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will o'neil04/18/2014
The man in the cowboy hat is, United States Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn. 04/15/2014
The Havelock Progress04/08/2014
Diamond Anniversary 1952 1982 30 Years of Community Service The Havelock Progress “Gopher Baroque” 31st YEAR NUMBER 3 Wednesday, May 19, 1982 USPS 577-920 15 Cents Train Hits Child; Runs Over Baby by Edward Ellis Managing Editor They are calling it a miracle. The Miracle at Railroad Street. Here’s what happened: A fully loaded Southern Railway train screamed to a halt at a crossing near Havelock Friday afternoon. The engineer, Gerald Johnson of Vanceboro, watched horror struck as one small child was hit and another, a beautiful, blonde, 18-month-old baby disappeared beneath the massive steel locomotive he was fighting so hard to stop. By Tuesday both the children were home, struggling once again for possession of the toy baby car-riage that nearly cost them their lives, the one they pushed in front of The Miracle On Railroad Street Quick Action Saved Children’s Live the 100-car train a few days before. Authorities and the relatives of the children are saying that tow things saved the babies: the quick thinking of the train’s crew members and a touch of miraculous luck. Johnson, the engineer, would say later, after he calmed down some, that it is not uncommon for children to be somewhere on the tracks. “Sometimes they run out in front of the train sort of teasing and then jump out of the way,” Johnson said. Other crew member said kids are always playing by the tracks sometimes placing pennies on the rails to be flattened by trains like the 71,020-ton behemoth Johnson was piloting Friday. Johnson saw the children, Samantha and Shaniena Tom-pakov, from some distance and began blowing his whistle as he ap-proached the Creek Drive Crossing. Creek Dive slips off the end of Hollywood Blvd. and crosses Railroad Street before making con-tact with the rail line and continuing its dirt strip a little farther to an electrical transformer station. The cousins, Samantha, 18 mon-ths, and Shaniena, 2, had wandered away from their house at 210 Railroad Street pushing their baby buggy and had settled down to play at the crossing, between the tracks. The train’s whistle hooted so per-sistently that people downtown Havelock later said they heard it. About 300 yards away, at about 20 miles per hour, Johnson realized at once how small the kids were and that they were not moving. Just like in the movies, Johnson slammed the train into full emergency, locking the wheels and placing the freight train into a heart-stopping slide. Front end brakeman Joe Dunn, also from Vanceboro, raced to the front of the engine via a walkway realizing the train could not stop in time to avoid the children. He saw the two-year-old was standing just to the side of the track and the baby was standing between the rails. As the train reached the crossing, cars banging, still skidding, Dunn yelled for the child to lay down. For some reason, after refusing to move for the oncoming train, 18-month-old Samantha Tompakov dove for the ground and disappeared beneath the train. The two-year-old, who had also stubbornly stood her ground, was struck at the jaw line by the step assembly on the side of the engine and knocked to the ground. The baby was found lying under the rear axle of the train’s second locomotive, knocked unconscious, but otherwise unhurt. Clearance please turn to page 3 staff photo by Edward Ellis Lucky Ones NEARLY KILLED -- A woman identified as the grandmother of Sha-niena Tampakov hold the child, at left, and Patricia Adkins hold here daughter, Samantha. Rescue chief John Julian, at center, heads for the ambulance. Two Engines Went Over Child Auxiliaries Help HPD Get Its Big Job Done by STEPHANIE S. HAILEY staff photo by Edward Ellis Crewmen Moved Fast RIGHT THERE -- Engineer Gerald Johnson points to the spot where an 18-month old baby was pulled from beneath a Southern Railway freight train. IN the inset, brakeman Joe Dunn who ran to the front of the train and told the child to lay down. Close Call (continued from page 1) under the engine is measured in in-ches. Police and rescue squad workers, railroad officials and the Highway Patrol were among those who rush-ed to the scene. They found Shaniena with a large purple swelling on the side of her face and some scratches on her back. Samantha’s only sign was a small scratch on her forehead. Both children were check out at Carteret General Hospital and then sent home. Rescue chief John Julian said it could “not be put into words how lucky those children are” The parents of the children, Robin Tompakov and Patricia Adkins, had nothing but praise for the fast action of the railroad crew. The relatives charged with wat-ching the children Friday were busy washing a car at their home about three lots from the crossing at the time of the incident. Joe Dunn added the final words of wonderment to the incident when he told a reporter at the scene: “I guess there was a reason for me to have been on here. I tried to get off this train today.” Viets Chosen By USAF
Robert R. Talley, rrtalley@yahoo.com03/28/2014
U. S. Naval Convalescent Hospital, Santa Cruz, CA (Hotel Casa Del Rey) (NARA College Park, MD) Of Ships & Surgeons Notes on the History of Naval Medicine Sponsored by the Society for the History of Navy Medicine The U. S. Navy’s “Phantom” World War II Hospitals in California, Part II In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the Navy’s four “temporary” new constructions in northern California, which were part of Navy Surgeon General Ross McIntire’s program to provide hospital care for the casualties of war. But even these new beds were not enough to supply the needs for an expected million casualties if the expected invasion of the Japanese home islands took place. War time hospitalization came under the oversight of the Federal Board of Hospitalization, an independent executive agency established in 1921 to coordinate the hospital programs of the military services, the public health service, Veterans Administration and Indian Health Service in order to avoid duplication of services and overbuilding of facilities.(1) Every proposal for new Navy beds went through this body, and there were inevitable bureaucratic delays in getting beds approved. In January 1943, the 12th Naval District Medical Officer wrote We will undoubtedly need a number of places for convalescents. If possible, I think M & S should get direct appropriations from Congress to take over hotels, call them hospitals, leave the entire management and staff with the exceptions of bell-boys, chambermaids, etc. as is. We to pay the flat rate per man per day. This will be cheaper and the contracts can be made much more easily and quickly.