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.Continue reading “Civil Rights in Carolina: A Native American’s Story”
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.Continue reading “Asheville’s Most Haunted: Riverside Cemetery”
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.Continue reading “Folklife: The Ghostly Legend of Wicked John and the Devil”
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.Continue reading “Lincoln’s Ghost Train: Night Switchman Describes Eyewitness Account in 1872”
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
An Appalachian legend in his own right and Kentucky native George Brittain Lyttle aka Dick Fellows aka Richard Perkins, turned out to be the… Read more
Trapped by extreme blizzard conditions, Dr Leonid Rogozov was forced to operate on himself by taking his appendix out.
Jean was an international tennis player and ranked in the world top ten in 1947 and 1948. (1940 – Photo… Read more
Many pages of history have been recorded from old epitaphs of tombstones which frequently reveal not only a person’s death… Read more
The story of the Lawson massacre shakes me every time. I heard about this story a couple of months back… Read more
The arrival of the Sears Christmas Wish Book began the start of the holiday season in our household. As a… Read more
Richard Corbitt (February 15, 1873 – May 16, 1961) was a successful North Carolina tobacco merchant during the 1890s. Forced… Read more
“Chief Buffalo Child” Long Lance had a life that some people dream of having. He was a graduate of Carlisle… Read more
“They say we’re not real Indians!” For over 100 years, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has been fighting for federal… Read more
Photographer Lewis Hine photographed American Red Cross relief work in Europe in 1917. While in Europe, he photographed the conditions… Read more
Continue reading “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.
Continue reading “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.
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.Continue reading “Appalachian Folk Magic: The Witch Bottle”
Continue reading “History in Photos: Hemp Farming in Kentucky”
Kentucky was the greatest producer of hemp in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries.
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.Continue reading “Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson: The Last Medicine Show”