Category: Hidden History

Richard Petty and North Carolina’s Last NASCAR Dirt Track Race

The State Fairgrounds Speedway, located in Raleigh, North Carolina was a half-mile oval dirt racetrack that sponsored auto races for NASCAR’s top series in 1955, 1969 and 1970.  Now known as “The King” of NASCAR Hall of Famer, Richard Petty won the last Grand National race on the dirt track.  Although the track is no longer used as a motor speedway, the grandstand, now called the Sam G. Rand Grandstand, still remains and is used today for events held at the North Carolina State Fair.

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Johnny Carson and the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973

Through a comedy of errors, this mostly forgotten piece of history concerns Johnny Carson, toilet paper and millions of fearful Americans.

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Folklife: The Forgotten Custom of Women Proposing to Men During Leap Year

The custom of women proposing to men during Leap Year is traced back to a legend of St. Patrick. So girls get out your scarlet flannel petticoats and make a date with your local justice of the peace!  No worries fellas! You can blame the Scots for declaring it open season on bachelors.

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Appalachian Legend: The Wild West Stagecoach Bandit Who Couldn’t Ride a Horse

An Appalachian legend in his own right and Kentucky native George Brittain Lyttle aka Dick Fellows aka Richard Perkins, turned out to be the most famous stagecoach bandit of the wild west that couldn’t ride a horse!   

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The Slanderous Tombstone That Changed A North Carolina Law

Many pages of history have been recorded from old epitaphs of tombstones which frequently reveal not only a person’s death but how and whether the end was peaceful.  Some inscriptions often comment on the deceased’s virtues, or lack thereof, of local natives in the community.  When foul play is involved, the victim’s tombstone may name the murderer and calls on the passerby to associate that name with the viciousness that resulted in a person’s death.

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Bloody Christmas of 1929: The Lawson Family Massacre

The story of the Lawson massacre shakes me every time. I heard about this story a couple of months back and I became obsessed with it. Even though this was almost a century ago, it’s still an insane story.

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Vintage Christmas: Remembering the Sears Christmas Wish Book

The arrival of the Sears Christmas Wish Book began the start of the holiday season in our household.  As a child, I remember spending hours looking through the pages of the catalog plotting my Christmas wish list.  Having to share it with my four other siblings was another story. 

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History’s Forgotten Car Maker: Richard Corbitt’s Motor Buggys and Trucks

Richard Corbitt (February 15, 1873 – May 16, 1961) was a successful North Carolina to­bacco merchant during the 1890s. Forced out of business by a large trust, Corbitt set up the Corbitt Buggy Company in 1899 in Henderson, North Carolina.

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“Chief Buffalo Child” Long Lance: Tragedy of a Native American Hollywood Legend

“Chief Buffalo Child” Long Lance had a life that some people dream of having. He was a graduate of Carlisle Indian School and West Point Academy, best selling author, Hollywood actor, and life long friend of Jim Thorpe. But his past eventually caught up with him and he became a legend among one of the greatest imposters.

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