Viewing entries posted in August 2022

Dunn’s “The Daily Record” Marks Major Moments With Bold Headlines

Many more issues of The Daily Record from Dunn, N.C., have been added to our site thanks to our partnership with the Dunn Area History Museum and Campbell University. These daily issues span from 1963-1965 and include an assortment of local, state, and national news.

One signature of The Daily Record during these years seems to be the cultivation of sensational, attention-grabbing headlines. Typically printed in fonts even bigger than the masthead, these headlines invoke the kind of high-stakes drama and mystery that you can’t just walk past. This seems to be especially true when the story involves litigation:

A newspaper headline and masthead

Clipping of a newspaper headline

Clipping of a newspaper headline

In case you’re curious, the “other woman” in the love triangle was “the attractive dark-haired wife of a St. Paul truck-diver.”

But just because the headlines are flashy doesn’t mean the rest is all fluff. Here’s one story that gets better the more you read:

Clipping of a newspaper headline

While this event in itself is certainly a newsworthy crime, the details build on the excitement set up by the headline. The subtitle of this article is “Youth Makes Escape in Souped-Up Car.” It goes on to specify a “freckled, red-haired youth” who made a “noisy getaway” in “a souped up automobile equipped with dual exhausts and loud mufflers.” To prepare for this robbery, he dressed up in “white tennis shoes, a bulky cardigan sweater, yellow shirt and black trousers.”

Lest you think this young man was a particularly talented bandit, the article notes that this branch of the First Union National Bank had been robbed three times in the past five years. He also apparently dropped $4,000 of his haul (contained in brown paper bags) as he fled from the bank.

While the entertainment value of these stories is high, the paper also has a lot of coverage of the national issues from 1963-65, which were numerous. Several issues reference the “Red Scare” of communism, the Vietnam War, Barry Goldwater’s run for President, and the tension of the Civil Rights Movement, albeit with a somewhat unsympathetic angle:

A newspaper clipping of a headline

A newspaper clipping of a headlineA headline from a newspaper clipping

You can see all issues of The Daily Record by year in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To see more materials from the Dunn Area History Museum, visit their partner page and their website. To learn more about Campbell University, you can also visit their partner page and website.

“The Roseland Enterprise” Offers Glimpse of Post-Reconstruction Advertising

Masthead of the Roseland Enterprise

Another newspaper title, The Roseland Enterprise, has been added to our North Carolina Newspapers collection thanks to our partner, the Moore County Library

A map of Roseland with instructions for how to get thereThis issue, from March 1, 1897, seems primarily focused on convincing Northern readers to move to Roseland, N.C. The Roseland Land Company, based in Boston, emphasizes the natural beauty of the North Carolina sandhills and its potential for fruit and vegetable growers.  

“Among the many advantages of the recent Civil War which the South will reap in all the coming years, and which will eventually compensate her for the enormous losses sustained by the conflict, is the development of her great natural resources⁠—her minerals and fertile lands⁠—by thousands that would never know their value but for the enforced explorations made necessary in the trying days of the sixties,” the front page begins. 

You can see the full issue here or browse our full collection of newspapers by type, date, and location. For more materials from Moore County Library, you can visit their partner page and their website.

30 Additional Newspaper Titles up on DigitalNC!

Headmast for August 1, 1866 issue of Pittsboro's Semi-Monthly Record of the Pittsboro' Scientific Academy

This week we have another 30 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC! In the September 3, 1891 issue of Boone’s Watauga Democrat we have an article describing the terrible train wreck of Bostian’s Bridge in Statesville. This fatal accident sparked a legendary North Carolina ghost story, but perhaps even scarier are the boogeymen railroad companies would often create to avoid accountability: train wreckers.

By 1891 the railroad system in America had exploded, allowing for easier cross-country travel and bringing with it fresh new paranoia about disasters and scary strangers coming to your town. Blaming a wreck on some shady character was a lot easier than paying a fortune on settlements due to negligence. Almost immediately after the August 27, 1891 accident, the Richmond & Danville Railroad Company put out ads offering a $10,000 reward for the apprehension of the perpetrator, leading to many being accused and arrested (conveniently with the help of a railroad detective).

The editor at Statesville’s Landmark provides us with an incredibly detailed account of the accident and the recovery effort, complete with interviews from survivors and witnesses where they describe rotten cross-ties and rail workers throwing this evidence into the creek below the bridge. Many of those interviewed make a point to mention that there were no signs of robbery after the crash, which doesn’t exactly support the idea of this being some dastardly deed by a bandit.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding 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, over the next year we will also make 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:




Chapel Hill





Holly Springs










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.

