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35 Newspaper Titles, NC Aviation History on DigitalNC

Headmast for March, 1904 issue of Bower, NC's The Olive Leaf

This week we have the final 35 newspaper titles for this project up on DigitalNC! Over the past 11 months we have uploaded over 2.4 million pages of North Carolina newspapers – bringing our total number of newspaper pages on DigitalNC to 4,175,076 and our total number of titles on DigitalNC to 1,161 – all freely available to anyone! In this closing batch we have our first paper from Bower, North Carolina (which you may know as Clemmons today) and an article in the Union Republican about Stokes County’s would be Wright brother: Jacob A. Hill.

Jacob Hill, Winston-Salem Journal, March 9, 1902

Before Orville and Wilbur’s iconic first flight in 1903, the race to create a manned flying machine was fiercely competitive. One of the contenders was a man from Vade Mecum Springs named Jacob Hill. Hill was born 1862 in Davie County and had been fascinated by the flight of birds ever since he was a child. In 1901 he decided to take that curiosity a little further and solve “the problem of aerial navigation” by building his own dirigible.

Mr. Hill’s machine could have been the first piloted aircraft, but we’ll never know for sure if it could actually fly and be controlled. Momentum ran out when Hill couldn’t secure funding for his invention. According to Thomas Parramore’s First to Fly, witnesses claimed the craft could get off the ground, but couldn’t do much more than hover in place. Even though Hill’s airship became something of a local joke for a time, the legacy of his wild aspirations continues to live on in North Carolina history.

Over the past year, we’ve added millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on, we have made them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:





Kings Mountain




Mt. Airy

New Bern





Swan Quarter





If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.

Microfilmed Newspaper Nominations Selected for Digitization, 2021-2022

Back in August, we announced our annual call for microfilmed newspaper digitization. We asked institutions throughout North Carolina to nominate papers they’d like to see added to DigitalNC. As it is every year, it was an incredibly tough choice – we are typically able to choose between 40-60 reels out of over 300+ nominated. This year we’ve chosen the following titles and years.

Title Years Nominating Institution
The Alleghany Times / News / Star-Times (Sparta, N.C.) 1933-1947 Alleghany County Public Library
The Charlotte Labor Journal and Dixie Farm News (Charlotte, N.C.) 1939-1953 UNC Charlotte
The Daily Record (Dunn, N.C.) 1963-1965 Campbell University
The Eagle (Cherryville, N.C.) 1942-1954 Cherryville Historical Museum
The Highlander (Highlands, N.C.) 1937-1978 Highlands Historical Society
The Kings Mountain Herald (Kings Mountain, N.C.) 1958 Mauney Memorial Library
North Carolina Catholic (Nazareth, N.C.) 1946-1968 Catholic Diocese of Raleigh
The Roanoke News (Weldon, N.C.) 1923-1944 Halifax County Library System
The Valdese News (Valdese, N.C.) 1938-1950 Burke County Public Library
The Yadkin Ripple (Fort Bend, N.C.) 1893-1944 Yadkin County Public Library

For our selection criteria, we prioritize newspapers that document underrepresented communities, new titles, papers that come from a county that currently has little representation on DigitalNC, and papers nominated by new partners. After selection, we ask the partners to secure permission for digitization and, if that’s successful, they make it into the final list above.

We hope to have these titles coming online in the first half of 2022. 

New Issues of the Kings Mountain Herald Newspaper Available Thanks to Mauney Memorial Library

Black and white image of front page of English language newspaper, with photo of school children in uniforms standing on outdoor steps

May 2, 1936 front page of the Kings Mountain Herald.

Today we’re pleased to share that additional issues of the Kings Mountain Herald newspaper have been added to DigitalNC. Issues online now date from 1914-2015 (with some years missing in the 20s and early 30s). It’s one of the most complete runs of community papers available on our site.

Some of the new issues were digitized from microfilm thanks to funding from Mauney Memorial Library. When a partner would like more newspapers digitized than we can provide at no cost, they are welcome to provide funding to subsidize getting them online. The new issues from microfilm span 1918-1919, 1935-1937, 1955-1957, 1959-1965 and 1967. 

In addition to the microfilmed issues, we worked on some extremely fragile issues from 1914-1919. The Library received these as a gift in 2020 and contacted us asking about digitization. We’ve seen a lot of crumbling newspapers in our time, but these may win the prize. Take a look at the image below which shows how they looked as we gently laid them out for scanning.

Stack of yellowed English language newspapers with pieces of broken off paper on the table around the edges

The December 24, 1914 front page of the Kings Mountain Herald.

