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Influential minister and educator and university president in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Kenneth R. Williams won an alderman seat in 1947 and became the first African American to defeat a white opponent in a twentieth-century election in a Southern city
A Monroe native and an African American leader who gained national fame for advocating “armed self-defense," Robert Franklin Williams inspired Black Panthers and other groups that criticized what they considered the ineffective, less-violent techniques of the Civil Rights Movement. During the 1960s, Williams went into exile and lived in Cuba and China, where he published newsletters and produced radio programs for dissemination in the United States.
Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Hugh Williamson was a physician and polymath who served as one of North Carolina’s delegates to the Federal Constitutional Convention. Active in the debates at the Convention, Williamson was a leading intellectual in Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary America.
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.
A public and political action by Wilmington women, the Wilmington Tea Party occurred sometime between March 25 and April 5, 1774. It was one of the many tax protests that swept the American colonies after the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773.
The University of North Carolina of Wilmington (UNC-W) started in 1947 as a junior college funded by the New Hanover Board of Education. Since its inception, the college has become part of the University of North Carolina higher education system and it offers over 50 undergraduate degree programs. Currently, 13,000 students attend the University of North Carolina of Wilmington.
Born on August 1, 1831, in Amelia County, Virginia, Wilson Carey was one of the first African Americans elected to the N. C. General Assembly under the new constitution of 1868, which granted blacks the right to vote.
Formed in 1855, Wilson County was once home to the Tuscarora Indians. The county did not experience great growth until the arrival of the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad in the late 1830s. During most of the 20th century, the county was known as "the world’s greatest tobaccomarket." Its county seat is also called Wilson.
Established by the Baptist Association of North Carolina out of a need for schools in the Piedmont region, Wingate University was founded in 1896. Wingate College grew but experienced tough financial times during the Great Depression. However, concerned Baptists and dedicated professors helped Wingate survive. The school became a university in 1995, with a student body of about 2,500 students today.
Before the introduction of national welfare in the twentieth century, local charities and mutual aid societies provided financial assistance to the less fortunate and also provided entertainment and social outlets for members. These societies many times worked and cosponsored programs with local churches. Winona Society was a Charlotte example.
A Fayetteville native, Winslow served as governor of North Carolina for less than a month (25 days). After serving the shortest gubernatorial term in North Carolina history, Winslow later served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1855-1861), advised Governor John Ellis (1861), and became chairman of the state’s Military and Naval Board during the Civil War.
Originally the Slater Industrial Academy, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has grown from its meager beginnings of 1892. The first class of 25 students studied to become teachers, but today, WSSU offers programs ranging from nursing to English, with a student body of almost 6,500 students. Important locales on Winston-Salem State University’s campus include the sculpture gardens and the Diggs Art Gallery.
Born on January 21, 1920 in Raleigh, North Carolina, John W. Winters, Sr. lived an accomplished life in the city where his “family home” had always been. Before he died on February 15, 2004, Winters started a construction company and real estate management business and became Raleigh’s first African American city councilman and one of the first African Americans elected to the North Carolina State Senate since the Reconstruction Era.
One of North Carolina’s greatest writers, Thomas Wolfe was born in Asheville in 1900. Wolfe’s childhood experiences in Asheville influenced much of the author’s masterpiece, Look Homeward, Angel. An eccentric, tall man, Wolfe lived in New York and Europe throughout his short life. He died from tuberculosis on September 15, 1938.
An Asheville native, Thomas Wolfe emerged as one of the early-twentieth century’s most controversial writers. His meandering writing style irritated many editors, who nevertheless recognized a diamond in the rough and published his work. His first novel, Look Homeward Angel, angered many of his former mountain neighbors; his novel was autobiographical, and he did little to mask the characters’ identities.