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Posts Tagged ‘Greensboro’

The “Greensboro Four” at Woolworth’s. Photo from the (Greensboro) News & Record.

Fifty-six years ago today four students, now known as the “Greensboro Four,” sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s Department Store in downtown Greensboro and asked to be served. They were refused service, launching a sit-in movement that would spread throughout North Carolina and the South and transform the struggle for civil rights for African Americans.

The first page of a March 1960 memo describing Hodges' constitutional authority in law enforcement.

The first page of March 1960 memo describing Hodges’ constitutional authority in law enforcement.

Several documents available online through the North Carolina Digital Collections show how North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges and other state officials responded to the situation and demonstrate how public opinion was divided over the protests.

The Response from State Officials

The first—a public statement made by state attorney general Malcom B. Seawell on February 10, 1960—argues that though North Carolina did not have a law mandating the segregation of restaurants, businesses could refuse to serve whoever they choose.

Seawell calls the protesters as out-of-state “trouble-makers” and describes their actions as having:

posed and continue to pose a serious threat to the peace and good order in the communities in which they occur…Such trouble-makers are irresponsible, and their actions can only result in irreparable harm being done to racial relations here in North Carolina.

He also argues that the colleges which student protesters attend should work to curb their student actions, a sentiment Hodges later echoed in a phone conversation with a Woolworth’s executive.

Two memos—one laying out the governor’s constitutional authority to deal with the sit-in demonstrations and another describing the actions of governors in other states in similar situations—were immediately followed by a statement Hodges made on March 10 where he expressed his view on the sit-ins, saying:

…I do not think these demonstrations do any good or in the final analysis will even serve to accomplish the objectives of the demonstrators….I have no sympathy whatsoever for any group of people who deliberately engage in activities which any reasonable person can see will result in a breakdown of law and order as well as interference with the normal and proper operation of a private business.

A letter to Gov. Luther Hodges opposing the sit-in protesters.

A letter to Gov. Luther Hodges opposing the sit-in protesters.

The Public’s View

Four letters sent to Hodges’ office on the sit-ins reflect how divided the state’s citizens were on the issue.

A Burlington couple called on Hodges to close N.C. A&T and save what they viewed as wasted taxpayer money, while a Durham woman wrote that the demonstrations were “disgusting” and said that many of the protesters were “from the North.”

On the other side of the debate, a UNC-Chapel Hill student penned a note to express solidarity with the sit-in demonstrators and an ECU student rebuked the governor for not promoting freedom and free expression for all.

More to Explore

The papers described here are part of a larger Civil Rights digital collection that helps tell the story of the struggle for justice in North Carolina. An online exhibit from the N.C. Museum of History tells that story in another way.

A succinct overview of the Civil Rights movement can be found as NCpedia as can dozens of other in-depth articles on the subject.

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A celebration of traditional American culture in Greensboro, an old-fashioned tobacco harvest festival in Durham and a walking tour of the famed Riverside Cemetery in Asheville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find across North Carolina this weekend.

Here are 10 things on our weekend to-do list:

1. See some of the nation’s finest the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers and craftspeople at the National Folk Festival throughout the weekend in Greensboro, and don’t forget to visit the North Carolina Stage while you’re there.
2. Step back in time to North Carolina’s colonial era at the Museum of the Cape Fear’s annual Festival of Yesteryear Saturday in Fayetteville. Hands-on crafts, games, demonstrations of colonial life and performances by an interpreter portraying the Marquis de Lafayette will all be part of the fun.
3. Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history with music, a tobacco looping contest and historic demonstrations at Duke Homestead’s Harvest and Hornworm Festival Saturday in Durham.
4. Marvel at the spectacle of Paper Puppet Intervention during a performance at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh throughout the weekend.
5. Discover how North Carolina saved the Constitution during a lecture Saturday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.
6. Enjoy National Grandparents Day Sunday at Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead or the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport. Both have activities planned to celebrate the special day.
7. Hear about how Alamance Battleground’s location along one of North Carolina’s oldest roads led to three battles being fought there during a lecture Saturday in Burlington.
8. Take a walking tour of Asheville‘s Riverside Cemetery led by staff from the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Saturday.
9. Make art with your kids while watching classic cartoons Saturday at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.
10. Do yoga with staff from Historic Edenton on the picturesque lawn of the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse Saturday morning.
Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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A Revolutionary War battle re-enactment in Sanford, a celebration of the Coast Guard’s birthday in Beaufort and a family campout in Raleigh are just of opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend across North Carolina.