(2) U. S. Naval Convalescent Hospital, Santa Cruz, California 12th Naval District medical authorities sought facilities that were “especially desirable … for convalescents and … also well suited for recreational purposes”. The Santa Cruz resort hotel Casa Del Rey fit the ticket, and could be made ready to receive 500 patients within 2 weeks of lease signing. Retired Medical Corps Captain Frederick E Porter was detailed to command the hospital, which he commissioned on 9 March 1943. The hospital experienced its busiest year in 1944, when 8099 patients were received. In all, more than 18,000 men received convalescent services before the hospital was decommissioned 1 April 1946.(3) The old hotel then went on to serve as senior citizen housing in its later years. It sustained serious damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It has since been demolished. (1) United States Government Manual, 1945, First Edition, “Federal Board of Hospitalization”, found at, accessed 23 April 2011. This appears to be a direct transcription of the titled government document, transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancy of the Hyperwar Foundation. (2) National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (“Archives II”), Record Group 52, Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Headquarters Records, Correspondence 1842-1945, Entry 15B, File NH70-7 – 7/A1-1, letter Inspector of Medical Activities, Pacific Coast, to assistant chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, RADM Luther Sheldon at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, 29 January 1943. (3) Administrative History of U. S. Naval Special Hospital, Santa Cruz, California, 30 June 1946. This file is in the “Santa Cruz” folder in the History Library at the U S Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (“BuMrd”), 2300 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.
Bert Bennett02/18/2014
Jonathan Dembo02/16/2014
A personal letter from future Edgecombe and Duplin County school teacher, L. H. Smith, to his brother Edward P. Smith.  At the time he wrote this letter, L. H. was teaching at Bradly’s School House, but had not yet earned his teaching certificate.  Edward begins the letter by recounting his search for two of Edward’s mislaid letters and his eventual discovery of  a silver shilling leading him to the comic deduction that Edward’s letter must have contained silver ore.  He promises that if Edward sends him a gold shilling, he will be more careful of it.  However the bulk of the letter describes his experiences teaching at Bradley’s School House, North Carolina.  He focuses on the regular Friday routine.  All his scholars, he writes, “speak”, or recite their lessons, on Friday and he musters all the boys accompanied by a fife and drum.  “The smaller boys”, he writes, “have wooden guns and the larger real ones.”  Apparently, this was something of a social occasion in the community and a matter of serious competition between different schools and schoolmasters.  L. H. reports that “Frank was here last week and see [sic] me drill them.  He says they beat his company.  Some Fridays there is some 25 or thirty people to hear them speak and to see them muster and lots of girls among them.”  L. H. notes that he is writing during recess and has no time to “collect my thoughts” but readers will note numerous errors of spelling and punctuation in the letter.  One hopes that the students benefited more from L. H.’s lessons in reading and arithmetic than they could have from his writing lessons
Ken Harbit12/02/2013
A North Carolina treasure is Moored in Willmington. In quiet dignity and majesty is the fourth ship of the line to be called NORTH CAROLINA. She quietly beckons visitors to walk her decks and envision the daily life and fierce combat her crew faced in the Pacific during World War II. She was the most decorated US Battleship of WWII with 15 Battle Stars; Seeing action from Guadalcanal to Tokyo Bay, earning Battle Stars at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in between. She was dedicated on 29 April 1962 as the State’s memorial to its World War II veterans and the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during the war. The USS North Carolina was launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on June 13, 1940. During WWII the Japanese claimed to have sunk her 6 times, but she in fact lived on. She saw action at every major naval offensive in the Pacific theater, including the Battles of Guadalcanal, Marshall Islands, Luzon (considered by historians as the greatest naval battle in history), Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In the Battle of the Eastern Solomon’s in August of 1942, the Battleship’s anti-aircraft barrage helped save the carrier ENTERPRISE, thereby establishing the primary role of the fast battleship as protector of aircraft carriers. By war’s end, she had become the most highly decorated American battleship of World War II, accumulating 15 battle stars. and she only lost 10 men! From all across our Nation they came, young men who had grown up in the crucible of the Great Depression and now determined to serve their Country in its time of need. Most combat veterans remember their first firefight, their first shot. The first combat action of the USS North Carolina was about 8 minutes long. On 7 August 1942, she was the only battleship in the South Pacific, escorting the aircraft carriers Saratoga, Enterprise, and Wasp. The Americans struck first, sinking the Japanese carrier Ryujo. The Japanese counterattack came in the form of dive bombers and torpedo bombers, covered by fighters, striking at the Enterprise and the North Carolina. In an action eight-minutes long, the North Carolina shot down 14 enemy aircraft, with her antiaircraft gunners remaining at their posts despite the jarring detonations of seven near misses. One sailor was killed by strafing, but the North Carolina was undamaged. Her sheer volume of antiaircraft fire was so heavy it caused the officers of the Enterprise to ask, “Are you afire?” USS North Carolina’s second engagement and first major battle occurred on August 24, 1942 when she spotted the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carriers. That battle was called the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, an unquestionable victory for America. Affectionately known as “The Showboat”, without her brave, valiant and honorable souls, the “Showboat” would just be another ship; A footnote in the vast pages of history. It is because of their deeds and service to our nation, that “The Showboat”, USS North Carolina is more than just a ship. She is a living monument to their accomplishments and the ideals they represent. She is truly a shrine for a grateful nation to honor.
