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Special steam engine train rides in Spencer, a soap making workshop in Pinnacle and musket and cannon firing demonstrations in Statesville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources this weekend.

Here are 11 suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Join the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for one of three great events Saturday:a celebration of Piedmont Airlines, special steam engine train rides and a railroad book sale.
2. See musket and cannon firing demonstrations Saturday and Sunday at Fort Dobbs in Statesville.
3. Learn how to make soap the old fashioned way with ingredients you can find at any grocery store during a workshop Saturday at Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle.
4. Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a night of music, dancing, food and drinks Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.
5. See memorabilia from Sleepy Hollow’s filming at Tryon Palace on display at the N.C. History Center in New Bern through Sunday.
6. Stop by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-SalemSaturday for a pancake social complete with art activities and performances.
7. Hear about the struggle for civil rights in the small Martin County town of Williamston during a lecture at Historic Bath Saturday.
8. Learn about world music, folklore and dance through songs and stories at the Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City Saturday.
9. Discover the history of U.S. Colored Troops in North Carolina during a lecture at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville Thursday.
10.Enjoy concerts of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony performed by the N.C. Symphony in Fayetteville, Raleigh and Sanford throughout the weekend.
11. Hear the harrowing tales of men who were prisoners of the North Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. (UPDATE: This program will be rescheduled due to winter weather).

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

The snow is falling outside, and on day like this we can’t resist browsing our collections and taking a look at how the people of yesteryear celebrated (or coped with, depending on your viewpoint) winter weather.

Here are six stand out snowy shots from our collections:

1. Two men standing next to a 12-foot snowbank somewhere in western North Carolina, circa 1960. (Image from the N.C. Museum of History).

 

1960-chevy-snowbank

 

2. This icy cover from a February 1951 issue of Our State Magazine. (Image from the State Library).

 

Our-State-1951

 

3. Celebrating the 1940 Easter snowfall in downtown Cary. (Image from the State Archives).

 

 

4. An aerial view of downtown Raleigh covered in snow, circa 1960. (Image from the State Archives).

 

 

5. Plowing U.S. 301 near Wilson, sometime in the 1920s or 30s. (Image from the N.C. Museum of History).

 

Plowing-1920

 

6. Gov. Luther Hodges and others talking in front a Fort Bragg based-airplane with snow-capped mountains in the background.

 

Hodges-Bragg-Mtns-1960

 

Looking to browse our collections yourself? Check out this list of 5 digital resources we offer for suggestions on where to start.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more awesome photos like these year-round!

Artifacts from Bull Durham in the N.C. Museum of History's Starring North Carolina! exhibition.

Artifacts from Bull Durham in the N.C. Museum of History’s
Starring North Carolina! exhibition.

If you’ve lived in North Carolina for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the Old North State’s rich tradition of film production.  From a 1921 film on the fate of the Lost Colony to The Longest Ride, based on a Nicholas Sparks movie and set to release later this year, film and television production in the Old North State is as old the two mediums themselves.

With all the excitement around this weekend’s Academy Awards, we got curious and took a tour of the N.C. Museum of History’s fantastic Starring North Carolina! exhibition to explore North Carolina’s connections to the film industry’s highest honor.

Here are 10 movies with ties to the Tar Heel State that have gained recognition at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual awards:

  1. Mogambo, though filmed almost exclusively internationally, earned Johnston County native Ava Gardner the only Academy Award nomination of her career.
  1. Filmed mostly in Georgia and South Carolina, scenes from 1972’s Deliverance were shot in Sylva. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including best picture.
Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner, a native of Johnston County, visit Gardner's mother in Raleigh in 1942

Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner, a native of
Johnston County, visit Gardner’s mother in Raleigh
in 1942. Image from the State Archives.

