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The grand opening of the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston, the chance to meet Tar Heel sports legends in Raleigh and a look at the scandalous side of the Stanly family in New Bern 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 8 suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Celebrate the grand opening of the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston Saturday with lectures, musical performances and living history demonstrations.
2. Make a miniature paper garden at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh Sunday.
3. Hear scandalous stories from Stanly family’s history Friday at Tryon Palace in New Bern
4. Sing and dance along to the down home sound of Barleycorn & Rye during a concert at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh Sunday.
5. Discover the magic of Mozart with your kids during special family-friendly performances by the N.C. Symphony Saturday in Raleigh and Sunday in New Bern.
6. Bring a personal object that means something to you, share a story about it and help make a giant bundle dedicated to healing throughout the weekend at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.
7. Hear about athletic careers past and present from some of our state’s sports legends Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
8. Celebrate North Carolina’s coastal and culinary heritage with Beaufort Food and Wine Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.
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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!

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An image of Garber from the  Winston Salem Journal

An image of Garber from the Winston Salem Journal

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.

A pioneer in the field of sports journalism, Mary Garber worked for the Winston-Salem Journal and its predecessor, the Twin City Sentinel, for more than 60 years. Garber got her break in the business when the sports editor at the Sentinel left to fight in World War II. She had previously written for the society page and as a general assignment reporter.

The only female sports reporter on the job in the area for nearly 30 years, Garber broke down racial barriers, too. In the midst of the segregationist atmosphere of the 1940s and 1950s, Garber was one of the few white reporters to cover black high school and college athletics.

During her more than 40-year career, Garber garnered more than 40 national and state awards for sports writing and was elected to the North Carolina Journalism and Sports Halls of Fame. She also became the first woman to join the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame in 2000.

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Joey Cheek waving the American flag at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Photo credit: Sports Illustrated.

There’s been a great deal of buzz around North Carolina athletes participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics. From the record number of swimmers with North Carolina ties to the prominence of athletes from UNC-Chapel Hill in the games, the Tar Heel state has made quite a splash in the run up to this year’s Olympics.

Several great Olympians of the past have come from North Carolina, and in celebration of the opening of the London games, we’ve gathered a few of their stories below.

  • Though born in New York City, Michael Jordan was raised in Wilmington. After a legendary three years at UNC-Chapel Hill, Jordan went on to play for the Chicago Bulls and was part of two gold medal-winning basketball teams in 1984 and 1992.
  • Originally from California, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi resided in Raleigh while her husband played for the Carolina Hurricanes. After winning two consecutive world titles in 1991 and 1992, Yamaguchi won a gold medal in the 1992 Albertville games.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard originally hails from Rocky Mount and grew up in Wilmington. In addition to winning the 1976 gold medal for boxing in the light welterweight category, Leonard won five titles and was the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses.

A few lesser known Olympians from North Carolina have also made a mark on history:

  • A runner from High Point, Harry Williamson was the first North Carolinian to participate in an Olympics. Though he didn’t win a medal for his 800-meter run in the 1936 Berlin games, he was part of a world record 4 x 800-meter team later that year.

These stories represent only a small part of the storied history of North Carolina sports. You can explore the lives of Olympians and other renowned athletes, and see artifacts from Tar Heel sports at the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, located on third floor of the N.C. Museum of History. NCpedia also has a wonderful collection of sports biographies worth checking out.

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