One of the premier college newspapers in the United States, the Daily Tar Heel started publication in 1893. UNC students originally paid 5 cents per issue for the weekly newspaper. The newspaper is now a free daily. Some of North Carolina’s most well-known writers and publishers edited the Daily Tar Heel. Notables include Thomas Wolfe, Frank Porter Graham, and Jonathan Daniels.
Josephus Daniels was a prominent journalist and newspaper editor from North Carolina. He purchased the Raleigh News and Observer in 1894 and became a leading “New South” political commentator. He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War I. He later served as ambassador to Mexico under President Franklin Roosevelt.
Dare County, one of North Carolina’s coastal counties, has a rich history with national significance. Named for America’s first English child, Virginia Dare, this northeastern county was originally part of the Tyrrell, Hyde, and Currituck Counties. In 1870, the North Carolina Legislature passed an act that separated Dare County to make transportation improvements as well as an increase in taxing procedures.
Virginia Dare was born on August 18, 1587 at Roanoke Island, Virginia (present-day North Carolina). Virginia Dare was the first English-born child in the Americas. She was daughter of Ananias and Eleanor Dare and the granddaughter of John White. As a member of the lost Roanoke Colony, Virginia Dare’s fate is unknown, but she has become an icon of American folklore.
Founded by the Presbyterian church in 1837, Davidson College was named in honor of General William L. Davidson, a Patriot soldier who died during the Battle of Cowan’s Ford. Early students helped develop the campus, but after a large endowment by Maxwell Chambers, Davidson College had the largest endowment of any college south of Princeton. Davidson College enrolls approximately 1,700 students, and it offers over twenty different majors.
Established in 1822, Davidson County is a central, Piedmont county in North Carolina. Davidson County has a rich history that dates back to the colonial era and is known for its furniture industries. More than a few boast about the area’s distinct barbecue style that is exhibited at the annual Lexington Barbecue Festival.
Located in the western Piedmont, Davie County is named in honor of an American Revolutionary Patriot, William Davie. The county was formed in 1836 from Rowan County, and the county seat is Mocksville.
Soldier, lawmaker, governor, and diplomat, Davie is best remembered as the principal founder of the University of North Carolina. Despite his many accomplishments, Davie’s ardent Federalism fostered a growing voter disenchantment with him, and he spent his last years living in a self-imposed political exile.
Thomas Henry Davis was the founder of Piedmont Aviation, Inc., and innovator in commercial aviation. The company maintained facilities in Winston Salem NC, Greensboro NC, and Roanoke VA. Thomas Henry Davis’ management of the company led the airline industry in hub operations.
Although scholars disagree regarding the exact path of Hernando De Soto’s expedition in the Southeast, all agree that the Spaniard passed through Piedmont and western North Carolina.
North Carolina played an important role in the beginning of the United States. Three North Carolinians signed the Declaration of Independence: William Hooper, John Penn, and Joseph Hewes.
After a Confederate victory at Fredericksburg, Lieutenant General James Longstreet was given the assignment to gather supplies and maintain supply lines for the North Carolina area. Longstreet assumed control of the 45,000 men in the North Carolina and Virginia companies on February 25, 1863 and ordered General D.H. Hill, commander of the North Carolina district, and his 12,000 men from the North Carolina division, to regain control of New Bern.
One of the first females to practice medicine in the United States, Dr. Susan Dimock was born in Washington, North Carolina in 1847. Dimock trained under a local doctor before moving to Boston after the Civil War. Although she was denied entrance into Harvard Medical School, she moved to Europe where she attended the University of Zurich. She practiced medicine in Boston for several years, but in 1875, at 28 years of age she died after her ship wrecked off the coast of England.
The Dismal Swamp Canal, originally chartered in 1790, connects the Albemarle Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1805, the Dismal Swamp Canal created a passage between northeastern North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia. By the mid-1820s, the Dismal Swamp Canal was widened and deepened enough for reliable commercial traffic. As a result, international trade shifted from Albemarle Sound towns, like Edenton, to Norfolk, Virginia. Today the Dismal Swamp Canal is primarily used for recreational boating.