Here are nine events we have on our weekend agenda:

1. Blast into the past at the House in the Horseshoe’s annual battle re-enactment Saturday and Sunday in Sanford.

 

2. Celebrate the U.S. Coast Guard’s 225th birthday with a reception Friday and special tours of a 47-foot motor lifeboat Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

3. Watch the 2014 family favorite The Book of Lifeunder the stars at Raleigh‘s N.C. Museum of Art, and then camp out in the museum’s park.

4. Enjoy a classical music performance during the Eastern Music Festival’s closing weekend in Greensboro.

5. Tour the North Carolina State Highway Patrol: Service, Safety, Sacrifice exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh before it closes Sunday.

 

 

6. See Ford cars and trucks from throughout history at the N.C. Transportation Museum’s Annual All-Ford Show Saturday in Spencer.

 

 

7. Learn about colonial and Civil War life in the lower Cape Fear from costumed interpreters Saturday at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in Winnabow.

 

 

8. Hear four authors discuss different aspects of the observance of Juneteenth, Saturday during a panel discussion at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville.

 

 

9. Learn more about North Carolina’s role as the capital of the Confederacy in the waning days of the Civil War during a lecture Saturday at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach.

 

 

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend! If you know someone who’d like to receive these emails, they can sign up on the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources website.

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A family festival celebrating trains in Spencer, an outdoor movie and food truck rodeo in Raleigh and a 19th century-style celebration of the arrival of summer in Creswell are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend across North Carolina.

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

1. Join the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for its Rail Day Festival featuring special train rides, crafts and model train layouts Saturday.

 

 

2. Go back in time and celebrate the arrival of summer 19th century-style with hands-on historic activities and demonstrations, crafts and food at Somerset Place in Creswell Saturday.

 

 

3. Watch a screening of the 2014 film Chef and enjoy a food truck rodeo Saturday evening at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

 

 

4. See a quartet of the musicians from the N.C. Symphony perform at Kings in Raleigh Thursday.

 

 

5. Celebrate Father’s Day with a concert by The Baseball Project before the Winston-Salem Dash baseball game Sunday, hosted by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA).

 

 

6. Check out performances of Common Enemy, a new play centering on college basketball from Triad Stage, throughout the weekend in Greensboro.

 

 

7. Take your kids to the Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City Friday to let them learn what it’s like to be an archaeologist.

 

 

8. Enjoy a concert by Neko Case in the Museum Park Friday at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

 

 

9. Meet one of Pepsi’s first African American models and learn more about her interesting story Thursday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

 

 

10. Listen to the N.C. Symphony perform the best of Broadway and the music of Harry Potter under the stars in Cary Friday and Saturday.

 

 

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

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State Librarian Cal Shepard, Deputy Sec. Kevin Cherry, Greensboro Historical Museum Director Carol Hart, Sec. Susan Kluttz and UNCG Dean of University Libraries Rosann Bazirjian

State Librarian Cal Shepard, Deputy Sec. Kevin Cherry, Greensboro Historical Museum Director Carol Hart, Sec. Susan Kluttz and UNCG Dean of University Libraries Rosann Bazirjian

Thanks in part to five grants from the State Library more than 175,000 images from Greensboro history are now available online through an innovative project called Textiles, Teachers and Troops.

Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, Deputy Secretary Kevin Cherry and State Librarian Cal Shepard were on hand for the unveiling of the project earlier this month, and both the Secretary and Dr. Cherry spoke about the importance of making materials from libraries and archives available online for the public to explore.

This circa 1890-1910 photo of members of the Proximity Mill baseball team is just one of thousands of items now available online through the Textiles, Teachers and Troops.

This circa 1890-1910 photo of members
of the Proximity Mill baseball team is just one of thousands of items now available online through the Textiles, Teachers and Troops.

A collaboration between seven institutions—Bennett College, Greensboro College, the Greensboro Historical Museum, the Greensboro Public Library, Guilford College, N.C. A&T University and UNC Greensboro—the project is aimed at making local history accessible to researchers, genealogists, students and others.

All seven institutions contributed photos, books, personal papers, scrapbooks and oral histories to the online repository, which tells the story of Greensboro’s growth from Reconstruction to World War II. Though the materials span a wide range of subjects, the collection has a special emphasis on the textile industry, education and military life and shows how these three areas helped the city develop into a regional powerhouse during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The grants that made the project possible were from federal Library Services and Technology Act funds that are administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and awarded by the State Library to eligible North Carolina libraries.

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