james t. mills10/21/2013
Charles Allen10/11/2013
Mike Lewis08/15/2013
kevin hudson08/07/2013
Jonathan Dembo07/16/2013
At first sight, the photograph above shows a typical, normal, prosaic, civic event: the ground-breaking ceremonies for a new building; a home for the family of William Benjamin “Ben” O’Neal. Upon closer examination, however, it represents an astonishing triumph of charity, goodwill, and community spirit over murder, hate and despair in one southern town, Greenville, North Carolina. The photograph is from the O’Neal Foundation Papers, a collection that documents the selfless and tireless voluntary efforts of hundreds of individuals, businesses, and organizations in the Greenville area, to aid a single family, devastated by sudden tragedy. Together they collected nearly $3,600 for the house and lot. This sum does not count the many thousands of dollars of labor and materials contributed by numerous individuals, businesses, and organizations. In addition to the photograph, the papers also include the by-laws, minutes of meetings, correspondence, financial reports, resolutions relating to the O’Neal Foundation. The photograph shows O’Neal’s widow, Virginia, in the first row of onlookers behind Earl Addler, commander of the Greenville Veterans of Foreign Wars post, the man on the left wielding a shovel; her mother-in-law Mrs. William Benjamin O’Neal, Sr. is seen between Mr. Addler and Ty Wagner, the man on the right with a shovel, who was commander of Pitt County Post 28 of the American Legion. The home was located on Wiley Street where Ben and Virginia O’Neal had hoped someday to build a dwelling. The result of months of preparations, the O’Neal Foundation ground breaking took place Tuesday afternoon 21 June 1949. Plans were drawn by C. B. West, Jr., who oversaw the work as chairman of the Foundation’s building committee. The five-room house had a large living room and kitchen, two bedrooms and bath. It had porches on both the front and back. The inspiration for both the O’Neal Foundation and the ground breaking ceremony was a crime of the most horrific nature. Ben O’Neal, a 29-year-old taxi driver, was brutally murdered early Sunday morning, 6 February 1949. O’Neal, a World War II veteran with only a grade school education, had enlisted in the Army in September 1942. Wounded in combat, he had spent 15 months as a German prisoner of war, before returning home in October 1945. Upon his return to Greenville, North Carolina, O’Neal had married Virginia Dixon, also of Greenville. O’Neal and his wife were expecting their first child at the time of his death. The couple shared a home with O’Neal’s widowed mother. Meanwhile, O’Neal had started training to be an auto mechanic and had begun to put down money on a lot on which they hoped to build a home. After school hours, O’Neal had taken a job driving a taxi for Moyer Taxi Service to support his wife and widowed mother. O’Neal’s bright hopes and those of his family were not long lived. He was brutally murdered in the early hours of Sunday, 6 February 1949. Witnesses reported having seen O’Neal pick up two African American youths as fares on the night before. According to later testimony, the two men directed O’Neal to drive to a lonely, rural spot between Greenville and Grimesland where they robbed, tortured and killed him. The body was discovered soon after by Leroy Smith, an African American, who reported his discovery to the police. Pitt County Sheriff Ralph Tyson revealed to the press that there was evidence that O’Neal had defended himself vigorously before being overwhelmed with numerous wounds to his arms, face, and back. Signs showed that he had been beaten to death with a brick and sticks and had been tortured both before and after death. The investigation, led by Sheriff Tyson, in the cooperation of the State Highway Patrol, the Greenville and Washington police departments, was a model of efficiency. By Sunday night Sheriff Tyson had one suspect in custody: Lloyd Ray Daniels, 18. On Tuesday morning they also arrested Lloyd’s cousin, Bennie Daniels, aged 19. Both men were African American farm laborers and from the vicinity where O’Neal’s body had been found. Both men had wounds and bruises consistent with a recent struggle. The sheriff said that both men had confessed in writing to killing O’Neal during the course of a robbery which netted them a mere $3.00. The confession was later used in the trial of the two men. The brutality of the crime shocked and stunned the community in Greenville and Pitt County. Contrary to what might have been expected, there was no outburst of racial antagonisms as a result. There was no effort to blame an entire community for the crime of a few individuals. There were no “revenge” crimes reported. Most surprising of all, within days the shock and surprise were replaced by an almost magical upwelling of community and charitable feeling. Instead of focusing on the desire for punishment and revenge, the community responded by focusing on the plight of the surviving O’Neals whose devastating loss touched the hearts of a wide section of the community. It helped that leaders in the White community stepped forward to lead and channel this feeling. Educator J. H. Rose of Greenville, prominent citizen Charles B. Corey, and then-Mayor J. H. Boyd, Jr. started the campaign to assist the O’Neals. Soon, hundreds of businesses, organizations, and individuals joined the effort with offers to help the O’Neals. Veterans organizations, including the VFW and American Legion, also took the lead, to honor the memory of one of their own. Heartened by the overwhelming public response, Mayor Boyd called a meeting of representatives of the city’s civic groups which organized the O’Neal Foundation. Even so, it was nearly too late. By the date of the meeting, on 9 February, American Legion Auxiliary Post 28 was already beginning its own campaign to raise funds to provide a home for O’Neal’s widow and mother. At the meeting, Boyd announced that 19 February would become “O’Neal Foundation Tag Day” and asked each citizen of Greenville to buy a tag to honor the memory of the community’s veterans. Once the foundation was established, even more donations of money began flowing in from hundreds of people, including both Whites and African Americans, in Pitt County and surrounding areas. Some donations came from people in communities hundreds of miles away, and many offers came from carpenters, bricklayers, painters and others who offered