After reading a recent Washington Post story about the discovery (in digitized newspapers!) of old classified ads with “No Irish Need Apply” statements, and seeing a tweet of a “No Scandinavians Need Apply” ad, I wondered about similar discriminatory statements in old North Carolina newspapers on DigitalNC.
Not surprisingly in a state with such a large population of migrants from Ireland and Scotland, the only mention of “No Irish Need Apply” was either in comic stories reprinted from other papers or news of discrimination in other cities.
It’s difficult to do a keyword search like this without a specific phrase to search for. I tried searching for the phrase “need apply” and got plenty of hits, but nearly all of these were for ads specifying experience or qualities they were looking for in the applicants: “None but experienced men need apply.”
I had a much easier time finding discrimination in ads that said who was eligible to apply. Most ads stated the gender of the applicant they were looking for:
Even more common were ads that specified the race and gender of the applicant. These ads span several decades, demonstrating that in North Carolina there was a clear racial divide in employment throughout much of the twentieth century.