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 tagged "yearbooks"

Sixteen yearbooks from Surry County are now available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partners at Surry Community College, DigitalNC is proud to host sixteen new yearbooks from Surry County. The batch consists of 8 yearbooks from Pilot Mountain High School (1947-1961) in Pilot Mountain, 4 yearbooks from Beulah High School (1956-1959) in Dobson, and 4 yearbooks from Surry Central High School in Dobson (1965-1968).

The Eaglet of Beulah High School, 1956

The Eaglet of Beulah High School, 1956

The yearbooks provide insight into the lives of students at the three schools in the mid-twentieth century, sharing memories of academic and extracurricular activities.

The Aquila, 1966

The Aquila of Surry Central High School, 1966

We are thankful to Surry Community College for helping us make these yearbooks accessible online. To view all 16 yearbooks in this batch, click here. To see all digitized materials from Surry Community College, click here. To learn more about the college, visit their partner page here or their website here.

Yearbooks from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Now Available!

Thanks to our partner Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we now have new editions of yearbooks from Mecklenburg County Schools up on our website. We have the 1968 editions of East Wind, the East Mecklenburg High School yearbook; Somecka, the South Mecklenburg High School Yearbook; Ships & Cuts from Garinger High School; The Torch from Olympic High School, The Acorn from Harding University High School; Lion from West Charlotte High School; Post Script from Charlotte Country Day School; Mustang from Myers Park High School; Tomahawk from West Mecklenburg High School; and Spirit of ’68 from Independence Senior High School.

Front cover of the 1968 edition of Somecka, the yearbook for South Mecklenburg High School in Pineville, North Carolina.

You can see yearbooks and a number of other items we’ve scanned for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library on their contributor page. For more information about this partner, visit their website.

Yearbooks from Several Eastern NC High Schools Just Added

high school aged students sitting or standing near the ocean, some with fishing poles

From the 1960 Quarterian, Swan Quarter’s High School Yearbook

Today we’re highlighting recently added yearbooks from a number of eastern North Carolina high schools from the 1940s to early 1960s. We lack a lot of yearbooks from the easternmost counties in North Carolina so it’s always a pleasure to add more. This batch includes a range of schools in a variety of counties:

Beaufort County

Chowan County

Dare County

Hyde County

Tyrrell County

Washington County

These yearbooks were contributed for digitization from a private individual, and the Outer Banks History Center is acting as contributor. Take a look at other high school yearbooks from the Outer Banks and nearby counties on our high school yearbooks page.

John Graham High School yearbooks now online, thanks to Warren County Memorial Library

Photograph of the front of a brick school building

8 yearbooks from John Graham High School in Warrenton, NC are now online, thanks to partner Warren County Memorial Library. The yearbooks span the years 1947 to 1969 and provide a glimpse into the lives of high-schoolers in the northern portion of North Carolina. The school integrated in 1966 and the yearbooks from 1967, 1968, and 1969 show the newly integrated population of the school.

John Graham High School was originally the Warrenton Male Academy, one of the first schools in the state, which opened in 1786.  In 1897, the school changed it’s name to Warrenton High School and in the early 1900s became coeducational.  The school later became public and was known as John Graham High School, after the man who took over the school in 1897.  John Graham High School during the 1900s was the white school in Warrenton, while John R. Hawkins High School was the black school.  During integration, the students of Hawkins High School were moved to John Graham High School.  John Graham’s last graduating class was in 1981.  After that, the school transitioned to a middle school and the high-schoolers moved to the new Warren County High School building.  Several well known graduates have come from John Graham High School, including Frank Porter Graham, who became a US Senator and president of UNC and R.B. House, the first chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.  

To view more materials from Warren County Memorial Library, visit their partner page here and to learn more about the library itself, visit their website here. To see more high school yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks collection.

1950s and 1960s yearbooks from Chatham County Public Library are now online

Black and white photograph of the lunch room at Pittsboro High School in 1965

The cafeteria at Pittsboro High School in 1965

20 new yearbooks from Chatham County Public Library are now online here. The yearbooks come from Pittsboro High School, Chatham Central High School, Jordan-Matthews High School, and Goldston High School and cover the 1950s and 1960s.  These yearbooks join the already 25 yearbooks from Chatham County schools on DigitalNC.  

To learn more about our partner Chatham County Public Library, visit their partner page here and their website here.  To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbooks page here.  