Arthur Dobbs, sheriff (1720), Surveyor General (1730), and member of Parliament (1727-1730) in his native Ireland, became one of the five royal colonial governors of North Carolina in 1754. He was born on April 2, 1689 in the fishing village of Girvan in Ayrshire, Scotland, to Richard and Mary Stewart Dobbs. Soon after his birth, Mary returned with Arthur to Ireland. He resided there until moving to North Carolina.
Robert L. Doughton (1863-1954) represented North Carolina’s ninth congressional district (centered in Alleghany and Ashe counties) from 1933 until 1953. Although he had a reputation as a fiscal conservative, Doughton was nonetheless an important ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.
Drexel Furniture Company began operations near Morganton. The Appalachian Mountain company, in time, became one of the world’s leading furniture producers.
From Oxford Township, Charles and Winnie Tally were among many freedmen using dual tenure to make ends meet.
In theory, after the Civil War, land ownership seemed an attainable goal for North Carolina freedpeople. In actuality, racial division and limited finances made land ownership extremely difficult. Freedmen, therefore, practiced dual tenure.
Born when North Carolina finally ratified the U.S. Constitution, Edward Dudley was the first governor elected by popular vote and the first Whig governor of the Old North State. His administration has received credit for awakening North Carolina from an economic slumber and encouraging it to embrace railroad construction and other internal improvements. The Onslow County native also was the executive of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad—“the longest continuous railroad,” writes historian Milton Ready, “in the world at that time.”
Successful entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of Dudley Products, an African American- owned hair care company, Joe Louis Dudley and his wife, Eunice, began their business by mixing shampoo and hair care formula in their kitchen. His entrepreneurship created a needed product and employed hundreds.
Among the first African Americans to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly, Dudley was the son of a former slave, Sarah Pasteur.
Many modern-day Americans consider dueling to be a senseless act of violence, but for many Southerners and North Carolinian gentlemen, the act was many times a defense of honor.
See the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. Duke’s sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the largest tobacco company in the world. The tour includes the Duke family’s restored home, an early factory, a curing barn, and a packhouse. The Tobacco Museum exhibits traces tobacco history from Native American times to the present.
In addition to producing electricity that spurred industrial development in North Carolina, the Duke Power Company, now called the Duke Energy Corporation, has played important roles in several chapters of the state’s history.
Formally known as Trinity College during the mid-nineteenth century with support from the Methodist Church, Duke University has become one of the leading private research universities in the world. The school moved to Durham in 1887 and as of 2012, Duke boasts 13, 457 students from over 55 countries and 2,877 faculty.
Home to the culturally significant Duplin Winery and Warsaw Veterans Day Celebration, Duplin County was established in 1852. Its county seat is Kenansville, and other townships within the area include Warsaw, Magnolia, and Rose Hill. The state’s first Presbyterian church, the Grove congregation, was formed in the 1700s, and the church continues in its affluence in present Duplin County.
Although Tar Heels were national leaders in wine making before the Civil War and once again during the early 1900s, few modern-day Americans—and even native Tar Heels—have regarded the state as a leader in grape and wine production. North Carolina is known mainly today for championship college basketball and tourist attractions and its tobacco and pork industries. Over the past two decades, however, wineries have been started across the state. Yet Duplin Winery in Rose Hill has been the major link between the days of state and local Prohibition and the current revival in North Carolina viticulture and serves as a harbinger for the medicinal uses of the muscadine.
Described by an early explorer as the “flower of the Carolinas”, Durham is a central Piedmont county that was annexed from Orange and Wake counties in 1881. Driven by the tobacco industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Durham County was the city of the affluent American Tobacco Company. Today, the Research Triangle Park (RTP) and the medical institutions make Durham a national asset. In addition, Duke University and North Carolina Central University are in the city.