Josephus Daniels was a prominent journalist and newspaper editor from North Carolina. He purchased the Raleigh News and Observer in 1894 and became a leading “New South” political commentator. He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve as Secretary of the Navy during World War I. He later served as ambassador to Mexico under President Franklin Roosevelt.
Subject: Progressive Era
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 native of Jackson County, North Carolina, Gertrude D. McKee became the first woman to serve in the North Carolina Senate. Her terms were from 1931-33, 1937-39, and 1943-44. She was known as a “pioneer of welfare programs” in North Carolina that served as models for other Southern states.
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.
During the past legislative session, the General Assembly seriously debated whether to divert funds to compensate sterilization victims of North Carolina’s eugenics program. Long before many other organizations discussed the issue, John Locke Foundation staff penned commentaries in 2005 and 2007 and made presentations from 2008-10 about the history of the movement and called for compensating living victims.
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.
Some people never ask the right questions. Or even ask anything. Take science and government intervention, for example. Many progressive actions (whatever progress is, no one has defined it sufficiently for me) are nothing more than barbarism revived. Case in point: the eugenics movement in 20th-century North Carolina.
An influential member of the North Carolina GOP during the late 1800s, Bigelow served one term as a Republican member of the N. C. House of Representatives (1881). He was one of 18 African Americans to serve in the 1881 General Assembly. A co-founder of the Yanceyville Colored Graded School, Bigelow also served for two years as Yanceyville’s postmaster, appointed to that post under the Grant administration in 1873.
Lesser known than his Progressive predecessors, including Governor Charles B. Aycock, the “Little Giant of the West” nevertheless implemented significant conservation and transportation programs. Early in his political career, Locke Craig was a Populist who supported William Jennings Bryan’s presidential candidacies; however, the Buncombe countian soon worked to help the White Supremacy movement regain control of North Carolina, became a Democrat who served in the North Carolina House and lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. He became Governor of North Carolina in 1912.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, much like Governor Charles Aycock, Governor William W. Kitchin was part of a new wave of Democratic leadership in North Carolina—a group that earned a reputation for being progressive in regards to government regulation while promoting white supremacy.