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NC History

CELEBRATE: Looking back at 275 years in the Port City

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videoWilmington is celebrating its 275th anniversary. The Port City has gone through quite a bit over that time. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: New Hanover Co. man first student at UNC Chapel Hill

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On February 12, 1795, Hinton James became the first student to enter the University of North Carolina. James, who had walked to Chapel Hill from his home in New Hanover County, was the only student for the first two weeks of the school year. Academically gifted, James helped organize the first literary club and debating society on campus. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree as one of the seven students in the university’s first graduating class in July 1798. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Vicks VapoRub, a Mighty Salve

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On December 29, 1854 Lunsford Richardson, the inventor of Vicks VapoRub, was born in Johnston County. After graduating from Davidson College with a degree in Latin in 1875, Richardson joined his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Vick in Selma. There he used his Latin skills to learn the names of chemicals used as drugs and become a pharmacist. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Originally Carolana, for King Charles I

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On October 30, 1629, England’s King Charles I granted much of what is North and South Carolina to his attorney general, Sir Robert Heath. The land was referred to as Carolana, meaning the “land of Charles.” Full story...
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NC museum to display Ann McCrory's inaugural gown

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North Carolina first lady Ann McCrory is turning over her inaugural gown to the NC Museum of History, which will include it in an exhibition about governors and their spouses. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Woolworth protests launch national sit-in movement

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On February 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s Department Store in downtown Greensboro and asked to be served. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Nuclear mishap in Wayne County field

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On January 24, 1961, a B-52G Stratofortress Bomber carrying two nuclear weapons crashed in rural Wayne County, ten miles northeast of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Full story...
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This Day in NC History: Fort Fisher falls to Union troops

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video On January 15, 1865, Fort Fisher, nicknamed “Gilbraltar of the South” fell to Union troops. Built on a peninsula named Federal Point at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, 18 miles south of Wilmington, Fort Fisher was the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy. Full story...
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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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