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NC Department of Cultural Resources

This Day in NC History: 'Carbine' Williams, inventor and inmate dies

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On January 8, 1975, David M. “Carbine” Williams, designer of the short stroke piston, died. More than eight million Allied soldiers carried the M-1 carbine, a light, semiautomatic rifle, in World War II. General Douglas MacArthur described the weapon as “one of the strongest contributing factors to our victory in the Pacific.” J. Edgar Hoover and others had similar praise for “Carbine” Williams, the weapon’s designer. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: The Rose Bowl relocated to Durham

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On January 1, 1942, the Rose Bowl was played in Durham—the only time the game has not been played in Pasadena, California. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: The USS Monitor sank

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On December 31, 1862, the USS Monitor, sank during a storm off the coast of Cape Hatteras. Four officers and twelve crewmen were lost. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: A house fire that led to historic preservation

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On December 12, 1989, the ca. 1751 Palmer-Marsh house at Historic Bath caught fire, but what could have been a tragedy was turned out to be a win for preservationists. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Stede Bonnet, the 'Gentleman Pirate,' hanged in South Carolina

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On December 10, 1718, Stede Bonnet, the “Gentleman Pirate,” was hanged in South Carolina. An unlikely buccaneer, Bonnet was born in 1688 in Barbados, orphaned at a young age and inherited a sizable plantation. By 1715, Bonnet was married and held the rank of major in the militia. In 1717, he gave up his life among the Barbadian planter elite, deserting his family to become a pirate. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Braxton Bragg gets command of Confederate Troops in North Carolina

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Braxton Bragg attended West Point, where he graduated fifth in his class. He served with distinction in the Mexican War and returned to Warren County in 1848. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Blackbeard was killed

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The “Golden Age of Piracy” flourished briefly along the North Carolina coast in the early 18th century. Foremost among the pirates was Edward Teach, aka “Blackbeard.” He lived briefly in the town of Bath during the summer of 1718. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: North Carolina becomes twelfth state

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On November 21, 1789, the General Assembly, meeting in Fayetteville, ratified the United States Constitution, making North Carolina the twelfth state. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Blue Ridge Parkway project approved

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On November 16, 1933, the Blue Ridge Parkway project received approval. The Blue Ridge Parkway, part of the National Park Service system, extends 469 miles through the Southern Appalachians, linking the Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Peter Stuart Ney confesses to be Napoleon’s closest aide

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On November 15, 1846, Peter Stuart Ney, a teacher from Rowan County, is said to have made a deathbed confession that he was, in fact, Napoleon Bonaparte’s most trusted commander, Marshal Michel Ney. Marshal Ney was rumored to have escaped execution in 1815 and fled to America. Full story...
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