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Festival Rocked Iredell County Community, 1970

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 16, 1970, the “South’s Woodstock” was launched at Love Valley. The rock festival swelled the small Western-themed community of about 100 people to almost 200,000.

Located north of Statesville, Love Valley was the creation of Andy Barker in 1954, who had always wanted to live like a cowboy in an Old West town.  The idea of the rock festival was Barker’s and he charged $5 a person for the three-day event.

While the festival could not draw the band lineup of Woodstock, which the Iredell County event was modeled after, the headliner was the Allman Brothers Band. Young and on the rise, the band played several sets during the weekend festival and documentarians captured it in about 20 minutes of film. Several local bands, including Kallabash of Greensboro, were also on the program

Organizers had hoped to do a documentary like the one made at Woodstock, but a lack of funds meant that they were only able to capture parts of each band’s performance. In spite of some locals’ dire worries about illegal and immoral behavior, the weekend passed without major incident, and the festival in the valley lived up to its name.

Don’t forget to check out the N.C. Arts Council’s summer performing arts guide for suggestions on how you can experience great Tar Heel arts experiences now.

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State Treasurer Edwin Gill, “Mr. Integrity”

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 16, 1978, long time state treasurer Edwin Gill died in Raleigh. Gill was known as “Mr. Integrity” during his more than 30 years of service as a public finance official.

Born in Laurinburg in July 1899, Gill opened a law practice there in 1924 after attending what’s now Duke University in the early part of the decade. He represented Scotland County in the legislature for one term before working as Governor O. Max Gardner’s private secretary.

 

Gill became the first head of the North Carolina Paroles Commission in 1933 before serving as the state Commissioner of Revenue, his first financial post, for much of the 1940s. He was federal internal revenue collector for the state from 1950 until 1953, when he was appointed state treasurer.

 

After that initial appointment, Gill was consistently re-elected and remained the state treasurer for five consecutive terms until he retired in 1977. Under his direction, the state attained the highest possible credit rating, reflecting his saying, “In North Carolina, we have made a habit of good government.”

An avocational painter, he served on the boards of the North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Museum of Art and the State Art Society. He was considered a “respectable” pianist and organist. An avid reader, he collected books and donated to libraries.

He is buried in Laurinburg.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Stonewall Jackson Wed in Lincoln County, 1857

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 16, 1857, Thomas Stonewall Jackson married Mary Anna Morrison at “Cottage Home,” the Lincoln County plantation of the Morrison family.

The couple first met through Morrison’s sister, Isabella, who was married to D. H. Hill, a faculty member at what’s now Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Jackson, who had previously attended West Point and fought in the Mexican-American War, was on the faculty of the Virginia Military Institute, also in Lexington.

Married not long after their meeting and the death of Jackson’s first wife, the couple were said to be deeply devoted to one another and to have had a happy home despite the death of their first child. The couple was not married long before they were separated by the advent of the war in 1861. After Jackson’s death at the battle of Chancellorsville, Mary returned to Lincoln County and never remarried.

Though Mary was said to not approve of her husband’s nickname “Stonewall,” since she thought it didn’t accurately reflect his character, she came to accept and be highly regarded as his widow throughout North Carolina and the rest of the former Confederacy. She was often visited by Confederate veterans and received military honors at her death in 1915.

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“Uncle Jim” Patterson and WBT Sign-On, 1949

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 15, 1949, announcer Jim Patterson signed on Charlotte’s WBTV, the first television station in the Carolinas, two months ahead of WFMY in Greensboro, which began airing programming in September 1949.

At the time, both WBTV and WFMY were owned by Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company, an affiliate of the life insurance company of the same name. The company filed an application for a Charlotte license with the Federal Communications Commission in December 1947. A construction permit arrived two months later and work began on an antenna atop Spencer Mountain in Gaston County that would broadcast the signal. At the time there were only 12 television stations in the nation, and most were in larger cities.

Test patterns began running on Channel 3 on July 1, 1949. Station owners set up a viewing party in the Charlotte Armory and thousands packed the venue for three days beginning on July 15. Less than 1,000 families in the area owned television sets at the time, but that count was up to 8,500 by year’s end.

Originally housed in the Wilder Building on Tryon Street, the current site of the Marriott Hotel, WBTV moved to its present location in 1955.

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Good Times for Ernie Barnes of Durham

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 15, 1938, football player, painter and all around Renaissance man Ernie Barnes was born in Durham.

