Stretching nearly 470 miles from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is a popular tourist attraction. In 1912, Colonel Joseph Pratt had an idea for a mountainous parkway; however, funding issues contributed to its intermittent construction. The Blue Ridge Parkway was completed in 1987 with the construction of the Linn Cover Viaduct.
Christ Church is located in the Capitol Area Historic District in downtown Raleigh, NC. The church was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and is the oldest archetype of Gothic Revival style stone church in the south.
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.
B. Everett Jordan, born in 1896, served in the United States Senate from 1958 until 1973. Before his work in politics, Jordan managed his family’s textile business, Sellers Manufacturing Company Jordan was appointed to fill Senator Kerr Scott’s seat after his death in 1958, serving in several different committee until he lost reelection in 1973. He passed away from cancer in 1974.
Raleigh’s Central Prison opened in 1884 to house a growing inmate population that overwhelmed the county jail systems. Inmate labor built the penitentiary, and one of the head architects of the $1.25 million Gothic-style complex was W. O. Wolfe, author Thomas Wolfe’s father. As of 2012, the prison contains nearly 1,000 inmates with a staff of 700.
Born on May 16, 1891, in Beaufort County, North Carolina, Herbert Bonner served for nearly 25 years in the U.S. Congress. As a representative of the state’s First District, Bonner sought to create jobs via federal programs for his constituents. Bonner also chaired the Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Bonner passed away after his fight with cancer on November 7, 1965.
One of North Carolina’s most famous inventors, “Carbine” Williams was a native of Cumberland County. While in his early twenties Williams made moonshine. During a raid on his still, Williams shot and killed a deputy sheriff, so he was sentenced to prison for the murder. A trusted inmate, Williams spent his extra time working on gun inventions in the prison’s blacksmith shop. After his release from prison, Williams developed the prototype for the M-1 Carbine rifle, the military’s weapon of choice during World War II.
One of North Carolina’s most prolific baseball players, Jim “Catfish” Hunter excelled on the baseball mound from his young days in Hertford to his last professional years with the New York Yankees. Catfish was known for his precision pitching, and he won five World Series during his 14 year career in the major leagues. The all-star pitcher retired in 1979 to his family home in Perquimans County, and he passed away in 1999 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.
An eastern Siouan tribe that once resided in the southeastern part of North Carolina and upper sections of South Carolina, the Waccamaw lived, hunted, and fished along the rivers and swamps of the region. The Yamassee and Tuscarora Wars proved detrimental to the Waccamaw, a tribe that remained in relative obscurity until the late eighteenth century. Although the federal government has yet to recognize the tribe, North Carolina has recognized the Waccamaw, and some 1,500 members reside in Bladen and Columbus Counties.
Born in Virginia in 1887, Willis Smith studied law at Trinity College, and he served as a inheritance tax lawyer from 1915 until 1920. After serving in the state legislature, Smith ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950 after the death of Senator J. Melville Broughton. Smith defeated Frank P. Graham in the Democrat Party runoff, and he thereafter served in the Senate until his death in 1953.