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Fletcher, Inglis

Born in Illinois, Inglish Fletcher first visited North Carolina in 1934 researching her genealogy in the Tyrrell County historical records. She published her most prominent novel, Raleigh’s Eden, in 1941, and it detailed the Albemarle plantation culture in colonial North Carolina. Dedicated to research and historical accuracy, Fletcher published a twelve volume historical fiction set entitled the Carolina Series. The novelist moved to Edenton in 1941 where she became a prominent citizen who help start the North Carolina Writers Conference and the Elizabethan Gardens on the Roanoke Island. 

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Daily Tar Heel; newspaper; UNC; Chapel Hill; Tar Heel

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.

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Gardner, Ava; movie; hollywood; Johnston County

Born in Johnston County in 1922, Ava Lavinia Gardner became one of Hollywood’s most popular starlets in the 1940s and 1950s. She attended Rock Ridge High School and Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), and in 1939 her big break in film occurred. While visiting her sister in New York a photographer took several pictures of Gardner who later sent them to the MGM talent office. MGM signed Gardner to a seven-year contract and her acting career began. Gardner appeared in several classic films including The Killers, One Touch of Venus, and the classic musical, Show Boat.

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WBTV

Operated by the Jefferson-Pilot Corporation in the Charlotte area, WBTV was the first television station in the Carolinas.  The station aired its first program on July 15, 1949, but the Greensboro-based WFMY-TV soon followed with its first broadcast in the months to come. WBTV was the first television station to videotape episodes, to mount and operate a live camera in a NASCAR race car, and the first to use closed captioning during evening news programs.

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Tuscarora

The Tuscarora, one of the most prominent tribes of eastern North Carolina at the time of European settlement, were a well-developed tribe that spoke a derivative of the Iroquoian language. The tribe established communities on the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, growing crops such as corn, picked berries and nuts. They also hunted big game such as deer and bears. Despite the tribe’s size and numerous warriors, the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) led to the migration of the tribe to New York and the near vanishing of the tribe from North Carolina.

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Willis Smith, Frank Graham, 1950, Senate, Election, Race

Willis Smith and Frank P. Graham endured a pivotal Democratic primary election in 1950. Both candidates contented for the U.S. Senate seat left open by Senator J. Melville Broughton’s death. During the race, Smith and Graham divided on social issues, particularly racial integration. Smith’s calculated attack of Graham’s liberal social views proved successful as he won the primary and eventually the 1950 Senate election.

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Ruark, Robert (1915-1965)

Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1915, Robert Ruark became one of the state’s most prominent writers during the 1940s and 1950s. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Ruark wrote for local newspapers until he moved to Washington, D.C. In the mid-1940s, Ruark gained popularity for his Washington Daily News columns, and he started writing fiction novels. His most popular work was Old Man and the Boy (1957), a semi-autobiographical work that details Ruark’s childhood with his grandfather in Southport, North Carolina.

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Election Case; Abbott, Joseph; Vance, Zebulon

Incumbent Joseph Abbott lost the U.S. Senate election to political veteran Zebulon Vance in 1870. Abbott filed a complaint concerning Vance’s eligibility to serve in the Senate, relying on the 14th Amendment and its provision that Confederate supporters could not hold office in the U.S. Congress. After a year of deliberations, the Senate Elections Committee ruled in Vance’s favor, but Vance resigned before the committee issued its verdict. Matt Ransom was elected to replace Vance in 1872.

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Merrimon, Augustus

Born in Transylvania County, Augustus Merrimon served as a U.S. Senator from 1873 to 1879 and as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1889 until 1892. After his service in the Confederate Army, Merrimon became a state superior court judge and he was involved in the impeachment of Governor William Holden. Chief Justice Merrimon died in office on November 14, 1892.

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Horn of the Hunter: The Story of an African Hunt and other Robert Ruark African Journies

North Carolina author Robert Ruark gained national fame for his Washington Daily News, Saturday Evening Post, and Field & Stream columns and his classic, The Old Man and the Boy (1957). In addition, Ruark followed in the footsteps of his hero Ernest Hemingway and traveled, hunted, and wrote about the African continent. Ruark published Horn of the Hunter: The Story of an African Hunt in 1953.  It details his two-month safari.