As a child, Barnes began to draw as an antidote to bullying. He later developed physical discipline and became captain of Durham’s then segregated Hillside High football team, receiving an athletic scholarship to what’s now N.C. Central University in 1956.

At Central Barnes studied art, but he left in 1959 before graduating to play professional football for six years.

Nicknamed “Big Rembrandt,” Barnes kept a sketchbook with him on the field and turned the physical and emotional violence of the game into paintings. He also became known for depictions of people, often African Americans, engaged in everyday life but with their eyes symbolically closed.

His work is evocative and tangible, fusing elongated sculptural forms of the human body with vibrant color, movement and emotional intensity.

Barnes’s paintings have appeared on the sitcom “Good Times” as the work of the show’s character JJ.  “The Sugar Shack”, a well-known painting, appeared in the show’s credits and later became the cover image for Marvin Gaye’s album “I Want You.”

In addition to his work as a painter and athlete, Barnes authored books, co-created a TV special, and appeared in a number television programs and films, including episodes of “Good Times”.

He died in Los Angeles in 2009.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Henry Gatling and His Flying Machine

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 15, 1816, Henry Gatling, inventor of an early flying machine and brother of Richard Gatling of Gatling gun fame, was born in Hertford County.

In interviews, Gatling claimed the flight of the turkey buzzard as his inspiration. The bird, he observed, could soar for long intervals with only slight wing movements. To try to mimic this method of flight, he developed a flying machine with hinged triangular wings that could be moved with wires.

Gatling selected hand-cranked engines with blower-type wooden blades in front of each wing. The blades blew air to the underside of the wings to keep the plane aloft until necessary momentum was achieved.  Anticipating the ground maneuvering needs of aircraft, Gatling placed large wooden wheels at the front and a smaller one under the tail of his “aeroplane.”  The completed contraption was about 18-feet long with a 14-foot wingspan.

Gatling performed a number of ground and air trials of his airplane the summer and fall of 1873. Eyewitnesses to machine’s 1873 first (and only) trip through the air recalled an approximately 100-foot flight from a raised platform, with the plane descending rapidly suggesting that it was actually more of a “glide” than a “flight.” The descent left the machine badly damaged, and Gatling never made the repairs necessary to attempt further flights.

The flyer garnered wide press attention in 1872 and 1873. One article claimed that the machine was “destined at some future day to eclipse the [his brother’s] famous gun, and fly triumphant over time, space, and water.”  There is little doubt that the statement reflects the inventor’s aspirations on both counts.

Gatling was murdered on his property in September 1879.  The airplane, which had been stored in a barn, was destroyed by a fire in 1905.

A group of enthusiasts in Murfreesboro have built what they believe to be an accurate replica of the Gatling flying machine.

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For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Television Broadcasting Began in the Carolinas

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 15, 1949, announcer Jim Patterson signed on Charlotte’s WBTV, the first television station in the Carolinas, two months ahead of WFMY in Greensboro which signed on in September 1949. The Charlotte studio at that time was in the Wilder Building on Tryon Street, the present site of the Marriott Hotel.

WBTV and WFMY in 1949 were owned by Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company, an affiliate of the life insurance company of the same name. The company filed an application for a Charlotte license with the Federal Communications Commission in December 1947. A construction permit arrived two months later and work proceeded on an antenna atop Spencer Mountain in Gaston County. At the time there were only 12 television stations in the nation, mostly in larger cities.

Test patterns began running on Channel 3 on July 1, 1949. Station owners set up a viewing party in the Charlotte Armory and thousands packed the venue for three days beginning on July 15. At that time the number of television sets in the area was less than 1,000; that count was up to 8,500 by year’s end.  In 1955, WBTV moved to its present location.

More on TV in North Carolina’s history is available on NCpedia.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Carolina Cavalier J.J. Pettigrew Mortally Wounded at Falling Waters

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 14, 1863, Confederate General James Johnston Pettigrew was fatally wounded by a gunshot to the stomach in a skirmish at Falling Waters, Md. Born in 1828 in Tyrrell County to a wealthy planter family, he entered the University of North Carolina at age 14 and graduated as valedictorian in 1847.

In 1856, Pettigrew was elected to the South Carolina legislature, but his arguments against a series of bills that called for reopening the foreign slave trade ensured his defeat in the next election. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Pettigrew was elected colonel of the 22nd North Carolina Infantry, which he led until he was severely wounded at Seven Pines in May 1862. Taken prisoner, he survived his wounds and was repatriated. For his courage, Pettigrew received a promotion to brigadier general.

