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North Carolina



  • Julius Chambers, a fighter for civil rights, dies at 76

    Julius L. Chambers, a civil rights lawyer who endured firebombings of his house, office and car in winning case after case against racial segregation, including one that led to a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing forced busing, died on Friday at his home in Charlotte, N.C. He was 76.Geraldine Sumter, a law partner, confirmed the death, saying Mr. Chambers had had a heart attack in April and had been in declining health.Mr. Chambers began championing civil rights well before he succeeded Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg as president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1984. Two decades earlier, he had left an internship at the fund to open a one-man law practice in Charlotte specializing in civil rights, its office in a cold-water walk-up. It grew to become North Carolina’s first integrated law firm....



  • NC law ends pay raises for K-12 teachers with master's degrees

    A master’s degree in teaching costs about $6,400 a semester for a full-time North Carolina resident attending East Carolina University’s College of Education, meaning a four-semester program would cost about $26,000. But, according to the North Carolina state legislature, that doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.In the most recent state budget passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor last week, North Carolina lawmakers eliminated a provision – which exists in many states – that granted automatic pay raises to public school teachers who completed master’s degrees. It was one of several changes the budget made to teacher compensation and working conditions, including ending teacher tenure, but it is the one likely to have the largest impact on the state’s higher education institutions.The elimination of the benefit could have a significant effect on enrollment in education schools at North Carolina colleges and universities. And since many of those programs generate net revenues for the institutions, enrollment declines could affect their bottom lines....



  • Thalian curtain might be oldest in entire U.S.

    Thalian Hall houses what might be the oldest painted stage curtain in the United States, a theater historian told a Wilmington audience Thursday."These things were not meant to last," said David Rowland, president of Pennsylvania's Old York Road Historical Society. Most surviving examples of drop curtains in New England date from only the 1890s at the earliest, Rowland said.Thalian Hall, however, still has its original drop curtain, which hung onstage when the historic theater opened on Oct. 12, 1858....



  • Michael Gross recalls Moral Monday arrest

    Whatever happens in the next decade or two, East Carolina University professor Michael Gross said he did not want to look back and think he failed to stand up for something.A professor of German history with degrees from the University of Chicago, Columbia and Brown, Gross teaches his students about the effects of “fanatical, right-wing radicalism” and its effect on Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s.“One of the things we talk about is the responsibility we have to participate and protect democracy by speaking up,” Gross said. “If we don’t, it may very well collapse and be replaced by hypocrisy or a minority group that dictates its will. We’re in danger of letting others undermine our republic if we don’t educate ourselves.”...



  • Lisa Levenstein: Public Deserves To Be Heard On Abortion Bill

    Lisa Levenstein is an associate professor of U.S. women’s history at UNCG.Proposed new regulations on abortion providers have nothing to do with protecting women’s health. Nothing demonstrates this quite like the tactics Republican leaders have used to try to ram the legislation through the N.C. General Assembly.At first, draconian abortion restrictions were placed into an anti-Sharia law bill. After public scrutiny began to gather momentum, the new regulations were put into — of all things — a motorcycle safety bill. If advocates are so convinced these new measures are justified, why all the secrecy? Why all the back-room tactics? Why the rush?GOP leaders argued that the legislation formerly known as House Bill 695, the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act,” would actually protect women by imposing strict new regulations on abortion providers....



  • N.C. Museum of History Wins 2013 AASLH Award of Merit

    NASHVILLE, TN July 8, 2013 — The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the permanent exhibit History in Every Direction: Tar Heel Junior Historian Association Discovery Gallery. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.The interactive exhibit History in Every Direction features hands-on activities related to exploring history through five kinds of primary sources: artifacts, documents, photographs, oral history, and buildings and sites. The exhibit also showcases award-winning projects by members of the Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, which is based at the N.C. Museum of History. THJHA’s many annual contests encourage students in grades four to 12 to discover and share the historical significance of people, places and events in their own communities. There are more than 5,000 Tar Heel junior historians in 47 counties across North Carolina....



  • NC corrects Revolutionary War marker

    After nearly 75 years, a piece of local Revolutionary War history has been rewritten.On Friday, a state historical marker indicating a decisive Revolutionary War battleground in Alamance County was changed to reflect more accurate information unearthed by two historians.“Alamance County has been told the incorrect information since 1938,” Stewart Dunaway said to a Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution tour group, which had gathered at the fork of N.C. 49 and Anthony Road, south of Interstate 40/85....



  • Mary C. Curtis: Is North Carolina Moving Backward on Civil Rights?

    Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning multimedia journalist in Charlotte, N.C., has worked at The New York Times, Charlotte Observer and as national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter: @mcurtisnc3CHARLOTTE – North Carolina has never had a problem bragging about its progressive history. In 1960, when George Wallace was formulating the hard-line segregationist stand that would propel him to multiple terms in the Alabama statehouse, North Carolina was electing as its governor Terry Sanford, who was an advocate of education, an opponent of capital punishment and took moderate but definite steps toward integration – at the time a risk in the South.In the early 1970′s, Mecklenburg County liked to contrast pictures of the relative calm that greeted its busing of students to achieve school integration with the violence and vandalism up North in Boston’s busing battles.And 50 years ago, in May 1963, a year before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public accommodations, Charlotte leaders — black and white — paired up for two-by-two integration of restaurants, called “eat-ins,” a name that played off the “sit-ins” of three years before at a Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s counter....



  • William Chafe, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall arrested at NC statehouse protest

    William Chafe is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History, emeritus, at Duke University and the former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall is the Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill.This week, we were arrested at the General Assembly. We chose the path of civil disobedience – along with 29 others – as a means of calling attention to the headlong assault on our state’s history by the governor and the state legislature.We are not radicals. Each of us has been president of the Organization of American Historians, the leading professional organization of all American historians. We cherish the history we have spent our lives studying. Yet now we see a new generation in Raleigh threatening to destroy the very history we have spent our lives celebrating....



  • A historic textile mill begins a new chapter

    After a complicated 20-year effort to save a redbrick mill in North Carolina that was once considered the largest in the world for textiles and that played a significant role in the South’s textile history, the plant is finally moving toward a new life as a multiuse complex.The Loray Mill, which for decades produced fabric for car tires, last month began a $40 million conversion project that will create 190 apartments in its six stories, as well as several floors of shops and restaurants. The mill, which was the site of an famous labor strike in the 1920s, is in the city of Gastonia, a former industrial hub outside of Charlotte.To the delight of preservationists, the development team of JBS Ventures, of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., and Camden Management Partners, of Atlanta, will retain much of the original 600,000-square-feet structure of the complex. This first phase of the redevelopment will reinvent about 450,000 square feet of the mill, including the main section, which dates to 1902....