Passed in 1934, the Kerr-Smith Tobacco Act addressed a loophole in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. The act levied a tax of 25 percent on all tobacco sales, while providing tax exemption permits to farmers who participated in the AAA. After passage of the Kerr-Smith Act, the price of tobacco rose markedly, briefly benefiting North Carolina farmers.
Co-founder of Food Town (later renamed Food Lion), Ralph Ketner started working in the grocery business as a child in his father’s meat store in Salisbury, North Carolina and later as a teenager during the Depression in his brother’s Kannapolis, North Carolina store. These early experiences, combined with an innovation and lifelong desire to cut costs, helped Ralph Ketner revolutionize the grocery industry and make a one-store operation in Salisbury into a leading, national supermarket chain.
Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was a Union cavalry general and the first regular Union officer injured in the Civil War. He was a headstrong and reckless leader who sought fame and often exaggerated the results of battles. He earned the nickname “Kill-cavalry” for his reckless use of his men during battle. Kilpatrick became the head of General Sherman’s cavalry and participated in the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, and the Carolinas Campaign. After the war Kilpatrick served as the US Minister to Chile, and he died in Santiago in 1881.
Claude Kitchin represented North Carolina in the U.S. House during the early-twentieth century and served as Speaker of the House during the First World War. In his public career, Kitchin typically adopted elements of the Populist and Progressive agendas and aligned his views with those of William Jennings Bryan. But the North Carolinian is most known for questioning President Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy and the attempts to expand America’s role in world affairs.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, much like Governor Charles Aycock, Governor William W. Kitchin was part of a new wave of Democratic leadership in North Carolina—a group that earned a reputation for being progressive in regards to government regulation while promoting white supremacy.
Vernon Rudolph and his Krispy Kreme doughnuts are excellent examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that flourished in North Carolina despite the Great Depression.