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Soul City

Soul City was a failed attempt to build a majority black community in the heart of rural North Carolina. Conceived by civil rights leader Floyd B. McKissick, Soul City began with high expectations but ended in disappointment.

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Burlington Dynamite Plot

The so-called Burlington dynamite plot refers to the attempted bombing of two Burlington textile mills and the legal battle that followed. Six Burlington workers were arrested and accused of plotting to dynamite the mills. Their trial became a media circus that attracted the attention of communists, college students, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

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Piedmont & Northern Railway

The Piedmont & Northern (P&N) Railway fueled the growth of North Carolina’s textile industry. Running from Spartanburg to Greenwood in South Carolina and from Gastonia to Charlotte in North Carolina, the P&N shipped cotton, textiles, and other goods throughout the Piedmont region. But an ambitious plan to make the railroad a regional powerhouse was foiled by the federal government.

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Salvation Army in North Carolina

Part church, part charity, the Salvation Army is best known for ringing bells for the needy on street corners. But the Army does far more than collect coins during the Christmas season. It is one of America’s largest charitable organizations and has helped millions, including many thousands of North Carolinians.

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Smith, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" (1921-)

Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith (1921-), son of a poor mill worker, rose to become one of country music’s brightest stars. His singles, including “Guitar Boogie” and “Feuding Banjos,” sold millions of copies, and millions more people tuned in to his radio and television programs.

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Sitton, Claude (1925-)

Claude Sitton (1925-) is a journalist famous for covering the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 60s. Sitton served for six years as the New York Times’ chief Southern correspondent and reported on the desegregation of schools, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and the 1964 Freedom Summer—to name only three events. His dedication led the editors of Newsweek to praise him in 1964 as “the best daily newspaperman on the Southern scene.”

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Roberts, Gene (1932-)

Gene Roberts (1932-) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman who began his career as a writer with the Goldsboro News-Argus and ended it as editor of the New York Times. Described by one employee as “the ideal editor that reporters dream about,” Roberts transformed the Philadelphia Inquirer from a laughingstock into one of the nation’s top newspapers.

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James T. Leach (1805-1883)

James T. Leach (1805-1883) played an important role in North Carolina’s Peace Movement during the American Civil War. Leach took the rhetoric of liberty that had been used to justify secession and turned it against the Confederate government.

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Concerned Parents Association

The Concerned Parents Association (CPA) was an anti-busing protest group within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. Though CPA successfully mobilized public opinion, they failed to stop the court-ordered busing. Their influence was greatly reduced after they tried—and failed—to boycott Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools.

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Charter Schools

Charter schools are an educational reform intended to bring freedom of choice to public education. This freedom allows for growth, flexibility, and innovation. The North Carolina charter school movement began in the mid-1990s and has been controversial ever since.