schools, Fuquay Springs High School, the white school, and Fuquay Consolidated High School, the African-American school for the town before integration.  The schools were combined in 1969 to form Fuquay-Varina High School, which still operates today as part of the Wake County School system.

Photographs from Fuquay Consolidated Prom

Prom photographs from the 1953 Fuquay Consolidated yearbook

Cover of the Fuquay Springs High School yearbook showing women standing outside the school

Cover of the 1959 Fuquay Springs High School yearbook

 

To see more yearbooks digitized on DigitalNC, visit here.  And to learn more about our partner, visit their website here and their partner page here.


How DigitalNC materials are being used across the web: History Unfolded Project at the US Holocaust Museum

We love being sent or just stumbling upon, projects on the web that utilize materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.  We thought since they have done such a great job highlighting us, it’d only be fair to turn around and highlight a few we’ve found recently.

History Unfolded events page

The museum has selected various events from 1933-1945 for people to focus their research on finding articles about.

The History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust  Project from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is a project in which DigitalNC materials are just a small portion of a much bigger effort.  According to the project’s website “asks students, teachers, and history buffs throughout the United States what was possible for Americans to have known about the Holocaust as it was happening and how Americans responded. Participants look in local newspapers for news and opinion about 37 different Holocaust-era events that took place in the United States and Europe, and submit articles they find to a national database, as well as information about newspapers that did not cover events.”  The goal of the project is to build a crowd-sourced repository that scholars can use to better understand what those in the United States knew as the Holocaust was happening.  Digitized newspapers are a key component of the project and many of the papers we have digitized through DigitalNC have been used by participants of the project to track knowledge of Holocaust related events in local NC newspapers.  You can view everything that is from an NC newspaper here.  The earliest articles come from 1933, including an article from the Journal Patriot out of North Wilkesboro, NC that has the headline “A Dangerous Policy” regarding the Nazis’ growing policies against the Jewish people in Germany. 

screenshot of the History Unfolded Project

Article page on the History Unfolded project site showing an article from The Journal Patriot in 1933

The latest articles date to 1945 and focus on the evolving information being uncovered about the full extent of the Holocaust once the Nazis had been beaten in World War II.  As History Unfolded is a crowdsourced project you can get involved and help the museum continue to track this information in US newspapers.  To get involved yourself, visit here.     

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  To see past highlighted projects, visit past posts here


DigitalNC on the Web: Genealogy blogs

Genealogists are probably our biggest users here at DigitalNC and we love the blog we’re highlighting today because it gives us some great insight into some of the finds one particular genealogist is making using DigitalNC.  Taneya Koonce is a fellow information science professional and also an avid genealogist.  On her personal blog, Taneya’s Genealogy Blog, she chronicles her work to trace her family’s history and the resources she uses to do so.  

Clipping from a genealogy blog about the connection of her family to Sylva, NC

A really great example of the way Ms. Koonce has used DigitalNC for her research is her post titled “And Now I Know Why” which shows how she traced why her great grandfather’s brother died in Sylva, NC, a place the family had not had any obvious connections to, which involved looking at yearbooks from Winston-Salem State University and their student newspaper, both of which can by found on Winston-Salem State University’s partner page.  

To see more posts about Ms. Koonce’s use of DigitalNC in her family history research, view all the posts tagged DigitalNC here.

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  To read about other places on the web that feature content from DigitalNC, check out past blog posts here.  

 


How DigitalNC materials are being used across the web: Legeros Fire Blog

We love hearing about ways that materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center have impacted research and recreation. We thought since they have done such a great job highlighting us, it’d only be fair to turn around and highlight a few we’ve found recently.  

Cover page of Raleigh Fire Department women's group scrapbook, features a firetruck illustration

Cover page of the Raleigh Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary 1968-1969 scrapbook, digitized for the Raleigh Fire Museum

 

Our focus today is a particularly fun one because the author of the blog is not only a heavy user of DigitalNC, but also our main contact for one of our partners, the Raleigh Fire Museum.  Mike Legeros’s Fire Blog provides a very detailed look into the history of fire departments in North Carolina, as well as keeping up to date on what’s going on in those departments today.  It also links to a Fire History page, which has resources of the history of fire departments across the country, including historic and present day photographs of fire stations.  

screenshot of city directory on the fire blog

We are particular fans of the post that explains in great detail how to use our city directories, which is one of our favorite resources on DigitalNC and one that Mike has used extensively in his research.  You can check out his tips and tricks here:  https://legeros.com/blog/burlington-and-graham-fire-alarm-box-locations-1920-21/ 

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  To read about other places on the web that feature content from DigitalNC, check out past blog posts here.  

