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Frankie Silver Murder Case of 1833 Encyclopedia

On July 12, 1833, Frankie Silver was hanged for the murder of her husband. Nearly 10,000 people traveled to Burke County to witness her execution. She was the first woman executed in North Carolina by hanging. Numerous ballads, articles, and documentaries have added to Silver’s myth and legend.

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Simkins v. Cone (1963) Encyclopedia

In Simkins v. Cone (1963), the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that two Greensboro hospitals had discriminated against African American doctors and patients. Before the case, most North Carolina hospitals were segregated, and those designated solely for black patients offered only sub-optimal healthcare. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, and Simkins became the first time a federal court applied the Fourteenth Amendment to private racial discrimination.

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Furnifold McLendel Simmons (1854-1940) Encyclopedia

A Democratic Congressman and U.S. Senator, Furnifold M. Simmons was born on January 20, 1854 to Furnifold Green, Jr., and Mary McLendel Jerman Simmons of Jones County, North Carolina.  A leader in the "white supremacy" movement during the late 1890s, Simmons played an instrumental role in the disfranchisement of African Americans in North Carolina and served thirty years in the U.S. Senate, where his most notable achievements were obtaining funds for the Intercoastal Waterway and ensuring lower tariff rates and the passage of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff. 

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Claude Sitton (1925-) Encyclopedia

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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Skimmington Encyclopedia


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a common custom was a skimmington.  Traditionally, it served as a reminder for spouses to perform certain societal roles and behave within prescribed social boundaries and thereby secure social order.  It was also incorporated into colonial political protests.

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Mary T. Martin Sloop (1873 - 1962) Encyclopedia

Mary T. Martin Sloop was a physician and educator from Davidson, North Carolina.  She played an instrumental role in educational efforts and reform in western North Carolina.  In particular, she established the Crossnore School for mountain children.

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Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (1921-) Encyclopedia

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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Ashley W. Smith (1850?-1928) Encyclopedia

Ashley W. Smith's greatest accomplishment may have been providing an example of what a black property owner could achieve in a small town during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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Benjamin Smith (1756-1826) Encyclopedia

Born into wealth, Benjamin Smith died in poverty.  From 1810 to 1811, Smith served as governor of North Carolina.  Although a Democratic-Republican, he never abandoned his former Federalist inclinations.

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Willis Smith (1887 - 1953) Encyclopedia

Born in Virginia in 1887, Willis Smith studied law at Trinity College, and he served as a inheritance tax lawyer from 1915 until 1920.  After serving in the state legislature, Smith ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950 after the death of Senator J. Melville Broughton.  Smith defeated Frank P. Graham in the Democrat Party runoff, and he thereafter served in the Senate until his death in 1953.

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Somerset Place Encyclopedia

Somerset Place is a representative state historic site offering a comprehensive and realistic view of 19th-century life on a large North Carolina plantation. Originally, this atypical plantation included more than 100,000 densely wooded, mainly swampy acres bordering the five-by-eight mile Lake Phelps, in present-day Washington County. During its 80 years as an active plantation (1785-1865), hundreds of acres were converted into high yielding fields of rice, corn, oats, wheat, beans, peas, and flax; sophisticated sawmills turned out thousands of feet of lumber. By 1865, Somerset Place was one of the upper South's largest plantations.

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Somerset Place Plantation Encyclopedia

Somerset Place is plantation located on the land around Lake Phelps in present-day Washington County, North Carolina. Originally part of the Lake Company’s holdings that spanned over 100,000 acres in Washington and Tyrrell Counties, the area became Somerset Place in 1816 when Josiah Collins, Sr. became sole owner of the Lake Company.  Under Collins’s grandson, Josiah Collins III, Somerset Place became one of the largest plantations in the South.  Today it is a North Carolina State Historic Site.

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Sons of Liberty Encyclopedia

After the Connecticut Sons of Liberty denounced the Stamp Act and pledged to fight, if necessary, the Sons of Liberty followed suit across the colonies.  In Wilmington, North Carolina, Sons of Liberty members pledged to resist the tax “with [their] lives and fortunes.”

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Soul City Encyclopedia

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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Thomas Sowell (1930- ) Encyclopedia

As an advocate of the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” philosophy, which urges people to depend on themselves instead of government initiatives, Sowell believes that affirmative action actually hurts African Americans' chances for equality.

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