In May 1863, Pettigrew’s brigade joined General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia for the Pennsylvania Campaign. Between July 1 and 3, Pettigrew led his men at Gettysburg and participated in Pickett’s Charge. Eleven days later Pettigrew was shot in the stomach.

He died three days later in West Virginia and is buried at his family’s plantation.

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Silas McDowell, Originator of the Thermal Zone Concept

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 14, 1879, Silas McDowell, prolific self-taught scientist and originator of the concept of the thermal belt, died.

Originally from York, South Carolina, McDowell attended school at Asheville’s Newton Academy and then began work as a tailor in Charleston. He returned to the North Carolina mountains in 1823 and bought a farm in what’s now Macon County. There, in Franklin, he began a long career of farming, viticulture and horticulture, including an extensive apple production operation that developed many new varieties.

McDowell applied science to all his endeavors, published articles on agriculture and began to develop a theory of thermal belts from his observations. In 1861, he published his best-known article, “Theory of the Thermal Zone,” in which he proposed the idea of the thermal belt, a mountainside temperate zone ideal for growing crops.

McDowell also made contributions to botany, guiding a number of the day’s prominent botanists in explorations of the state’s mountains. His wide-ranging interests also included mineralogy, geology and zoology.

In his later years, McDowell retired from farming and turned to history, literature and poetry, penning biographies of prominent local people and accounts of historical events, and writing poetry recalling his youth and the mountain landscape.

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So Great the Devastation in 1916 Flood

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 14, 1916, the worst flood in western North Carolina’s history occurred after six days of torrential rain. In one 24-hour period the region saw more than half of a normal year’s total rainfall. The 22 inches of rain that fell that day set the record for the most rainfall in a single day in the United States.

Because the ground was saturated, most of the water immediately filled streams and rivers, causing them to reach flood stage in just a few hours. At least 50 people lost their lives and the property damage surpassed $22 million, $1 million of that in Asheville alone.

Asheville and Hendersonville were completely cut off from the outside for weeks. Railroad tracks that were not destroyed had their supports washed out from under them, leaving tracks eerily suspended over mud-covered ravines—895 miles of track were rendered useless.

Everyone was taken by surprise at the speed with which the water rose. People were stranded in trees when their cars or homes were overwhelmed and they had nowhere else to go. Industrial plants along the rivers were swept away and landslides engulfed homes.

For most of western North Carolina the 1916 flood remains the benchmark for disasters.

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The Flood of 1916 and Unprecedented Destruction in Western North Carolina

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:00

On July 14, 1916, the worst flood in western North Carolina’s history occurred after six days of torrential rain. In one 24-hour period the region saw more than half of a normal year’s total rainfall. The 22 inches of rain that fell that day set the record for the most rainfall in a single day in the United States.

Because the ground was saturated, most of the water immediately filled streams and rivers, causing them to reach flood stage in just a few hours. Eighty people lost their lives and the property damage surpassed $22 million, $1 million of that in Asheville alone.

Asheville and Hendersonville were completely cut off from the outside for weeks. Railroad tracks that were not destroyed had their supports washed out from under them, leaving tracks eerily suspended over mud-covered ravines—895 miles of track were rendered useless.

Everyone was taken by surprise at the speed with which the water rose. People were stranded in trees when their cars or homes were overwhelmed and they had nowhere else to go. Industrial plants along the rivers were swept away and landslides engulfed homes.

For most of western North Carolina this flood remains the benchmark for disasters.

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For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Homegrown Raleigh Powerhouse, CP&L

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 13, 1908, the Carolina Power & Light Company (CP&L) was chartered.

The corporation, with a customer base primarily in Raleigh, was the result of a merger of the Raleigh Electric Company, the Central Carolina Power Company and the Consumer Light and Power Company. Within a few years, CP&L owned or controlled local power companies in Oxford, Henderson, Asheville and Goldsboro.

In the early part of the 20th century, electric streetcar systems operated by companies that would become part of CP&L were an integral part of the utility’s business and played an important role in the development of suburban neighborhoods in Asheville and Raleigh. After World War I, the company benefited from the demand created by the proliferation of electrical appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and stoves that were once were considered luxury items.

To generate power for electricity, CP&L used coal, oil and water until the 1960s, when the company built its first nuclear power plant in South Carolina. The company constructed costly nuclear plants in Brunswick and Wake counties before scaling back its production of nuclear energy.

In 2000, CP&L merged with Florida Progress Corporation form Progress Energy, and Progress in turn merged with Charlotte-based Duke Energy in 2012.