  1. The Color Purple, from 1985, was nominated for best picture and 10 other Oscars but failed to win any. It was shot in Anson, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union Counties.
  1. David Lynch was nominated for Best Director for his 1986 crime drama Blue Velvet, which was shot in Wilmington and Lumberton.
  1. Crimes of the Heart, filmed in Caswell Beach, Southport, Wilmington and Winnabow garnered three Academy Award nominations. The 1986 movie’s “Botrelle Mansion” is in fact Orton Planation in Brunswick County.
  1. Though set in upstate New York, 1987’s Dirty Dancing was filmed mostly in Asheville and Buncombe Counties. The film won the Academy Award for Best Music, Best Original Song.
  1. 1988’s Bull Durham, was filmed in Burlington, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilson and, of course, Durham.
  1. The Fugitive, from 1993, was nominated for best picture and earned Tommy Lee Jones the Best Supporting Actor award. Though mostly set in Chicago, scenes from the film were shot in Graham and Jackson Counties.
  1. Scenes from the American classic Forrest Gump were filmed at Biltmore Estate and Grandfather Mountain. The now legendary movie won six Oscars in 1995, including best picture, and was nominated for seven others.
  1. Nominated for best picture and three other awards in 1999, scenes from The Green Mile were filmed in Watauga County. In fact, Blowing Rock’s Flat Top Manor was used for the nursing home from which Tom Hanks narrates most of the story.
The television show Sleepy Hollow films at Tryon Palace in New Bern  in 2013.

The television show Sleepy Hollow films
at Tryon Palace in New Bern in 2013.

All of these ten films and dozens of others are featured or profiled in the Starring North Carolina! exhibition. Its 8,000-foot space showcases hundreds of film- and television-related items from the 1900s to the present and explores how North Carolinians’ experience at the movies changed over time.

Some of the most popular artifacts in the exhibition include Leonardo’s mask from the 1990 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a costume worn by Jennifer Lawrence, who portrayed “Katniss” in the 2012 movie The Hunger Games and Ricky Bobby’s No. 26 Wonder Bread race car from the 2006 movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,

Tickets to Starring North Carolina! are available online and at the N.C. Museum of History’s gift shop. Stop by and see us this Oscar weekend.

Check out the N.C. Museum of History’s A Place and Time blog for more highlights from the museum’s collections, exhibitions, programs and people, and for features on the history of the Tar Heel State.

The chance to “meet” African American legislators from 1868 in Raleigh, a celebration of the life of Maya Angelou in Winston-Salem and a survey of jazz greats in New Bern are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Here are 10 suggestions to make the most of your time:

1. “Meet” a few members of North Carolina’s 1868 black caucus during a living history program at the State Capitol in Raleigh Saturday.
2. Spend Saturday night under the stars at Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead, one of the state’s best stargazing spots.
3. Honor the life of the legendary Maya Angelou with an evening of poetry and music Thursday at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.
4. See a new exhibit of photographs that spotlight historic preservation efforts across the state, opening Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
5. Get a glimpse into the lives and artistic creations of some of North Carolina’s jazz greats and hear some of genre’s most popular tunes Thursday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.
6. Enjoy some of the best classical music by Russian composers at concerts by the N.C. Symphony in Chapel Hill and Raleigh throughout the weekend.
7. Take your kids to see interactive productions of West African fables at Historic Stagville in Durham Saturday and Sunday.
8. Discover tools for learning about your family’s early African American ancestors at a genealogy workshop offered by the State Library Saturday in Raleigh.

 

9. Create a mixed-media canvas at the Museum of Albemarle Friday in Elizabeth City.
10. Join the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh Friday for a screening Now, Voyager, sometimes called the Greatest Generation’s version of Eat Pray Love.

11. Celebrate the 87th annual Academy Awards with a visit to the Starring North Carolina! exhibition at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

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12. Learn about the often-overlooked history of early Spanish explorers in Appalachia during a lecture Saturday at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort.

