A recent history column briefly described An Inch of Snow (1964), an out-of-print novel depicting a state legislative race in North Carolina. It was more than entertainment depicting small-town North Carolina life. The novel’s fictitious speeches by Democratic and Republican candidates reflect the actual economic concerns of North Carolinians in the 1960s. The arguments offered are often repeated nowadays in print and on air and behind debate podiums and at dinner tables across the state.
Subject: Modern Era
When U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustered in March, the old-fashioned way, talking for approximately 13 hours and questioning whether the president had the constitutional authority to use unmanned drones to kill American noncombatants on U.S. soil, he unnerved many politicians and talking heads.
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.
Alton A. Lennon was a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina between 1953 and 1954. Prior to that from 1957 to 1973, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Alton was known as one of North Carolina’s most conservative politicians.
In January 2011, the Republican Party of North Carolina took control of both houses in the General Assembly. Many have stated that Republicans haven’t been in this position since the 1890s. Truth be told, the last time was the late 1860s.
All the name-calling, finger-pointing, dealmaking, and hollow sound bites during the recent debt-ceiling debate led me to conclude this: If Americans keep looking to Washington for all the answers, we shouldn’t expect anything better from politicians who seem more worried about the 2012 election than the nation’s future.
America’s difficult economic situation has generated often contradictory reactions and proposed solutions. One part of America blames the big banks. Another points to the government. Still others, with a more subtle insight, find fault with the combination of big government and big corporations. All this reminded me of the protests during the 1760s and early 1770s in Piedmont North Carolina called the Regulator Rebellion.
"Yes, I was born right over there. You can see I haven’t gotten very far in life," remarked former Sen. Sam Ervin while pointing to his birthplace, a white house across the street from his residence in Morganton.
At the onset of the 1960s, Terry Sanford was elected the 65th governor of North Carolina. A lifelong Democrat, Sanford championed improving the state’s educational system at all levels, embodied the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, strove to fight poverty, and desired to expand the Research Triangle Park. Despite serving only one term, Sanford’s programs transformed Southern politics, specifically in education and race relations, and contributed to his legacy as a political hero in the New South.
Thirty-five years ago, on March 23, 1976, voters in North Carolina helped shape the course of history. Their decision to support the presidential hopes of former California Gov. Ronald Reagan in the Republican presidential primary kept Reagan in the race for the 1976 GOP nomination and opened the way for his 1980 election as the 40th president of the United States.