Tag: hidden history

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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People of the Dark Water: The Lumbee Controversy for Sovereignty

“They say we’re not real Indians!” For over 100 years, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has been fighting for federal recognition amidst the controversy surrounding their heritage.

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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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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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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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Frankie Silver: Unjustly Hanged or Guilty of Murder

It’s the most famous, dramatic trial in North Carolina history, a murder mystery that shocked a small community in Mitchell County.  In 1831 a beautiful young girl named Francis “Frankie” Silver had just turned 18. She had a toddler named Nancy and a husband who was well-known in their small town for his love of drinking and consorting with other women.

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A Dog’s Life: How a Beloved Stray Changed a Small Appalachian Town

Rockford, Alabama is a small quiet rural Appalachian town with a population of about 450.  This quaint Coosa County town has one red light and one police officer because according to the locals, that’s all they need.

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Phoebe Ward: The Mysterious Hag Witch of Northampton County

The legend of Phoebe Ward, the hag witch of Northampton County, North Carolina, became widely known when her story was brought to the big stage in Elizabeth A. Lay’s folk superstition drama When Witches Ride. This native folk play was one of the first productions presented by the Carolina Playmakers in 1922.

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Sitting Up with the Dead: Lost Appalachian Burial Customs

From the peaks of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains, to the river valleys of the French Broad and Catawba, North Carolina has a long history that is steeped in rich Appalachian traditions.  Despite the Hollywood “hillbilly” stereotype, Appalachians carry a sense of pride for their culture, language, and heritage.

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The Magic of Words: North Carolina’s First Witch Trial

IGNORAMOUS:  That’s the all-caps, bolded word scrawled across the verdict of North Carolina’s first witch trial.

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