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 posted in 2011


Santa Claus on Smoking, 1935

The issue of The Pilot published on this day in 1935 has an odd but interesting headline on the front page: “Santa Claus Explains His Position Regarding Cigarette Smoking.”

Apparently Santa wanted to clarify that he does not endorse any specific brand of cigarettes (perhaps some advertisements were suggesting otherwise) and that he “does not approve of smoking by mothers or anyone every expecting to become a mother nor should a boy girl smoke before they are privileged to vote.”
As to his own habits, Santa said that he smokes pipes (clay in winter, corncob in summer), primarily because “cigars and cigarettes interfere with proper driving of Dunder, Blitzen and my other reindeer.”

Historic Newspapers from Charlotte and Mebane Now Online

Early newspapers from Charlotte and Mebane have just been added to the North Carolina Newspapers collection.

The Catawba Journal (1824-1828) and the Miners’ and Farmers’ Journal (1830-1835) document the growing town of Charlotte in the early 19th century. Both were nominated for digitization by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
The Mebane Leader (1911-1914) covers the town of Mebane and neighboring communities in Orange and Alamance Counties. It was nominated for digitization by Alamance County Public Libraries.

New Feature: On This Day in North Carolina History

Head over to the North Carolina Newspapers collection for a new feature: This Day in North Carolina.  Users can now easily pull up all of the newspapers from the collection that were published on this day in years past.  Today’s search — December 5 — brings up ten different issues, ranging in date from 1826 to 1997.  It’s fascinating reading.  Here’s a sample of what we found:
Many people may not realize that North Carolina has been in the lottery business for centuries.  On December 5, 1826, the Catawba Journal published an announcement for a lottery to fund a history of North Carolina.
On December 5, 1941, just two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Southern Pines Pilot published an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister of Canada, talking about the Canadian war effort.
On December 5, 1942, the Carolina Times led with a big headline announcing that the city of Raleigh had just hired on African American policeman.
On December 5, 1988, Black Ink published an analysis of Jesse Jackson’s presidential candidacy.
Stay tuned for news and updates on the North Carolina Newspapers project, including a NC Newspapers Twitter feed to be released in January.

Turkey George

When it comes time to take on your Thanksgiving turkey tomorrow, here’s hoping things turn out better for you than they did for “Turkey George,” shown here in a photo from the Haywood County Public Library.  According to legend, “He got the name of ‘Turkey George’ because he also hunted a lot of turkeys. One time he placed a pen over a hole he had dug in the ground. He also dug a little ditch out from under the pen and scattered corn in the ditch, into the hole under the pen. When the turkeys went in they couldn’t figure out how to get out so they were caught. Turkey George crawled in to get a turkey or two and the brood flailed him with an inch of his life. Thus his name.”

Early Issues of the Southern Pines Pilot (1929-1942) Now Available Online

Over 600 issues of The Pilot, from Southern Pines, N.C., are now available on DigitalNC.  Founded in 1920 in Vass, N.C., The Pilot has provided continuous coverage of Moore County communities, especially Southern Pines and Pinehurst.  The issues available online now range in date from September 13, 1929 through October 30, 1942.  We’ll work on earlier issues, beginning in 1920, in late 2012.

The Pilot is the first of many titles that will be added to the North Carolina Newspapers project in 2012.  It was nominated for digitization by the Southern Pines Public Library. We’ll post announcements here as more titles are available.

Southeastern Community College Yearbooks and Scrapbooks Now Available

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Eight yearbooks and ten scrapbooks from Southeastern Community College are now available on DigitalNC.org. The scrapbooks, dating from 1963 to 1979, document this history of the community college from the time of the initial groundbreaking, at which then-governor Dan K. Moore was a guest speaker.


Amelia Earhart in Southern Pines

Tomorrow night (Nov. 17) at the Southern Pines Public Library, the Family Fun Night program will feature a talk on Amelia Earhart.

The pioneering pilot was one of many prominent visitors to Southern Pines and Pinehurst in the early 20th century. There’s a nice photo on DigitalNC.org of Amelia Earhart in 1931, from the collections of the Tufts Archives (Pinehurst, N.C.).
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That photo was probably taken when Earhart flew in to Southern Pines for a brief stop. Her visit was featured on the front page of The Pilot from November 13, 1931.
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The paper included a short description of her visit:

“Amelia Earhart (Mrs. George Palmer Putnam), who flew across the Atlantic in June, 1928 and who since then has continued to be prominently identified with aviation, was greeted by a crowd which numbered well over 1,000 persons on her first visit to the Sandhills Wednesday afternoon. Miss Earhart brought her plane gracefully down on the Knollwood flying field, rose up in the cockpit and apologized for being late. She was greeted by officials of the field, the Mayor and Commissioners of Southern Pines, representatives of Pinehurst, and by Mrs. W. C. Arkell, wife of the vice-president of the Beechnut Packing Company, sponsors of her acquaintance trip around the country. The trans-Atlantic flier flew here from Fayetteville, spent about 25 minutes at the field, shook hands with scores of people, gave her autograph to numerous small boys and girls, supervised the refueling of her weird looking autogiro, took the ship almost vertically into the air and departed.”