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.
Subject: Business and Industry
Located in Mitchell County, the Penland School of Crafts has long been heralded as a haven for young craftsmen and women from around the world. Since its inception in the late 1920s, Penland has offered courses ranging from weaving to glassworking to silversmithing. Today, 1,200 people attend the school annually, and a vibrant, local crafts culture surrounds the school.
The first successful machine gun, known as the Gatling gun was invented by North Carolina native Richard J. Gatling in 1862. The gun saw limited use in the Civil War because the original model proved ineffective but once Gatling perfected his machine gun, the United States Army purchased 100 guns in 1866. Although the patent was eventually purchased by Colt’s Armory, the more developed guns built by Nordenfeldt and Maxim gun manufacturers outlasted the Gatling machine gun.
One of the most influential newspapers in North Carolina and the Southeast, the Raleigh News and Observer dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. The paper’s ascendancy to state and regional importance began in 1894, when Josephus Daniels bought the news souurce. In 1995, the McClatchy Newspapers Corporation purchased the News and Observer Publishing Company. The paper continues its daily operation in the Triangle area.
One of the first discount store chains in the Southeastern United States, Roses was first opened in Henderson in 1915. Founder Paul H. Rose led the company to expansive growth. By the 1980s, there were approximately 250 in 11 different southern states. In the 1990s, competition with large chains such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart prevented Roses from increasing in size, and Variety Wholesaler’s, Inc., (another N.C. based company) bought the company in 1997.
The only fulling mill to exist in Randolph County may have been located in the present-day town of Randleman.
One of the early communicators of the radio and television era, Edward R. Murrow was born in Guilford County. As a CBS broadcaster during World War II and the Red Scare, he was known for his command of language, signature phrases, and willingness to tackle difficult and controversial issues. He pioneered many programs that became the basis for the future of both radio and television news.
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.
Formed in 1771 from parts of the Orange and Rowan counties, Guilford lies in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and its county seat is Greensboro. The decisive Battle of Guilford Courthouse occurred in Guilford in 1781, and O. Henry, Dolly Madison, and Edward R. Murrow were all born in the county. The county is home to the two major cities of Greensboro and High Point.
Wilbur Hardee opened the first Hardee’s restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina, in 1960. Offering a concise but premium menu, low prices, and fast service, Hardee’s succeeded in Greenville and a second Hardee’s was soon opened in Rocky Mount. By 1963, the Hardee’s chain had gone public and it soon opened outside the United States. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Hardee’s became a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, and the chain went through a revolution by offering new and better products, Monster Thickburgers, and witty advertising.