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Family Dollar Stores

  Family Dollar is a discount store chain, with headquarters in Matthews, North Carolina. The company operates over 7,100 stores in 45 states and in Washington D.C. As one of the first discount stores, Family Dollar expanded to over 6,800 stores in 44 states and competes with large companies such as Costco, Dollar General, and Wal-Mart.

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Live at Home Program

Governor O. Max Gardner implemented the Live at Home Program in 1929. The initiative encouraged farmers to increase food and livestock production in order to improve farm conditions and provide for year round family farm consumption.

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Drexel Furniture Company

Drexel Furniture Company began operations near Morganton.  The Appalachian Mountain company, in time, became one of the world’s leading furniture producers.

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Williams, Carbine (1900-1975)

One of North Carolina’s most famous inventors, “Carbine” Williams was a native of Cumberland County. While in his early twenties Williams made moonshine.  During a raid on his still, Williams shot and killed a deputy sheriff, so he was sentenced to prison for the murder. A trusted inmate, Williams spent his extra time working on gun inventions in the prison’s blacksmith shop. After his release from prison, Williams developed the prototype for the M-1 Carbine rifle, the military’s weapon of choice during World War II.

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Central Prison; Raleigh; law enforcement; prisoner

Raleigh’s Central Prison opened in 1884 to house a growing inmate population that overwhelmed the county jail systems.  Inmate labor built the penitentiary, and one of the head architects of the $1.25 million Gothic-style complex was W. O. Wolfe, author Thomas Wolfe’s father. As of 2012, the prison contains nearly 1,000 inmates with a staff of 700.

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Griffith, Andy; Mt. Airy; Pilot Mountain; Surry County

Born on June 1, 1926 in Mount Airy, Andy Griffith studied at UNC-Chapel Hill where he majored in music. Griffith worked as a teacher for several years before starting his career as an actor, starring in the play No Time for Sergeants, a Broadway show that opened in 1955. Five years later, Griffith starred in his most famous role as Sheriff Andy Griffith in The Andy Griffith Show. Griffith starred in several other television movies and shows, including Matlock before his retirement to Dare County. The actor died on July 3, 2012 from heart complications.

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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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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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Lowe's Companies

Lowe’s Companies is a North Carolina based chain of home improvement and appliance stores located in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Lowe’s is one of the nations largest retailers and serves over 1,400 customers a week with 1,710 stores in the U.S. and twenty in Canada.

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The North Carolina Gazette

Established in New Bern, The North Carolina Gazette was North Carolina’s first newspaper. The first issue was published on August 9, 1751.