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John Harris Hang Glides from Grandfather Mountain, 1974

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 13, 1974, John Harris became the first person to hang glide from the 1,600-foot high rock pinnacle of Grandfather Mountain. Harris managed to convince Hugh Morton, the mountain’s owner, to let him make the daring attempt during the mountain’s annual Gathering of the Scottish Clans.

Harris flew about 1,500 feet, landing safely on the golf course below, and soon after the heyday of hang gliding at the mountain began. In 1975, the U.S. Open Hang Gliding Tournament was held at Grandfather Mountain, and it continued to be held there until 1986. By then the gliders had become more efficient, making for increasingly longer and faster flights, so that there were inadequate safe landing areas around the heavily forested mountain.

Flying was suspended from the peak in 1986 after a series of accidents.

Like Wilbur and Orville Wright, Harris was a native Midwesterner who was inspired by North Carolina’s Outer Banks. He relocated to the Tar Heel State in the early 1970s for work as an engineer and became captivated by the fledgling sport of hang gliding, spending his free time on Jockey’s Ridge.

While living at the coast he started a kite and hang gliding business, Kitty Hawk Kites, that is still in operation today.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Krispy Kreme Makes its Debut in Winston-Salem

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 13, 1937, Vernon Rudolph began making yeast-raised doughnuts in a rented building in Winston-Salem. He used a secret recipe he had bought from a New Orleans French pastry chef. The name “Krispy Kreme” had come with the recipe, and Rudolph decided to keep it. He initially sold his glazed confections to local groceries, but when people started asking to buy his fresh, hot doughnuts, he cut a hole in the bakery’s wall and began selling them directly to customers.

By the 1960s, Krispy Kreme stores had spread throughout the Southeast. To improve the made-from-scratch doughnuts’ consistency, Rudolph built a mix plant and developed a dry dough that was delivered to each store. He also hired engineers to design Krispy Kreme’s own doughnut-making equipment. With increased efficiency and new doughnut flavors, the company continued to grow.

After Rudolph died in 1973, Beatrice Foods Company bought Krispy Kreme, but some early franchisees bought the company back in 1982. By 1999, Krispy Kreme had expanded nationwide. The company went public in April 2000 and opened its first international store in Canada in 2001. Today, Krispy Kreme has more than 500 stores across the United States and in 21 countries worldwide.

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Tryon Mountain Along the Indian Boundary, 1767

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 13, 1767, a public proclamation made official a new boundary line delineating the western frontiers of the province of North Carolina from the Cherokee hunting grounds. The boundary mandated that white settlers west of the line should remove themselves by January 1768, and anyone wishing to trade with the Cherokees was required to obtain a license from the governor.

In 1766, John Stuart, superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern colonies, pressed Governor William Tryon to enter into negotiations with the Cherokees regarding extension of the boundary line. Tryon appointed commissioners to conduct the survey and mounted a personal military expedition to take part in the negotiations.

The Cherokees were flattered to receive the governor’s visit and gave him the title “Great Wolf of North Carolina.”

The commissioners began their work in June 1767 at the Reedy River in South Carolina. From there, with the assistance of the several Cherokees, they surveyed a line 53 miles north to a tree atop the peak that the Indians called the “great Mountain” and that the commissioners renamed Tryon Mountain.

It was agreed that the boundary would extend in a straight line into Virginia, but that that portion would by necessity remain unsurveyed.

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“Die With It in You!”: The Execution of Frankie Silver

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 12, 1833, Frankie Silver was hanged in Morganton after being convicted of killing her husband Charlie with an axe and hacking his body into pieces.

The murder occurred just before Christmas in 1831. Though at first Frankie claimed that Charlie had gone hunting, his family suspected foul play when he did not return for the holiday. A search party found no sign of him, and the mystery seemed unsolved until a neighbor found pieces of bones and human teeth among the ashes in the fireplace inside the Silvers’ Mitchell County cabin. More human remains were discovered beneath the floorboards, buried in the yard and hidden in a stump.

Frankie was arrested for first-degree murder, though little hard evidence was presented during the two-day trial. The jury found Frankie guilty, and the judge sentenced her to execution by hanging. She was 18-years-old was and the mother of an infant daughter.

Since the law at the time did not allow women to testify in court, Silver never told her story before a judge. Even at the gallows, when she started to speak her last words, Silver’s father shouted to her from the crowd, “Die with it in you, Frankie!” Sadly, she did.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Southern Banks Fell to British in War of 1812

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 12, 1813, a British fleet under the command of Admiral George Cockburn continued the invasion of the Outer Banks that had begun the night before. Before the day was over, the British had taken Ocracoke and Portsmouth Islands.