Henderson County Genealogical Society and Henderson County Public Library join DigitalNC with yearbooks

Drawing of a boy looking at a yearbook and a word bubble that says "Laureate 1957"

Cover page from the 1957 Laureate

A new batch of yearbooks are now available and online at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partners, the Henderson County Public Library, and the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society. The first batch, from HCPL, includes issues of Hendersonville High School’s yearbook, the Laureate, from 1948 to 1961. The second, from the HCGHS, includes more issues of the Laureate, from 1962 to 1963, as well as a 1916 yearbook from Hendersonville High School, which was entitled The Mountaineer. These batches represent the first digitized items from both partners, and we are privileged to have them on our website.

The 1916 Mountaineer has a class poem, class prophecy, valedictorian address, “The A.B.C. of the H.H.S.”. Most others have class portraits, individual portraits, photos of faculty, class photos, sports teams, student clubs and activities, national honor society honorifics. 1956 Laureate also has a dedication for the students themselves at the very end.

These yearbooks are the first items from the Henderson County Public Library and the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, and we are privileged to have them as contributing partners. Having their materials improves our knowledge of what Henderson County life was like for high schoolers in the 20th century.

To learn more from the Henderson County Public Library, please visit their partner page or check out their website. To see more from the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, please take a look at their partner page or visit their website.

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.  

Stoneville High School’s The Pioneer from 1941 Now Available on DigitalNC

A 1941 exterior photograph of Stoneville High School in Stoneville, N.C.

A new yearbook from New Bern, North Carolina, is now up on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the New Bern-Craven County Public Library. This yearbook is the 1941 edition of The Pioneer from Stoneville High School, in Stoneville, North Carolina.

This yearbook includes individual portraits, class portraits, and more. It also includes photographs of the faculty, student activities like the newspaper staff, clubs like the Glee Club, and the Stoneville High Boys and Girls Basketball teams. Readers can also find the class’s senior superlatives, the class poem dedicated to the graduating class, and read a copy of the valedictorian’s address. Finally, this yearbook also includes class portraits of the underclassmen, from the juniors to the eighth grade class.

To see more from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please check out their partner page or visit their website.

New Yearbooks from Surry County Now Online at DigitalNC

A new batch of yearbooks from Surry County are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. Included in this collection is almost two dozen yearbooks from schools across Surry County, dating from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. Also included is a special yearbook from 2011 that celebrates 50 years of education at Easy Surry High School in Pilot Mountain, N.C.

An exterior photo of East Surry High School.

These yearbooks contain portraits of individuals and their class photos as well. Also included are photographs highlighting clubs and student activities, including clubs, sports teams, and events.

Four graduates in caps and gowns standing in front of a door

The 1967 graduating class of Mount Airy High School standing in front of the building

The East Surry High School 50th Anniversary yearbook contains a history of the town of Pilot Mountain since the 18th century, the history of East Surry High School since 1961, and include class photos and list of the graduating classes of every year from 1962 to 2011. Included in the second half of the yearbook are advertisements and photos of families that had multiple generations of students go to East Surry High School.

Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:

These yearbooks are an important addition to our collection on DigitalNC, as they show what life was like in Surry County, and show us what high school meant to Surry County students. To see more from Surry Community College, check out their partner page, or visit their website.

New Yearbooks from Mount Airy Regional Museum of History Now Available at DigitalNC

A photo of the 1967 annual staff of the Stripes yearbook from the Martin Memorial School of Nursing

A new batch of yearbooks from Surry County are now digitized and available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Mount Airy Regional Museum of History. Included in this collection are nearly two dozen yearbooks from schools across Mount Airy and Surry County, dating from the 1920s to the 1960s.

These yearbooks contain individual portraits, class photos, as well as photographs highlighting student activities and clubs, sports teams and events like Homecomings, faculty, and student activities. Some of the yearbooks also include class and school histories. Readers can also find in some of these yearbooks “last wills and testaments”, where the graduating class leaves behind objects, memories, and skills to the next class. There are also class prophecies, where the students imagined where they would be years down the road.

Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:


A 1958 photo of the Franklin High School football team in front of the school.

These yearbooks represent a valuable addition to DigitalNC, as they show what life was like across Mount Airy and Surry County throughout the 20th century. To see more from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, please visit their partner page, or check out their website.