Posts Tagged ‘Hillsborough’

Rides on the Polar Express in Spencer, a sunset yoga session in Spring Lake and a celebration of American Indian culture in Raleigh are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Here are 10 things on our weekend agenda:

1. Celebrate North Carolina’s Native American heritage with music, dance, storytelling, hands-on activities and food Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.



2. Meet the archaeologists and conservators working to preserve artifacts from Blackbeard’s flagship during tours of the lab where they do their work Saturday inGreenville.



3. Kick off your holiday season with a ride on the Polar Express at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. Trains depart Friday and Saturday.



4. Marvel at Occoneechee Mountain’s natural wonders during a hike through the park with a geologist Saturday in Hillsborough.



5. Find out how animals survive the colder temperatures winter brings Saturday at Medoc Mountain State Park in Hollister.



6. Discover North Carolina’s rich tradition of blues music with a lecture and concert Thursday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.



7. Explore the N.C. Museum of Art’s galleries with the soothing sounds of the North Carolina Harp Ensemble in the background Sunday in Raleigh.



8. Enjoy performances of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony by the N.C. Symphony throughout the weekend in Raleigh and Chapel Hill.



9. Unwind with sunset yoga on the front lawn of the Rockefeller House at Carvers Creek State Park Sunday in Spring Lake.



10. Watch some of the best films from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Friday and Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.



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

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Harriet Berry

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina women’s history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit on the women of our state’s past.

Harriet Morehead Berry, often called the champion of good roads, was born in 1877 in Hillsborough. Tutored by her mother until age 12, she then attended the Nash-Kollock School in Hillsborough and the State Normal and Industrial School (present UNC-Greensboro).

In 1901 Berry went to work with the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey in Chapel Hill, led by Joseph Hyde Pratt. She rose from stenographer to secretary for the Survey, and became its acting head in 1917 when Pratt entered military service. As acting director, Berry became active with the Good Roads Association and in 1919 led that organization in lobbying for legislation to create a state highway commission. Believing that the adopted bill was inadequate she undertook a massive campaign to fix it, speaking in 89 counties and flooding the state with news releases and petitions.

The General Assembly responded in 1921, creating a strong highway commission and setting the foundation for the modern highway system. As a result of her efforts, the News and Observer called her “the best woman politician in the state.” In 1986 the Board of Transportation named a section of Interstate 40 through Orange County the “Harriet Morehead Berry Freeway.”

Read more from the N.C. Museum of History here.

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An image of Keckley courtesy of the Documenting the American South Project at UNC-Chapel Hill

An image of Keckley courtesy of the Documenting the American South Project at UNC-Chapel Hill

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

Born a slave in Virginia around 1820, Elizabeth Keckley came to North Carolina with her master’s son when he became the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Hillsborough in 1835. Having earned money as a seamstress, Keckley purchased her freedom and that of her son George in 1855.

In 1860, Keckley moved to Washington, D.C. where she established a dressmaking business, catering to the wives of politicians such as Stephen Douglas and Jefferson Davis. A client recommended her to Mary Todd Lincoln who hired her in March 1861. The two women developed a close friendship, and Keckley even assisted President Abraham Lincoln with his clothes and hair before public appearances. The friendship was highlighted in Stephen Spielberg’s recent film Lincoln.

In 1868, Keckley published her memoir, Behind the Scenes: Or 30 Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, with appended personal correspondence from Mary Todd Lincoln. At the time Keckley reported that she wrote the book in order to help raise money for her friend, Mrs. Lincoln, and to help neutralize harsh criticism of the former First Lady. The authenticity of Behind the Scenes has never been questioned and has been extensively cited by Lincoln biographers.

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