to give free time to construction of a house for the O’Neals. Architect C. B. West, Jr. volunteered to draw up the plans for the four-room house free of charge, and when the construction work on the bungalow began, in June 1949, he supervised its construction. By the time the O’Neal Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit corporation on 9 June 1949, the Foundation had a total of $3,509.92 in cash on hand to pay for the project in addition to thousands of dollars of material and labor offered by various tradesmen and business concerns in the area and construction work was ready to begin. By the following year, when work on the O’Neal home was completed and the family was living in it, the Foundation reported that it had raised a total of $3,595.92. That proved more than sufficient. Even after paying the balance of what the O’Neals owed on the lot and after paying the fire insurance premium on the house, $623.13 remained unspent. According to the by-laws of the O’Neal Foundation, the house and property of the Foundation were to be for the use of O’Neal’s widow and mother as long as they lived, and then to be transferred to O’Neal’s unborn child when it came of age. The charter provided that if O’Neal’s child did not live, the property would revert to the foundation after the deaths of Mrs. O’Neal, Sr. and Mrs. O’Neal, Jr., to be used to aid other destitute families of deceased World War II veterans. After three weeks construction, the home was ready for occupancy. On the afternoon of 23 June 1949, in a ceremony on the porch of the new bungalow, former Mayor J. H. Boyd, Jr. presented O’Neal’s wife and mother with the keys to their new home. Even as the ceremony was taking place, workmen were busy completing the home. In making the presentation, Boyd assured the young widow that she, her mother-in-law and her yet unborn child were in the prayers of the Pitt County community. Representatives of various civic organizations which had been active in the O’Neal Foundation project witnessed the presentation of the key to the house. The O’Neal story does not end there. The construction on the O’Neal home occurred just days after the trial O’Neal’s accused murderers. The Daniels’ trial drew statewide attention to the Pitt County Courthouse when it opened on 30 May 1949. The courthouse was thronged with hundreds of people hoping for a chance to view the trial. It also featured a number of novelties for the time and place. According to press reports, it was the first Pitt County trial in 43 years in which two persons were jointly charged and tried and convicted of murder in the first degree in a single case. It was the first case in Pitt County history in which both Whites and African Americans – Travis M. Allen of Greenville — served on a jury in a murder case. The Daniels case was also the first in which a woman –Mrs. Willie Duning of Bethel — served on a jury in a murder case. Had not an African American woman disqualified herself from jury service, because of her conscientious objection to the death penalty, the case would also have been the first in which both White and African American women served on a murder case jury. While not unprecedented, the case was unusual, too, for the fact that both defense attorneys – C. J. Gates, of Durham, and Herman L Taylor, of Raleigh, were also African Americans. The prosecutor, W. J. Bundy and his assistant, J. H. Harrell, by contrast received little attention. After four days of preliminary motions and jury selection, including extremely unusual night sessions, testimony in the case finally began on Friday morning 3 June. By continuing to hear evidence over the weekend, the case moved to a swift conclusion on Monday, 6 June, when Judge Clausen L. Williams reviewed the evidence and gave the case to the jury just before 7:00 PM Monday evening. After deliberating for only 40 minutes, the jury foreman, Fred J. Broadwell, read the jury’s verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree for each of the defendants. Afterwards, the jury members told the press that they had agreed on the verdict on the first ballot. Without further ado, Judge Williams then sentenced both defendants to death in the electric chair and set the execution date for 15 July to allow the defendants enough time to appeal the verdict. Nor did the story end there. Indeed, it grew to have even greater regional, national and historical significance. The Daniels cousins appealed the verdict through the various state courts, eventually reaching the State Supreme Court, which rejected their appeal on a technicality. The North Carolina Communist Party organized a “Daniels Defense Committee” which made a spirited defense in these appeals cases over the next three years. The Committee tried to deflect suspicions from the Daniels cousins and on to others. They pointed out potential errors during the trial. They argued that African Americans had been excluded from the grand jury that indicted the Daniels cousins. The Defense Committee argued that the police had failed to properly investigate the scene of the crime. They suggested, for instance, that the defendants were under-aged and not 18 and 19 as described by the police and that a mystery woman’s footsteps leading from the scene of the crime had never been investigated by the police. The Defense Committee also argued that the Daniels’ confessions were fraudulent or forced, since the cousins were both illiterate. They tried to undermine the victim’s reputation and that argued that O’Neal was known as a notorious womanizer who had been seen with a married woman on the night he was murdered, and that O’Neal may have been involved in a car race on the night he died. None of these arguments seemed to work although they did result in a number of media reports. The Daniels Defense Committee continued their appeals through the federal courts all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. However, in 1953 the Supreme Court denied the Daniels’ final petition. The defense, however, was never able to provide any hard evidence to back up these claims in court and the Daniels were executed in the North Carolina electric chair on 6 November 1953. The Daniels’ trial and their appeals remain important in legal history, especially its implications for the selection of grand juries and the use of confessions at trials. It was also important in the history of the Communist Party in North Carolina and continues to be cited in works on the Party.
