What started in 1913 as 500 pounds of unwanted Virginia peanuts has evolved into Lance Inc., with revenues steadily approaching one billion dollars. Phillip L. Lance, a Charlotte-based food distributor, ordered 500 pounds of peanuts directly from a planter with the intent to resale them to one of his customers. When Lance’s customer reneged on the peanut deal, Lance roasted the peanuts at his home and sold them on the streets of Charlotte for a nickel a bag instead of returning them to the planter. The home roasted peanuts quickly became popular among Charlotte residents, and Lance soon started producing peanut butter.
Subject: New Deal/ Great Depression
Born in 1862, as the son of a farmer, Belk overcame obstacles in life to later build a retail empire.
Charles Albert Cannon, the son of a textile mill owner, was born in 1892. After attending Fishburne Military Academy and Davidson College, Cannon entered the textile industry himself, achieving success as a manager, treasurer and secretary. When his father died in 1921, Cannon assumed the leadership of the Cannon manufacturing plants and consolidated them to one entity, The Cannon Mills Company.
Commercial restrictions through tariffs have been an integral part of American history, and Tar Heels have voiced their opinion on tariff legislation since the founding of the United States. The federal government has used tariffs to raise revenue and protect American industry and labor. During the Great Depression, Congress passed the highest tariff in the United States history.
Vernon Rudolph and his Krispy Kreme doughnuts are excellent examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that flourished in North Carolina despite the Great Depression.
Established by Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Public Works Administration (PWA) was a massive U.S. government spending program aimed at improving the nation’s infrastructure. Though the PWA was not vested with the sweeping powers of the National Recovery Administration, it affected nearly every county in the United States and indelibly altered North Carolina.
Passed in 1934, the Kerr-Smith Tobacco Act addressed a loophole in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. The act levied a tax of 25 percent on all tobacco sales, while providing tax exemption permits to farmers who participated in the AAA. After passage of the Kerr-Smith Act, the price of tobacco rose markedly, briefly benefiting North Carolina farmers.
The Bankhead Cotton Control Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on April 21, 1934. The act addressed an impediment to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration’s efforts to raise cotton prices. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, which created the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), explicitly made farmer participation in AAA programs voluntary. Most AAA programs compensated farmers for leaving land fallow, reducing supply and triggering a corollary price increase. Nevertheless, as some agricultural economists (such as Mordecai Ezekiel) had foreseen, non-AAA farmers could prevent price increases by flooding the market with cotton.
Created by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) was a federal agency tasked with reducing crop yields. Low crop prices had harmed U.S. farmers; reducing the supply of crops was a straightforward means of increasing prices. During its brief existence, the AAA accomplished its goal: the supply of crops decreased, and prices rose. It is now widely considered the most successful program of the New Deal. Though the AAA generally benefited North Carolina farmers, it harmed small farmers–in particular African American tenant farmers.
Signed into law on May 12, 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was a New Deal government-spending program established to give direct cash assistance to the impoverished. Different from work relief agencies such as the National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration, which created jobs for the unemployed, FERA offered only short-term subsistence support. FERA’s poor design coupled with its low per capita grants failed to assuage the effects of the Great Depression in North Carolina.