Like most of the print newspapers we scan, these were shot from above. We attempted to piece back together larger fragments. Each page was carefully turned, but there was quite a bit of “chaff.”  It’s impossible to digitize an item like this without flaking page edges but the staff at Mauney Memorial Library gave us permission to proceed for the sake of making this physical object useful. These may be the only known extant issues from those years, which document World War I and its immediate aftermath, and they are now broadly available.

You can view all of the issues of the Kings Mountain Herald, and also see all of the items digitized for Mauney Memorial Library on the Library’s contributor page.


“Dear Santa”: A Collection of Newspaper Holiday Wishes

Clipping from a large illustration from The Cherokee Scout. There are three children gathering around an older family member who is about to read "The Night Before X-Mas". Behind them is a scene of Santa in his sled in the sky and stockings by the fireplace.

Full-page illustration in The Cherokee Scout, December 14, 1928.

As 2020 comes to a close (hooray!), all of us are wishing for many things in the coming year, whether it’s as simple as a meal with family or as grand as international travel. In the spirit of intention setting, and for a little escapism, we thought it would be fun to search through the DigitalNC newspaper collection for accounts of wishes from years past. What was found were an abundance “Dear Santa”s, funny and touching wish lists from children (and a few adults) to the man in red, printed in local newspapers in the hopes they would be seen and granted. Some holiday wishes also snuck in, too. So, like a virtual, time-traveling wishing tree, here is a collection of entertaining messages to bring a little cheer.


Dear Santa,

I would like to rub Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I have never seen him. I love you and your reindeer. I would like a race car.

Please put it under my Christmas tree. My brother wood like some money left under the tree. Mom wants a ring. Dad wants three wishes.

Kevin Crisco, 1st Grade


Dear Santa,

I like you because you have been nice to me for six years. Look good because you may be surprised. This year, I want a typewriter and a new desk.

Love Your Friend,

Natalie (Tyner), 1st Grade

P.S. Thanks for giving toys to me, my friends, and all kids.


Dear Santa,

I want a bike for Christmas and a teddy bear and a little cat, too. I like your deer because they are fun to play with.

Karima Freeman, 2nd Grade



Danbury, N.C.. Dec. 16.

Dear Santa Claus:

I am a small girl, but my wants are many. I would like some flower vases, box of stationary, some candy, oranges, and nuts. Your devoted friend,

Annie Campell.



Dear Santa,

How are you? Are your reindeer and elves good? My name is Kevin Tsui. I am eight years old and I live with my mom and dad, and brother. The school that I go to is North School. I am a good boy and I am a good student in school. What I want for Christmas is a Sega CD and Mortal Combat II, a Panther hat, a Secret Sender 6000, a Dell computer and a NERF Ballzooka, a model Porche, Sega game gear, a Kasparov MK12 chess computer, and a NERF Arrowstorm.

Love, Kyle Tsui



Student opinion poll: Bellespeak

What is the ideal Christmas present?

Rose L. Coleman



Chicago, Ill.


“A car and my tuition paid.”


Amanda Henley


Political Science

Harrisburg, Pa.


“My ideal Christmas present would be to have my college debt paid off.”



Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy. Please bring me a watch and all the transformers and space things and everything else you can think of.

Drew Howell


Dear Santa,

Please bring me five things: Fish Stick, Cabbage Patch Doll, Swing, Bicycle, Paint Brush.

Dennisha Edwards



Dear Santa Claus,

My age is seven. I weigh 55 pounds. I will leave some food out for you. I am 4 ft. 2 in. tall. My favorite TV program is a Christmas Parade. My favorite food is fruits. I want for Christmas oranges, apples and grapes and five surprises.

I love you,

Kathy Lynn Matthews

Norlina, N.C.



Dear Santa,

I’m hungry. I’ve tried to be a good girl this year, and I would have too, without this damned roach incident. Claus-man, when I put that bug on Hope’s plate in Lenoir, I though[t] she’d see it before it got to her mouth. Some folks just can’t take a joke. Anyway I haven’t eaten since Sunday, and I was hoping you’d make an early run this year to bring me some food, nothing fancy, some gruel or porridge will suffice. I’ll be waiting at the bus stop on Stadium Drive. (I’ll be the one with ribs poking through her jacket.

See ya soon, (tonight?), Annice


Holiday wishes:

I want a half inch of snow on Christmas morning and sunshine in the afternoon.

-Dr. Rebecca Duncan


I want a basket full of kittens and unlimited Starbucks coffee.