Lynette Lundin06/14/2013
Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 to January 27, 1967) was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts. He was one of 110 military test pilots who were asked to be tested for the space program. Grissom endured many physical and psychological tests, and was chosen as one of the seven Mercury astronauts. Six others received the same notification: Lieutenant Malcolm Scott Carpenter, U.S. Navy; Captain LeRoy Gordon Cooper, Jr., U.S. Air Force; Lieutenant Colonel John Herschel; Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps; Lieutenant Commander Walter Marty Schirra, Jr., U.S. Navy; Lieutenant Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., U.S. Navy; and Captain Donald Kent Slayton, U.S. Air Force This photo shows Grissom dressed for his flight on July 21, 1961, he was the second pilot for Mercury-Redstone 4, commonly known as Liberty Bell 7. The flight lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. It reached an altitude of more than 118.26 miles and traveled about 300 miles. Photo NASA original 61-MR4-62 (8) taken on July 19, 1961 in Hanger S at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Grissom is shown with Walter Shirra. Photo is signed by Grissom on the date of the Liberty Bell 7 launch. After splashdown, emergency explosive bolts unexpectedly fired and blew the hatch off, causing water to flood into the spacecraft. Grissom was nearly drowned. The spacecraft filled with water and was lost. Grissom was accused of opening the hatch by the press. Grissom repeated his account. “I was just laying there minding my own business when, POW, the hatch went. And I looked up and saw nothing but blue sky and water starting to come in over the sill.” (Turner Home Entertainment, Moon Shot (Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 1994). “We tried for weeks afterwards to find out what had happened and how it had happened. I even crawled into capsules and tried to duplicate all of my movements, to see if I could make the whole thing happen again. It was impossible. The plunger that detonates the bolts is so far out of the way that I would have had to reach for it on purpose to hit it, and this I did not do. Even when I thrashed about with my elbows, I could not bump against it accidentally.” (Carpenter et al., p. 227.) The hatch is opened by hitting the plunger with the side of your fist, which would leave a large bruise, but Grissom had no such bruising. Because of this controversy, Mercury astronaut Wally Schirra, at the end of his flight stayed inside his spacecraft until it was aboard the ship, and then blowing the hatch, bruising his hand. Gus said “It was especially hard for me, as a professional pilot. In all of my years of flying – including combat in Korea – this was the first time that my aircraft and I had not come back together. In my entire career as a pilot, Liberty Bell was the first thing I had ever lost.”( Ibid, p. 227.) Grissom was killed along with astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Quote from Gus: “If we die, we want people to accept it. We’re in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.” (John Barbour et al., Footprints on the Moon (The Associated Press, 1969), p. 125.) He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1981
Jonathan Dembo05/24/2013
Edmund Brinkley was a Chowan County farmer, who owned several plots of agricultural land along the Virginia Road and Bear Swamp Road near Deep Run and the Pocosin Swamp. In his last will and testament (page one shown above) Brinkley reveals almost as much about rural life in mid-19th century North Carolina as he does about his own character and strength of mind. Brinkley writes, for example, that although on his death bed and “very sick” he is still “of sound and disposing mind and merry”. Brinkley, who owned houses, farm equipment, crops, and two slaves, disposes of this property apparently equitably between his wife, three sons, and four daughters, only one of whom was yet married. He also indicated how he intended the property he bequeathed to his wife should be be divided after her death. Brinkley named his son, Miles C. Brinkley, to be the executor and guardian of his older daughters Susan M. and Martha J. Brinkley and his son William T. Brinkley; he named his wife Susannah Brinkley to be guardian of his younger daughters Rosannah Brinkley and Ann E. Brinkley, and of his son Albert E. Brinkley. He named no guardian for his married daughter, Sarah E. Creecy presumably because he felt that she was being well protected by her husband. He authorized Miles to run his farm and dispose of certain property to benefit his heirs. Among the property Brinkley divided among his heirs, Edmund lists the contents of a work house, cook room, smokehouse, and a store room, which held 50 barrels of corn, 30 bushels of wheat, 3,000 lbs. of fodder, 20 bushels of peas, 1,500 lbs. of pork, 1,000 lbs. of herring and 6 bushels of salt indicating that he derived much of his income from rearing cows, sheep, and pigs, rather than from the crops he raised, and from the herring fishery. In describing his property, Edmund lists the boundaries as running along an extensive system of drainage ditches, showing him to be an active and “improving” farmer. His property, lying as it did near streams and swamps, must have been low-lying and waterlogged during most of the year, and would have been much less productive without such close attention to drainage. Brinkley must have been among the more successful farmers in the Chowan County area. He was, however, clearly not among the wealthiest or greatest landowners in the region. His land holdings may have amounted to several hundred acres but he certainly did not own thousands of acres of farm land and there is no indication that he grew cotton or tobacco, the crops favored by the great landowners who owned large numbers of slaves. Brinkley, himself, was a slave owner, but not on a scale required to run a plantation. He disposed of only two slaves by his will, one of whom was a girl and the other of whom was a boy not yet sixteen years of age. Brinkley and his family must have done most of the farm and fishing work by themselves or with hired slave labor. The balance of the Albert Morris Collection consists of deeds for property that belonged to Edmund Brinkley and an account book that lists some of his purchases and sales during the last few years of his life. It also lists sums paid for the rental of slaves and fees paid for membership in the local Grange organization.
