For more information on the Marianna Black Library, please visit their website.
For more information on the Marianna Black Library, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we now have a batch of yearbooks and a digitized book available on our website. The yearbooks span the years 1966-1968 and are from Second Ward Senior High School in Charlotte, N.C. The book is a photographic history of Charlotte native T.D. Elder, entitled T.D. Elder Living Images: Charlotte’s Triumphant Warrior for Black History.
Second Ward Senior High School was established in 1923 as the first public high school for black students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Before this school was established, black students in the area had to move to other areas in order to get a high school education. In the early 1970s, the school was closed and the building was demolished. As was the case in most Southern cities, formerly all-black high schools were usually torn down or repurposed after school segregation legally ended. Black students were then bused to formerly all-white schools in order to achieve integration. However, the legacy of the school lives on as an important symbol in the history of the black community of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. For more information about Second Ward Senior High School, visit this online exhibit by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library.
Thereasea Clark Elder was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 2, 1927. For over eighty years, she served her community as a nurse and community activist. In her lifetime, Elder established both the Greenville Historical Society and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee. A number of Charlotte institutions have been named in her honor, including the Thereasea C. Elder Community Health Leadership Academy and the Thereasea Clark Elder Neighborhood Park. For more information about Thereasea Clark Elder and her groundbreaking life and work, there is a 2014 article from the Charlotte Observer dedicated to her story, which can be accessed here.
For more information about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, the Wendell Historical Society, several yearbooks from high schools in Wendell, North Carolina are now available on our website. This batch includes the 1969 and 1970 issues of the Vaiden Whitley High School yearbook.
For more information about the Wendell Historical Society, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a batch of yearbooks from high schools in Guilford and Wilkes counties are now available on our website. This batch includes yearbooks from Ronda High School, Pleasant Garden High School, Millers Creek High School, McLeansville High School, Sumner High School, Alamance High School, Southeast High School, Walter Hines Page High School, and Summerfield Public School. The issues in this batch span the years 1948-1964.
For more information about the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, the Currituck County Public Library, several issues of yearbooks from local Currituck County High Schools are now available on our website. This batch includes yearbooks from 1943-1970 from Dr. W. T. Griggs High School in Poplar Branch, N.C. and Joseph P. Knapp High School in Currituck, N.C.
For more information about the Currituck County Public Library, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, the Forsyth County Public Library, a new batch of yearbooks is now available on our website. The yearbooks are from the years 1969-1971 from North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Here at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as across the globe, graduating students are leaving their school years behind without the normal pomp and circumstance. After years of late-night study sessions and racing to beat the assignment submission clock on Sakai, who would have thought that a pandemic would get between them and their walk across the commencement stage? While achieving a degree is a reason to celebrate regardless of location, perhaps 2020 graduates and all self-isolating students can relate to the experiences of an older group of students- those affected by the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Cutting through the spring of 1918 to 1919, the influenza pandemic was a worldwide health issue not unlike today. In North Carolina, industries were halted and quarantine was enacted (and extended). Universities, too, established their own versions of quarantine. Thanks to the institutions we work with here at DigitalNC, we have digitized yearbooks, scrapbooks, and college publications that offer a glimpse into the thoughts of students during this equally tumultuous time in history.
Quarantine was enacted in fits and spurts on campuses across North Carolina between 1918 and 1920. As is evident by yearbook social calendars, measures varied across universities. One campus quarantined through most of November 1918 while others were still starting up quarantine periods in February and March 1920.
Campus clubs have a dedicated slice of yearbook real estate during this time and the influenza directly impacted their activities. As the pandemic coincided with the last days of World War I, Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) were a part of many universities. The S.A.T.C. at Meredith College recounts their quarantine movements that saved faculty and students from “nervous prostration”. UNC’s S.A.T.C. found the flu less inspiring. Other students responded by creating clubs. At Queens College, Quarantine Club, seen left, first began in 1918 with the aim “to extend the quarantine”. Later, in 1920, the club edited their name to simply “Flu” Club, as seen below.
Students also utilized their yearbooks to creatively vent frustrations. In 1918, Atlantic Christian College students were under quarantine from February 6th to the 27th. Student Bonita Wolff penned several poems for The Radiant, including “Quarantined”, shown above. Another funny quarantine themed poem can be found in the advertisement section of the 1920 edition of St. Mary’s Muse.
Meredith College graduate French Haynes embedded influenza jokes throughout the satirical Meredith News and Distributor, shown to the right. And in 1920, Elizabeth Gaskins spotted a deficiency in her local health care system, due in part to the influenza, and argued for the creation of a local hospital in the Greenville High School yearbook The Tau.
If anything, these yearbooks serve as a reminder that this moment is not permanent. Comparing pandemics may be apples to oranges, especially when one student called quarantine “an awful bore” in a college that was only under quarantine for a month at a time, but Mary Reed Buchanan, member of the 1919 graduating class of the women’s college Peace Institute, offers some perspective in the senior class history:
With the warm spring came the renewal of all our former pleasures. There were parties galore, and girls, will you ever forget those State College receptions? And do you remember those exciting basketball games and the serenades afterwards? The feeling of being well again and out of quarantine brightened every heart and lightened every burden.
Even though we may not be attending basketball games anytime soon, we can look to those who have gone through a pandemic before and know that life, including student life, continues on. And for those who are graduating, Mary Reed Buchanan, noted suffragette, has final words:
For more information about The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, please visit their website.
In 1889, the North Carolina Legislature issued a charter for Elon College, which was founded by the Christian Church and William S. Long. The yearbook, Phi Psi Cli, began publishing issues in 1913.
For more information about Elon University, please visit their website.
Thanks to our new partner, Macon County Public Library, several issues of the Franklin High School yearbook are now online! These issues of the Laurel Leaf span the years 1926-1969. These yearbooks are the first from Macon County and help expand our yearbook coverage of schools in the western part of North Carolina and shed light on what high school looked like in Franklin, NC during the middle of the 20th century.