Community College Leadership Development Materials Available From Randolph CC

A cartoon of two faculty members talking in a school hallway. One is referring to a poster on the wall inviting students to a keg party.

A cartoon referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (from Analyzing the Learner’s Motivational Problems)

As a follow up to a series of audio tapes that we recently digitized, we’ve added a batch of several booklets of instructional materials for community college leaders from our partner, Randolph Community College. The materials are primarily authored by George A. Baker, one of the lead researchers for the community college leadership study recorded on the tapes.

The materials range from 1985 to 2001 and cover several resources for engaging students, addressing motivations, and setting goals. One collection of papers also includes student feedback about several education courses that Baker taught.

The full batch of materials is available here. To see more materials from Randolph Community College, you can visit their website and their partner page.

Additional Issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, Including Ones that Discuss the Darryl Hunt Case, Now Available on DigitalNC

Winston-Salem Chronicle header. Above the header is bright red text saying Sunday Edition.

Thanks to our partner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a batch of fill-in issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle spanning from 1975 to 2013 are now available on our website. Included among the issues added were February 7, 1985 and June 27, 1985. These particular issues are notable for their articles written on Darryl Hunt, a Black Winston-Salem man who was falsely convicted of murdering (among other charges) Deborah Sykes in 1985.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle staff was among the many community members that voiced their concerns over the arrest of Darryl Hunt. In the February 7, 1985 issue of the paper, executive editor Allen H. Johnson writes a large, three page article on the case, using every inch of the pages to humanize Hunt and point out the inconsistencies of the case.

In the article, Johnson includes several interviews from community members and organizations such as Alderman Larry Little, Hunt’s uncle William Johnson, and the NAACP. In these interviews, many community members mention their shock and vehement disbelief that Hunt could have committed murder. Even Hunt’s sixth grade teacher was interviewed, saying: “‘I cried like a baby because I knew he wasn’t guilty,’ […] I know that kid and there’s no way …. I’d bet my life on it that he isn’t capable of this horrendous crime.'”

Despite inconsistencies, lack of concrete evidence, and efforts by the community, Hunt was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on June 14, 1985. In 1989 however, the North Carolina Supreme Court overturned the previous conviction due to the original prosecutors introducing false statements made by Hunt’s at-the-time girlfriend which she recanted before the initial trial. On appeal, Hunt was released on bond and offered a plea bargain where he would be sentenced to the time he had already served (five years) for a guilty plea. Hunt rejected the bargain and went through a retrial. He was again convicted and sentenced to life in prison. 

After the second conviction, Hunt’s attorneys Mark Rabil and Ben Dowling-Sendor filed for the DNA gathered from the crime scene to be tested. The results came back in October of 1994 and determined that the DNA did not match Hunt’s. Despite the results, requests for an appeal were rejected. The reasoning given for the denied appeal was that new evidence was not absolute proof that Hunt was not involved.

Ten years after learning that the DNA did not belong to Hunt, authorities ran the crime scene DNA through the state’s database. It was discovered that the DNA actually belonged to Willard E. Brown, a man who was already incarcerated for another murder. Finally, after serving 19 years in prison, Darryl Hunt was exonerated on February 6, 2004.

To read more issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, please click here.

To view more newspapers from across North Carolina, please click here.

To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please visit their website.

Information about the Darryl Hunt case was gathered from Phoebe Zerwick’s Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt, the Innocence Project, and DigitalNC graduate assistant Sophie Hollis.

Teaching With Archives: 3 Topics for Randolph CC’s Interview Series

Thanks to our partner Randolph Community College, we’ve uploaded audio tapes of 62 interviews and discussions that informed the work Cultural Leadership Inside America’s Community Colleges by George Baker and contributors. Each interview asks an outstanding community college president or leader a series of questions about their leadership style and their vision for the future of their institution.

The large collection of tapes from interviewees around the country offers a great opportunity for teaching with primary sources; here are three ideas for how these materials could be used.

1. Journalism: What makes a good interviewer?

Although the interviewers in these tapes are rarely identified by name, their interviewing styles vary. Having a team of researchers ask the same set of questions makes it easier to identify some of the strategies that each person uses to engage their subject. Here are a few examples:

2. Representation & Gender

According to the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, close to 30% of community college presidents in 2020 were women. At the time of the recorded study, the researchers note that the proportion of women was closer to 7% (according to Baker and Rouche on tape 2). The majority of these tapes features interviews with male-identifying subjects; only four of the 50 community college presidents recognized for their leadership were women (thought other women in leadership positions at Miami-Dade CC were interviewed as well). 