d. chapman05/06/2013
Jonathan Dembo04/25/2013
Here is a transcript of the Last Will and Testament: State of North Carolina Chowan County In the name of God, Amen. I Edmund Brinkley, of the state and County aforesaid, being very sick but of sound and disposing mind and mery (sic). Thanks be to God. Being apprehensive of death I make this my last will and testament. I resign and commend my soul to Allmighty God, who gave it, my body to the earth to be buried in a decent manner. I give and bequeath to my wife Susannah Brinkley certain property as follows, All my household furniture, Three bed and furniture, A pair of mahogany tables. A mahogany stand, one side board, and half dozen Willow Bottom Chairs excepted to be mentioned hereafter. All the work house and Cook room contents. All the stands in the smokehouse and store room, Her choice of two sets plough gear, Any two plows, one horse cart and tacklings, Rockaway and harnist (sic), Gig and harnest (sic). It is my desire that there shall be no sale until the crop is housed. I give and bequeath to my wife or widow fifty barrels of corn, three thousand lbs. Fodder, All the Shucks, twenty Bushels peas, Thirty bushels wheat, fifteen hundred pounds pork, one thousand herrings, six bushels salt. Twenty gallons molasses, one hundred pounds sugar, fifty pounds coffee. It is my will and desire that my sale be about the last of Nov. so that my hogs will be in good (illegible). I now proceed with my stock. I give and bequeath to my wife or widow my young bay horse or seventy five dollars, Her choice of two cows & calves and one heifer, One Ox that is now on hand, Ten head of sheep, Her choice of two sows and pigs. I now proceed with my land and negroes. I give and bequeath to my son Miles C. Brinkley All my land lying north of the shelter ditch that divides my low ground filed, Making a straight line on the south side of said ditch, from Riddicks line to James S. Roberts line, with the privilege of draining the water from said piece of land, down the leading ditch next to Mrs. Bushes line. I also give him my saddle. I give and bequeath to my son William T. Brinkley and my daughter Sarah E. Creecy, all my land on the west side of the Virginia and Mill Road in the following manner. To be kept to gether (sic) and rented out until William T. Brinkley becomes of age, three fifths of rent to William and two fifths to Sarah. At that time if Sarah desires and her agent or guardian who is to be Miles C. Brinkley thinks it necessary, her two fifths is to be valued and laid out in such property as herself and agent or guardian thinks best to her use. I also give and bequeath to my son William the piece of land in the fork between the Va and Mill Road. I give and bequeath to him my gun and after my wife deceased, side board and half dozen willow bottom chairs. I give and bequeath to my daughters Susan M. and Martha J. Brinkley a piece of land about eight or ten acres beginning in the Va. Road James S. Roberts line running said line to a pine named in the old deed and distance named one hundred and thirty poles, thence to Va. Road, again making a straight line and to be ninety yards wide at the Va. Road. To be sold by my executor provided he can sell it for one hundred dollars at any time, before my son Albert E. Brinkley becomes of age. If not sold in said manner it is to be publicly sold after Albert becomes of age and equally divided between them. I lend to my wife the track of land on which I live running as follows, to begin at the fork of a leading new ditch next to next to (sic) Mrs. Robinsons running up said ditch through the woods, one hundred and fifty yards from the field fence, thence to the pine before mentions. James S. Roberts line thence to Va. Road, down Va road to Stephen Dolbys line, running said line and swamp to first Station. The remaining land that I have not mentioned is to be rented out for the equal benefit of Ann E. Brinkley and Albert E. Brinkley. I give and bequeath to my daughters Susan M. and Martha J. Brinkley my boy Jim, to be hired out until he is sixteen years of age. Also to each of them a Bed and furniture, Also my wifes (sic) deceased a Mahogany table each, And to Martha Jane at my wifes (sic) decease a mahogany stand. I give and bequeath to my daughter Rosanna Brinkley my girl Charlotte to remain with my wife or widow until Rosannah becomes of age provided she will keep Rosannah free of charge. I give and bequeath to my son Albert E. Brinkley and my Daughter Anne E. Brinkley the land on which I live, their mother’s lifetime rights excepted, to be divided as follows: After my wife or wide death it is to be valued by albetration [arbitration ?] including the land that I have set apart to be rented out for them, giving Albert E. two thirds and Ann E. one third. If Albert E. is not willing to take at the valued price it is to be publicly sold. Also I give and bequeath to Ann E. one Bed and Furniture. It is my will and desire and I do appoint my son Miles C. Brinkley Executor to this my last will and testament as he is to cultivate my farm according to an agreement heretofore made. I put it in his power as executor to sell my property that is not given off to the best advantage, including one years (sic) rent of land, to pay all my just debts. If there should be any surplus left it is to be divided between my wife or widow & my executor, two thirds to her and one third to him. If my executor at any time thinks that he can get along with the crop without my sorrel filly he is at liberty to dispose of her at private sale and make a good right. I appoint Miles C. Brinkley Guardian to Susan M., Martha J., and William T. Brinkley. A appoint my wife Guardian to Rosannah, Ann E., and Albert E. Brinkley. In witness whereof I set my hand and seal, March 18th 1853 Edm Brinkley [Seal] Signed in the presence of William Roberts Jeremiah Evans The foregoing paper writings purporting to be the last will and testament of Edmund Brinkley, deceased is exhibited for probate, in open court, by Miles C. Brinkley the executor thereon named and the due executor thereof by the said Edmund Brinkley it proved by oath and examination of William Roberts one of the subscribing witness[es] thereto. It is therefore considered by the Court that said paper writing and every part thereof is the last will and testament of the said Edmund Brinkley and the same is ordered to be recorded and filed. And thereon the said Miles C. Brinkley executor as aforesaid duly qualified as such by taking the oath as required by law. Wm. R. Skinner Clk [Clerk]