The invasion, which was part of the War of 1812, was the most serious attack on North Carolina during the course of the war. Cockburn’s fleet included a 74-gun man-of-war, three frigates, a brig, three schooners and several transport vessels carrying nearly 3,000 British soldiers and marines

The British plundered the islands of “200 head of cattle, 400 sheep, and 1,600 fowls of various kinds.” The troops paid the inhabitants for what they took but at prices far below actual value. The Redcoats took customs collector Thomas Singleton’s “papers in his library” and “tore up his law books.”

Though the British took two privateers, a revenue cutter managed to escape their grasp, reach New Bern and alert the rest of the state to the attack. That, in turn, allowed state militiamen to march on and guard coastal towns.

The British fleet sailed for Nova Scotia on July 16, but warned locals that the entire North Carolina coast remained under a British blockade. There is no evidence that the fleet ever returned to enforce it.

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The Grove Park Inn and Its Host of Prominent Guests

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 12, 1913, the Grove Park Inn opened on Sunset Mountain near Asheville. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan delivered an opening address officially welcoming guests and indicating that the inn was “built for the ages.”

The brainchild of Edwin W. Grove, a Missouri pharmacist often called the “father of modern Asheville” because of the extensive development work he did in the city, the inn was designed by Fred L. Seely. Seely was an adherent of the Arts and Crafts movement, and that’s evident in the inn’s distinctive architectural style.

Construction on the building with its original 156 guest rooms took less than a year, thanks to the large crew of 400 laborers and 20 Italian stonemasons who worked 10-hour days to ensure the project’s speedy completion.

Over the years, the inn has played host to a number of notable personalities including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and exiled Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon, who established the headquarters of a government-in-exile for the Philippines at the inn.

An extensive renovation in the 1980s increased the hotel’s size to include 510 guest rooms, 40 meeting rooms, 2 ballrooms, 4 restaurants, a full-service sports center and a number of other facilities. It continues to attract guests from around the world today.

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Gaston Means, Con Man, Swindler and Hoax Artist

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 11, 1879, private detective, bootlegger and all-around con man Gaston Means was born in Concord.

The son a prominent lawyer, Means attended UNC and worked as a schoolteacher and traveling salesman before moving to New York to work as a private detective in 1911. For the next 20 years, Means was involved in a variety of dubious activities from stealing money from a widow to advancing the German government’s interests in the U.S. while the country was still neutral during World War I.

Among his most famous hoaxes was his publication of the book The Death of President Harding, which falsely asserted that Harding had a been a central player in all the scandals of his administration and accused First Lady Florence Harding of murdering the president. Another was his involvement in the Lindbergh baby case, where he swindled a wealthy heiress out of thousands of dollars by insisting he could recover the child.

It was the Lindbergh case which ultimately brought him down. Following it, Means was captured, convicted of grand larceny and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to serve a 15-years sentence. He died there in 1938.

Means’ gained national infamy after FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote an article about him for The American Magazine. Hoover called Means “the most amazing figure in contemporary criminal history.”

The cast of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire includes a character based on Means’ life.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Ill-Fated Windmill Just Outside Boone

This Day in North Carolina History - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 01:00

On July 11, 1979, Boone celebrated “Windmill Day” with a street festival to dedicate NASA’s Mod-1, the world’s largest megawatt industrial windmill on Howard’s Knob.

The windmill was installed on the 4,400-foot peak as part of a program run by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy to study wind power in response to the petroleum shortages of the 1970s OPEC oil embargo. The mammoth steel structure—which was 140 feet tall, 200 feet wide across the blades, and weighed more than 350 tons—had propellers supplied by Boeing and generator by General Electric.

The Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation ran the project locally to return electricity, anticipated to power 500 homes, to the energy grid.

A harbinger of the project’s fate, the winds only blew at about 6 miles per hour that first day, requiring manual rotation of the propeller blades. The windmill was soon plagued by terminal structural issues, inconsistent winds and negative public perception from complaints of noise, disrupted television reception and wasted public dollars.

Too costly to repair, the federal government dismantled and sold the windmill in 1983.

The windmill also became the centerpiece of pranks by Appalachian State University students. In one account, TV news cameras were met by students dressed in sheets, calling themselves “Wooshies” who worshipped the god Nay-zuh.

Check out the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Digital Collection from the State Archives and State Library to see an array of primary materials related to science and technology.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.