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Human Betterment League of North Carolina

Created in Pasadena, California in 1928, The Human Betterment Foundation sponsored and conducted research dealing with sterilization’s physiological, mental, and social effects. Closely aligned with the Human Betterment Foundation, the Human Betterment League of North CarolinaFounded by James G. Hanes in 1947, used mass media and advertisements to promote the implementation of sterilization procedures.  In large part because of the League’s work, the number of sterilizations in North Carolina increased after World War II. 

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Baker, Ella (1903 - 1986)

A North Carolina native, Ella Baker played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement and in forming the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University.  

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Asheborough Female Academy

Much scholarly attention has been given to Alexander Murphy’s visions for public education in antebellum North Carolina and to the common school system in mid-nineteenth-century North Carolina; however, private schools existed in the period, too.  One such school was the Asheborough Female Academy.

Commentary

"Normal" People Made History

Why would I want to study peasants, when I can study kings?”, asked a fellow historian.   “Kings,” he continued, “made history.”     He was reacting to my comment that it’s important to study “normal” people.  My friend thought I trumpeted the usual, social history mantra.  But I meant something different.

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North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association

In 1894, the first suffragette organization was founded in North Carolina.  It remained almost inactive until the World War I era, when it became a political influence in the Tar Heel State.  The association had minimal success in convincing the state legislature to grant women suffrage.  

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Skimmington

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a common custom was a skimmington.  Traditionally, it served as a reminder for spouses to perform certain societal roles and behave within prescribed social boundaries and thereby secure social order.  It was also incorporated into colonial political protests.

Commentary

Toward an Inclusive History of the Civil War: Society and the Home Front

The Civil War has been one of the most studied events of United States history.  But with the advent of social history, scholars have asked many new questions concerning the history of race, class, and gender–to name three examples.  By exploring the role of women during the Civil War, historian Victoria E. Ott provides an example of social historians’ concerns and argues that the "conflict was more than just great battles and great men."  

Commentary

Wilmington Tea Party (commentary)

Most readers are familiar with the details of the Boston Tea Party of 1773, and properly identify it as a key event in the radical movement that triggered the American Revolution. Many North Carolinians have also heard of the Edenton Tea Party of October 1774, when the leading women of that Eastern North Carolina town did not actually dump tea in a nearby sound but did stage one of the nation’s earliest acts of political theater by women. But how many are familiar with the far more incendiary Wilmington Tea Party of 1775, also led by women?

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Wilmington Tea Party

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.

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Sharp, Susie (1907-1996)

Judge Susie Sharp was an old school Southern Democrat.  She publicly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) of the early 1970s and even attempted to persuade legislators to vote in the negative.  Some have credited her, along with her friend Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (1896-1984), for playing a big part in defeating the ERA in North Carolina.