Jonathan Dembo04/25/2013
Here is a transcript of the indenture: This Indenture made the 10th day of July in the year of Our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and thirty four between William & Humphrey Wright of the one part and Edmund Brinkley of the other part, all of the State of North Carolina and County of Chowan, Witnesseth that the said William & Humphrey Wright for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and thirty dollars to us in hand paid by the said Edmund Brinkley the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge ourselves fully satisfied, contented and paid, therefore doth bargain and sell and hath bargained and sold unto the said Edmund Brinkley a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County and state aforesaid butted and bounded as follows: viz: beginning at a hickory in Jas. Roberts field on the west side of the Va Road John & Saml Jacksons line thence along said line S. 70 ½ E. 132 poles to a pine 9 thence N. 44° E. 112 poles to a pine, thence S. 80 l/2 E. 70. Poles to a pine, thence S. 5 W. 21 poles to a pine, thence S. 32 W. 64 poles to a red oak, thence S. 65 W 147 poles to five pines, thence N. 51 l/2 W. 150 poles to the Va. Road, thence W. 7 l/2 E. 18 poles to the first station, containing one hundred and six acres more or less. To have and to hold the above bargained premises unto him the said Edmund Brinkley his heirs and assigns forever, and we the said William and Humphrey Wright do for ourselves, Executors Administrators, and assigns warrant and forever defend the right and title of the above bargained premises unto the said Edmund Brinkley his heirs and assigns forever. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals in the day and date above written. Witnesses: Jno Bush William Wright [Seal] James Blanchard Humphrey Wright [Seal] State of North Carolina--Chowan County Court August Term 1834 The foregoing deed was exhibited in this Court proved by the oath of John Bush one of the subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be registered. Edmd. Hoskins, Clerk Registered 28 Jany 1835 Edm Bond Register Office Register f Deeds Edenton N. C. July 4, 1888 I certify that the foregoing is a true copy of a deed Registered in this office in Book "K" Pages 522 & 523 T.M. Small Register of Deeds for Chowan Co. N.C.
Jonathan Dembo04/25/2013
Here is a transcript of the Indenture: Alexander Parish to Edmund Brinkley deed This indenture made this 12th day of February in the year of Our Lord 1823 between Alexander Parish of the one part and Edmund Brinkley of the other part both of Chowan County and the state of N.C. Witnesseth that I, the said Alexander Brinkley [Parish], for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars to me in hand paid by the said Edmund Brinkley the receipt I do hereby acknowledge and therewith content and paid have bargained and sold unto the said Edmund Brinkley a certain tract of land lying and being in the county aforesaid butted and bounded as follows beginning at the Virginia road near the Deep Run branch, then up the various courses of the branch to a bridge across the Bear Swamp Road, then up the Pocosin Swamp to the center of five pines, Nathan Parish's corner, then along the Parish’s line to the Virginia Road thence down Virginia road to first station containing sixty three & l/2 acres be the same more or less to him, the said Brinkley, his heir and assigns forever and the said Parish do for myself my heirs and assigns issue forever, warrant and defend the above bargained premises with Him, the said Brinkley his heirs and assigns, forever: Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and date above. Alex Parish [Seal] Jas. Robinson I. Skinner Office of Register of Deeds, Edenton, N.C. July 4, 1888 I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of a deed registered in this office in Book H. Page 329 T.M. Small Register of Deeds Chowan Co
roger grove03/27/2013
Jonathan Dembo03/22/2013
The program above, advertising a performance of Esther, The Beautiful Queen, to be presented at the Warrenton, North Carolina Town Hall on 11 October 1894, is from the Victoria Louise Pendleton Memoir manuscript collection. Mrs. Pendleton was born in October 1837, in Pitt County, North Carolina and attended school in Greenville as a girl. After graduating from high school, she married Robert Leckie Jones of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, in 1854. He died less than a year later, leaving her with a young daughter, Helen. After the Civil War Mrs. Jones moved to Warrenton. She taught school for a while at the Wilcox School and at Warrenton College. Later, she and Mrs. S. D. Twitty, established a private school for girls in her house. Each year, as she recounts in her memoir, the students in her schools produced an artistic or musical performance for the public. The program, above, is the only example in her collection. In 1872, Mrs. Jones married Major Arthur S. Pendleton, of Portsmouth, Virginia, a veteran of