 


How DigitalNC materials are being used across the web: Tornado Talk

We love hearing about ways that materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center have impacted research and recreation.  We thought since they have done such a great job highlighting us, it’d only be fair to turn around and highlight a few we’ve found recently.  

Photograph of damage from a tornado in Vaughn, NC

From the front page of the October 9, 1969 issue of the Warren Record

Today we’re focusing on a website that is on a very relevant topic to North Carolinians this time of year – the weather, and specifically, tornadoes.  It’s called Tornado Talk and according to the site itself, “Tornado Talk aims to be your #1 source for tornado history. Join us on this on-going project to compile a user friendly and interactive database with tornado summaries, personal accounts, and video productions of major tornado events.”  It is an incredibly in depth website and includes a calendar with tornado dates and each tornado that is focused on includes information about it’s path and links to primary sources about the destruction.  DigitalNC was featured in a recent post about a tornado that hit Vaughan, NC near Lake Gaston on October 2, 1969 and a paper we digitized, the Warren Record, featured articles about the destruction that followed in the tornado’s path.  To read more about the tornado and see the pages from the paper featured, check out Tornado Talk’s post here:

Vaughan-Lake Gaston, NC F2 Tornado – October 2, 1969

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  

 


Redevelopment and urban renewal efforts in Winston-Salem

Man on lawn mower in front of homes on Cleveland Ave. Winston Salem

Man on a lawnmower in front of homes on Cleveland Ave., 1958

Back in May, when the NCDHC staff went to Winston-Salem to do a day of on-site scanning with the Winston Salem African American Archive, the bulk of our scanning was over 200 slides that showed construction of public housing units built by the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, as well as some slides that showed the areas of “urban decay” that were replaced with these developments in initial urban renewal efforts in the city that started in the late 1940s. The housing complexes photographed include Cleveland Avenue homes (built in the mid 1950s as one of Winston-Salem’s first public housing communities), Sunrise Towers, Crystal Towers, the 14th Street Community Center, Northwood Estates, and the Castle Heights neighborhood.

Woman walking with two children down a street past a storefront

Woman walking with two children in Winston-Salem. The slide was included in a section that stated “conditions before redevelopment”. Ca. 1950

See all the slides we scanned from the WSAAA here. To learn more about the archive, visit their website.


New partner, Graham County Public Library, brings NCDHC coverage to the western edge of NC

downtown view of Robbinsville

Main Street in Robbinsville

In June, the staff from the NC Digital Heritage Center drove over 5 hours – almost to the Tennessee border! – to spend a few days scanning on site at the Graham County Public Library.  A beautiful part of the state, we not only enjoyed meeting our new partner, seeing their collections, and even getting to sit in on a mountain music lesson at the library, but also getting to know a part of NC we don’t often get to.  The majority of materials we scanned for Graham County were photographs of the logging industry and dam building that built up the western part of the state in the early to mid 20th century and the people who built the towns that supported these operations.  

Man on a bridge in front of a dam

Man standing on a bridge near Cheoah Dam

Train hauling logs

Train hauling logs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With these scans now online, we have added a new partner and new county to DigitalNC!  To learn more about Graham County Public Library visit their partner page.  


Four more issues of the Highlands High School student newspaper are on DigitalNC

cover page of the 1947 June issue

More issues of the Highlands High School student newspaper, The Mountain Trail, are now online, adding issues from 1947, 1976, 1979 and 1982.  These additions help fill in gaps in our already online coverage from 1938 to 1982.  Three of the issues are specifically the graduation issues of the paper and focus on the senior graduating class.  The June 1, 1976 issue devoted a full page to each senior.  

Song list

Songs that fit each graduating senior from the June 1976 issue

class news

The lower grades had news in the paper too. This is from the September 1979 issue.

To learn more about our partner Highlands Historical Society, visit their partner page.  You can read previous posts on the Mountain Trail here and visit our North Carolina Newspapers page to view more papers from across the state.