Civil Rights in Carolina: A Native American’s Story

When one thinks of the Civil Rights era, it’s usually a black and white issue. North Carolina, however, was one of the few states labeled tri-racial. There were three school systems, three seating areas, and three water fountains. Descended from the Tuscarora tribe and member of the North Carolina Coharie Tribe, Hughie Maynor’s family and ancestorial roots historically date back to before 1712. But during the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement, he faced hardship and adversity, from extreme poverty to tri-segregated schools. When he was 13 years old, he helped organize and participate in North Carolina’s first Native American Sit-In protest in 1960 that took his fight all the way to the federal courts.

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Asheville’s Most Haunted: Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery, located near Asheville, is a very peaceful, quiet place–most of the time. It’s the resting place of some of the city’s notable individuals including war heroes, authors, artists, politicians and even presidential bodyguards.

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Folklife: The Ghostly Legend of Wicked John and the Devil

Storytelling has been a long-standing deep-rooted tradition with Appalachian families.  The pioneers of Appalachia developed an elaborate structure of folklore combined with various tales that were passed on orally from one generation to the next.  These oral histories were told to ensure the preservation of their community.

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Lincoln’s Ghost Train: Night Switchman Describes Eyewitness Account in 1872

Lincoln’s funeral train, The Lincoln Special, was designated as the official presidential mode of transportation much like Air Force One represents today. The U.S. Military Railroads built the car and delivered it to the president in early 1865. Tragically, Lincoln never rode in it until his death.

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History in Photos: Before Judy Garland, Rare 1921 Silent Film Prints of The Wizard of Oz

Directed by Ray Smallwood, photographic silent film prints from the 1921 screen adaption based on the Wizard of Oz. Photos courtesy of Tom Crossman.



An issue of Film Daily noted that work was about to start on a series of twelve one-reel novelty films based on the Frank J. Baum’s children’s classic. The films would be produced by silent film cameraman-turned-director Ray Smallwood, directed by Ethel Meglin and featuring Meglin’s “Wonder Kiddies.” Former students of Meglin included Shirley Temple, Jane Withers, Mickey Rooney, and Judy Garland.


The first episode would be called The Scarecrow Loses His Throne inspired by Baum’s 1904 book The Land of Oz. The film officially premiered in 1933 but was not released nationally as originally intended. The film could not compete with the big flashy musical shows that were currently being viewed at that time.



Mary Ruth Boone, a renowned acrobat, was cast as Dorothy. The films’ production was completed by 1931 but the release was delayed by more than a year, by which time it was clear no further Meglin-Oz films were to be made.







By Hope Thompson


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Kentucky’s Great Flood of 1912 and the Heroism of Baseball Legend Rube Waddell

Located on the Mississippi River, the town of Hickman, Kentucky was devastated by two floods.

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Folklife: Creasy Greens and Leather Britches

The time-honored saying of “Kissing don’t last, cookery do!” seems to characterize our memories of the old ways of cooking in the South and Appalachia. 

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Appalachian Folk Magic: The Witch Bottle

There is an old Irish tale passed down through the generations about a clairvoyant and healer who carried a magic bottle.  Biddy Early (Bridget Ellen “Biddy” Early, 1798-1872) became known as a witch when she foretold the murder of a Limerick landlord she was employed by as a servant.  When her premonition proved true, she gained a reputation as a witch. 

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Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson: The Last Medicine Show

Medicine shows served as rural entertainment before the days of radio and television. The traveling shows provided an outlet for unknown independent musicians, comedians and dancers to promote their songs and talent.

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