How do women’s answers differ from men’s in these recordings (or do they)? How do they approach the topic of representation in this setting?

3. History of Higher Education

In each of these recordings, community college leaders reveal some of the strategies that they use to attract and retain students, serve their populations well, and prepare their institutions for the future. Since this study’s findings were published in 1992, community colleges have had to adapt and reflect even more. What has changed in community college leadership over the past 30 years? How have schools shifted their approaches to serving students?

For comparison, it might be useful to check out our collections of N.C. community college handbooks and catalogs, which you can filter by school name and year.

You can see the full batch of audio recordings here. To see more materials from Randolph Community College, you can visit their partner page or their website. Even more audio materials are available in our North Carolina Sights and Sounds collection.

40 Newspaper Titles, Blind Boy Fuller on DigitalNC

Headmast from the May 25, 1887 issue of Winston's The Friend of Home

This week we have another 40 newspaper titles and thousands of issues up on DigitalNC, including over 1,000 issues from The Messenger and Intelligencer from Wadesboro, the birthplace of Piedmont blues musician Blind Boy Fuller (read a brief biography about Fuller here). In this post we have some interesting new information regarding the blues legend’s birth!

Blind Boy Fuller dressed in a suit and hat, looking to the right, sitting on a bench holding a guitar.

Via John Edwards Memorial Foundation Records (PF-20001), Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library

Blind Boy Fuller was born Fulton Allen to parents Calvin Allen and Mary Jane Walker in Wadesboro, North Carolina, but the actual date of his birth is very much up for debate. The date of July 10 seems to be generally agreed upon, but the actual year tends to differ. While there are some sources that put it at 1904, folklorist Bruce Bastin puts Allen’s date of birth at July 10, 1907 based on statements from the North Carolina State Commission for the Blind, the Social Security Board, and the Durham County Welfare records. However, his 1941 death certificate states that he was 32 years old when he died, putting the year of his birth at 1908.

Newspaper notice that reads: Forbidden to Harbor. My son, Fulton Allen, left my home on Friday night, July 22nd. He is barely 16. All persons are hereby forbidden to hire him, to feed or clothe him, or in any way to harbor him or give him help. This notice is given and those who do not heed it will be duly prosecuted. CALVIN ALLEN, Colored

Rockingham Post-Dispatch, July 28, 1921

What we found makes things a little interesting. After the family relocated to Rockingham sometime in the early 1900s, his father posted a notice in the July 28, 1921 issue of the Rockingham Post-Dispatch that would suggest that none of these are accurate. The notice supports the idea of a July birthday but implies that, being 16 years old, he would have actually been born in 1905.

Bruce Bastin is the author of Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast and Early Masters of American Blues Guitar: Blind Boy Fuller with Stefan Grossman. The Bruce Bastin and Stefan Grossman Collections are housed here at UNC as part of the Southern Folklife Collection.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding 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, over the next year we will also make 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:




High Point



New Bern


Rocky Mount







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.


Scrapbooks, Author Letters Celebrate History of Wayne County Public Library

A postcard with a black-and-white, etched art of the Brooklyn Bridge. Below is the signature of Betty Smith.

From the 1950-1976 scrapbook

The back of the postcard with a message written in blue pen.

The reverse side of the postcard

Our latest batch of materials from the Wayne County Public Library includes some seriously cool scrapbooks that document almost a century of the library’s history. Ranging from 1910 to the 1990s, these seven scrapbooks contain detailed minutes, photographs, newspaper clippings, event paraphernalia and other ephemera. 

One of the most exciting sections is the collection of letters from North Carolina authors—who also happen to be mostly women—in the 1950-1976 scrapbook. Several writers seem to have been invited for readings and events at the library, and they wrote letters back to library staff about their experiences.

A newspaper photo of Betty Smith

From the 1950-1976 scrapbook

One of the most famous writers that visited was Betty Smith, who is probably best known for her novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (there are several materials about her already on DigitalNC, including this video interview). Although she was born in New York, Smith adopted Chapel Hill as her home town later in life and is still buried in the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. Along with the card that she sent to library staff (pictured above), the scrapbook includes a newspaper clipping with an interview of Smith where she encourages Chapel Hill to resist the push for industry and to preserve its small-town character. 