-Jessica Feltner


If you’re interested in looking for some more “Dear Santa”s, try searching “dear santa” or “Christmas wish” in the quick search bar on our newspaper collection page. Try the advanced search if you’re looking for specific years. In addition, The Kings Mountain Herald has a gigantic collection of “Dear Santa” messages. From 1981 onwards, you can find them in the last issue of the year.

New Newspaper Issues and Yearbooks from Kings Mountain Now Online

Masthead from 1988 for Kings Mountain Herald newspaper.

The Kings Mountain Herald, July 6, 1988.

Photo of freshman band members in uniform at Kings Mountain High School in 1969.

Freshman band members, Milestones, 1969.

Thanks to our partners at Mauney Memorial Library, DigitalNC is proud to add 1,700 new additions of The Kings Mountain Herald as well as 3 Kings Mountain High School yearbooks. Digitization of the newspapers was funded by Mauney Memorial Library, with hosting provided by DigitalNC.

Distributed from the city of Kings Mountain, the many additions of The Kings Mountain Herald span 1982 – 2015, covering decades of local Cleveland and Gaston county news. Traditional newspaper topics, such as sports, obituaries, and opinion pieces, are continuously explored throughout the years, interspersed in the ’00s with supplements such as “The Great Home Search” and “Medical Matters“. Of note, police reports appear frequently in all decades.

Article on closure of local barber shop in 1996.

Local barber shop closure, November 27, 1996.

TV listings for Charlotte area stations in 1988.

TV listings, March 23, 1988.

Article on Betsy Wells attending the inauguration of President Obama in 2009.

Local attends President Obama’s inauguration, January 21, 2009.

The newest Kings Mountain High School yearbooks, each titled Milestones, come from 1967, 1968, and 1969. They showcase the high school activities of ’60s Kings Mountain teens, including a wide array of clubs.

Photo of Aerospace club members at Kings Mountain High School in 1967.

Aerospace club members, Milestones, 1969.

Photo of majorettes posing on the football field at Kings Mountain High School in 1969.

Majorettes, Milestones, 1969.

Photo of VICA auto mechanics club members at Kings Mountain High School in 1968.

VICA (Vocational Industrial Club of America) Auto Mechanics club members, Milestones, 1968.

To learn more about The Kings Mountain Herald and see all issues, click here. For more information on Mauney Memorial Library, visit their homepage here, and to view more digitized materials from Kings Mountain and beyond, click here.

A peek into the 1780s from the Kings Mountain Historical Museum

Crowders Mountain Mining Co. Invoice

Crowders Mountain Mining Co. Invoice

Six new artifacts and two newspaper titles are now available on DigitalNC from our partner, the Kings Mountain Historical Museum.

The items date from as early as the 1780’s and reflect depth of the collection of this unique partner institution. The Kings Mountain Heritage Museum began as a storage space in the attic of the old city hall and moved to local homes and offices until a new location could be secured. The museum now resides in the former city post office and houses collections that foster a deeper understanding of the material culture of North Carolina’s Piedmont region.

The items that relate to land grants and court appearances in the surrounding area. Some of the locations mentioned in the documents may be familiar to locals and offer interesting stories about the area. These items could be useful for anyone interested in genealogical research or anyone looking for teaching tools about contracts and agreements from the period.

You can see all of this batch at the links below:

In addition, two newspaper titles have also been added. Several issues from the Kings Mountain Herald are now available, including two from 1914, more two decades earlier than the next issues. Also available is a new title, the Progressive Reformer, with an issue from 1894.

To learn more about the Kings Mountain Historical Museum please visit their contributor page or their homepage.

Newspapers Selected for Digitization, 2015

The following microfilmed newspapers have been selected for digitization in 2015. Almost 90 reels were chosen from over 600 nominated reels, according to our Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm.

Title Years Nominating Institution
The Brunswick Beacon (Shallotte, N.C.) 1985-1992 Rourk Branch Library
Jackson County Journal (Sylva, N.C.) 1921-1943 Jackson County Public Library
The Journal-Patriot (North Wilkesboro, N.C.)  1933-1947 Wilkes County Public Library
The Kings Mountain Herald (Kings Mountain, N.C.) 1937-1954 Mauney Memorial Library
Polk County News (Tryon, N.C.)  1923-1926 Polk County Public Library
The Sylva Herald and Ruralite (Sylva, N.C.) 1943-1950 Jackson County Public Library
Trench and Camp (Charlotte, N.C.) 1917-1918 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library
The Warren Record (Warrenton, N.C.) 1929-1970 Warren County Memorial Library
Watauga Democrat (Boone, N.C.) 1923-1950 Watauga County Public Library
Winston-Salem Chronicle (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-1996 Forsyth County Public Library

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

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