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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William Howard Taft Visits Johnson C. Smith University

President's Chair, from 1967 Golden BullThe 1967 edition of The Golden Bull, the Johnson C. Smith University student yearbook, celebrates the centennial of the school with an excellent history of the university. One of the artifacts featured in the historical sketch is this rather unassuming looking chair. In 1909, President William Howard Taft gave a speech to the faculty and students at the university. In surveying the setting prior to the President’s arrival, the Secret Service raised what must have been a delicate subject: the school did not have a chair large enough to hold the famously rotund President. The faculty quickly pooled their money and purchased an extra-large chair in time for Taft’s visit. The chair has remained at the school, known thereafter as the “President’s Chair.”

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