“I hate to see commercialism,” she said. “They come in and tear up trees that took 200 years to grow, and pile them up and burn them to get rid of them. Then they stick out little trees⁠—with wire holding them up. Why couldn’t we have a shortage of bulldozers!”

A typed letter with the header of the Sanford Daily Herald

The second half of a letter from Doris Betts

Another well-known author included here is Doris Betts, who served as an English and creative writing professor at UNC Chapel Hill. Betts was born in Statesville, attended UNC Greensboro and eventually settled in Pittsboro. In her literary career, she produced six novels, three short story collections, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Sir Walter Raleigh Awards and the N.C. Medal for Literature. Her archive is now part of the UNC Chapel Hill Southern Historical Collection at Wilson Library.

Other authors included in the 1950-1976 scrapbook include Inglis Fletcher, Bernice Kelly Harris, Mebane Holoman Burgwyn, Bernadette Hoyle, and Mertie Lee Powers.

You can see the full collection of scrapbooks here. To see more materials from the Wayne County Public Library, you can visit their partner page and their website

More Issues of “The Carolina Times” Celebrate Historic Figures

The masthead of The Carolina Times, which includes a horse's head behind the words.

Some of the missing issues of The Carolina Times from 1979-1982 have been added to Digital NC thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In these recently uploaded issues, it’s clear that the paper is committed to voicing some of the experiences of Black citizens of Durham in the late ’70s and early ’80s. One way that the paper celebrates Black history is through the “Things You Should Know” Continental Features, which briefly note the accomplishments of important historic figures. 

A cartoon of William Wells Brown's bustSome of the cartoon faces in these features may already seem familiar to you, such as novelist William Wells Brown, the white philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (known for his financial support of “Rosenwald schools”), and Nicholas Biddle, the first Black Union soldier wounded in the Civil War. Others, it seems, haven’t persisted into our collective memory as strongly, though the paper makes a case for them.

A cartoon of the head and shoulders of Mary Fields holding a gunOne such figure is Mary Fields, apparently the first Black woman to be a star route mail carrier on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service. As her feature suggests, she was sometimes known as “Stagecoach Mary” due to her usual mode of transportation. But Fields didn’t set up her own mail route until she was 60 years old; before that, she worked on board the first Robert E. Lee steamboat (made famous by its race on the Mississippi) and served as the forewoman at St. Peter’s, a Catholic mission in Montana. Other sources confirm that she was incredibly strong and stood around six feet tall.

Though she encountered conflicts in her life and work, Fields was beloved in the community of Cascade, Montana; the town apparently closed schools each year to celebrate her birthday, and she was sometimes exempt from rules governing women. She passed away in 1914 and was celebrated with one of the largest funerals in the town’s history.

Cartoon headshot of Beatrice TrammellAnother, even more mysterious figure is Beatrice Johnson Trammell. This blurb has pretty much all the information available about her that can be found with cursory internet searches, and the same is true for the others connected to her in the article. But apparently, she was known well enough in 1982 for someone to include her in the series.

You can see all available issues of The Carolina Times here or browse our North Carolina Newspaper collection by location, type, and date. For more information about UNC Chapel Hill and its library holdings, you can visit their partner page or their website

Beer Busts Abound in Recently-Added Prohibition Era Newspaper

Masthead of The Clay County News

The Clay County News of Hayesville, N.C., is one of our latest newspaper titles available in our Newspapers of North Carolina collection thanks to our partner, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This first batch of 132 issues ranges from 1926-1938⁠—encompassing some of our state’s Prohibition years.

A newspaper clipping describing a beer bustSprinkled in among the cartoons of A.B. Chapin, celebrity gossip, and local society news are several articles about the alcohol stills destroyed by law enforcement. Most often, the reports list the number of gallons of beer destroyed (though exactly how they were destroyed is left to the reader’s imagination). The threshold for newsworthiness didn’t seem to depend on the number of gallons; reports range from 19 gallons destroyed (a little over the size of a modern-day keg, which holds 15.5 gallons) to 1,200 gallons destroyed

The hero of these beer busts tends to be Sherriff Kitchens, a figure as mysterious in these papers as he is dedicated to dry laws. Kitchens once went as far as the Georgia state line to track down illegal stills. All together, Kitchens and his deputies disposed of thousands of gallons of illegal alcohol and were celebrated often in the paper for it.

You can see all available issues of The Clay County News here or explore all of our digitized newspapers by type. location, and date in our Newspapers of North Carolina collection. More information about UNC Chapel Hill and their newspaper collection can be found on the UNC Libraries website and their partner page.

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