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Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

The temperatures and dropping outside and before you know it cabin fever will begin to set in. Fight off the boredom of being stuck inside with these five great digital resources we have to offer:
 
1. The Our State Magazine Digital Collection, where you can explore issues of one of North Carolina’s premiere publications dating back to 1933 any time for free.
 
Our State Digital Collection
 
2. Our This Day in North Carolina History Project, which tells some of most interesting (and bizarre) tales from our state’s past, including the story of North Carolina’s “Year Without a Summer” in 1816.
 
This Day in N.C. History
 
3. The State Archives Flickr site, where you can find nearly 7,000 images of everything from Civil War battles to snake handlers in Durham and beyond, including some great historical shots of snow.
 
State Archives Flickr
 
4. NCpedia, an online encyclopedia about all things North Carolina.
 
NCpedia
 
5. The State Library’s ExploreNC topic guides, which provide a centralized list of resources on a number of different topics including weather.
 
ExploreNC
 
Enjoy the weather, and stay warm!

A Civil War re-enactment complete with torpedo demonstrations in Winnabow, screenings of the classic film Casablanca with the score performed live by N.C. Symphony in Raleigh and a look at sustainability through art in Fremont are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Here are 14 suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Enjoy the romantic film classic Casablanca as the N.C. Symphony plays the score in the background, Friday and Saturday in Raleigh.

 

 

2. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the fall of Fort Anderson in Winnabow, with battle re-enactments, living history demonstrations and lectures Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

3. Visit with costumed interpreters, make fun crafts with your kids and explore interactive exhibits at Tryon Palace’s Family Night at the Museum, Thursday in New Bern.

 

 

4. Stop by the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh Saturday to make a “heart-y” greeting for Valentine’s Day.

 

 

5. Take a carriage ride into the past and see demonstrations of Civil War-era home front and military life Saturday at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.

 

 

6. Check out the Lexicon of Sustainability Art Show in Fremont. It makes its debut at the Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace Sunday.

 

 

7. Learn how the N.C. Maritime Museum saved a 33-foot long sperm whale skeleton and preserved its heart, Saturday in Beaufort.

 

 

8. Watch classic cartoons while helping the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) make a big geodesic dome for its Collective Actions exhibit, Saturday in Winston-Salem.

 

 

9. See the sci-fi thriller Firestarter, which helped launch North Carolina’s then-budding film industry, Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

 

 

10. Show that special someone you care by creating a valentine they will “knot” forget, Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport.

 

 

11. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt, hands-on activities and snacks, Saturday at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.

 

 

 

 

13. Join the Thomas Wolfe Memorial for a discussion of Wolfe’s short story “The House of the Far and Lost,” Saturday in Asheville.

 

 

14. Explore a unique civil rights story through performances of dance, spoken word and music Saturday and Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

 

 

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

February is Black History Month, and there’s so much to do across the Tar Heel State to celebrate. Here are eight things we have on our bucket list this month that you should try, too:

1. Step back in time to and “meet” a few members of North Carolina’s 1868 first black caucus at the State Capitol in Raleigh.

 

1421950486_1874-house-sepia_o

 

2. Discover North Carolina’s rich African American music tradition with the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina.

 

AFAM-Trails

 

3. Browse through the hundreds of photographs, bible records, genealogies, legal documents and other primary materials related to African American life and civil rights available online through the North Carolina Digital Collections.

 

Children_picking_cotton

 

4. Visit one of the several state historic sites that have strong African American stories to tell.

 

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5. Explore the work of Minnie Evans, Romare Bearden and other noted African American artists at the N.C. Museum of Art.

 

BEARDEN, New Orleans Ragging Home, 95_3

 

6. Take a tour of Historic Edenton as seen through the eyes of well-known abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

7. Get a broad overview or dive deep into a specific topic of African American history in North Carolina with a book from North Carolina Historical Publications.

 

publications

 

8. Discover the stories of your African American ancestors with an index of online resources and workshop offered by the State Library.

 

 

Be sure and check out the Black History Month page on our website for more great resources and events related to Black History Month.

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