the Civil War. The couple, who resided in Warrenton, had two sons, Milo W. Pendleton, who died young, and Col. Arthur Pendleton, who later married Miss Sara Busbee, and in whose home Mrs. Pendleton lived her declining years. Mrs. Pendleton remained active throughout her life until only a few weeks prior to her death when she suffered a stroke. At the time of her death, on 9 April 1931 at age 93, she was the oldest person in Warrenton. Her funeral was attended by nearly the entire population of the community. In addition to her teaching activities Mrs. Pendleton was also active in a wide variety of patriotic, civic, and religious organizations. She taught Sunday School for 70 consecutive years and was active in the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She served as the UDC’s representative at the unveiling of the Robert E. Lee statue at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in 1925. Mrs. Pendleton’s photocopied memoir contains far more than a biographical account of her life. It also includes historical accounts of Warrenton and Warren County, its notable schools, churches, buildings and family homes. It features short biographical sketches of major military figures who visited and played a part in Warrenton’s history, including Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Fitzhugh Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, Edward C. Walthall, Wade Hampton, Matt W. Ransom, Robert Ransom and Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow; political figures including Dr. Charles D. McIver, and Gov. Charles B. Aycock, Among the histories of schools in Warrenton, are those of Warrenton Male Academy, Mordecai School, Falkner School, Miss Hannah Lee’s School, Miss Harriet Allen’s School, and many more. Mrs. Pendleton also recounts histories of all the churches of Warrenton, including the Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist churches. She provides brief histories of nearly two dozen private homes and other buildings in Warrenton, including the home of Thomas Howard Payne (author of “Home Sweet Home”), the Brick Spring House (home of Nathaniel Macon), and the Henry A. Boyd House. These brief handwritten accounts, written in a straightforward yet sprightly style, are legible and almost as easy to read as the original.
Brian Gottfried03/02/2013
Jonathan Dembo02/22/2013
The letter above, from President Richard M. Nixon to North Carolina Attorney General Robert Morgan, cites the nationwide wave of campus violence and disorders that followed the United States invasion of Cambodia in the Spring of 1970. Nixon also enclosed a copy of an article by Dr. Sidney Hook, who was a professor of philosophy at New York University was also the author of a recently published work entitled Academic Freedom and Academic Anarchy on the condition of higher education in America. Hook adapted his article from his recent statement to the President’s Commission on Campus Disorders. Hook’s article criticized higher education administrators and faculty who had quickly called in police authorities and laid out an approach to resolving the issue of campus disorders by placing the primary initial responsibility on college administrators and faculties and relegated the use of force as a last resort. Endorsing Hook’s approach, Nixon solicited Morgan’s thoughts on the subject. Nixon was only the most prominent of the many political leaders who also consulted Morgan at this time. Senator John L. McClellan, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures, who wanted to gain his support for his preferred legislation entitled A Bill to prohibit the disruption of federally assisted institutions of higher education (Senate Bill 2677), which was also intended to deal with campus disorders also wrote urging that he testify at the upcoming hearings, and enclosing a copy of S.B. 2677. Both Nixon and McClellan probably knew that Morgan was considering running for the U. S. Senate when his term as Attorney General ended and were anticipating working with him in the future. Among the other items located in the same file were various versions of a February 1969 memo from Morgan to Governor Robert W. Scott of North Carolina suggested procedures for responding to the takeover of buildings at North Carolina state universities and colleges. Morgan included in the file advice from Dr. William Friday, of the University of North Carolina; Dexter Watts, of the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and he even included an Open Letter to College Students from J. Edgar Hoover warning them against extremist, radical dissent. Despite Morgan’s support, McClellan’s bill did not become law. Four years later, Morgan did win a seat in the U. S. Senate and served until 1981.
John A. Tucker02/03/2013
[Thanks to Steve Rowland for this. I recall fondly the happier days, pretty much all my early life till I was 24.] February 1988 articles Footwear News Sears PLC chief hedges on possible Butler sale. (Butler Shoe Corp.) Footwear News | February 22, 1988 | Fallon, James; Tahmincioglu, Eve | Copyright Sears PLC chief hedges on possible Butler sale Responding to a report that Sears PLC plans to sell its Atlanta-based Butler Shoe Corp. and that store closures are imminent, Geoffrey Maitland Smith, chairman of Sears PLC, said, "There are plans afoot to do certain things, which we are investigating. "Closures are one of the possibilities open to us. We also have toyed with the idea of a management buyout. What I'm saying is that there are all sorts of things that could be in play." "There is no third party involved," he added, in reference to a report that New York-based investment bank Shearson Lehman Hutton has been involved in the effort. "Something happens there from time to time. I always say I'm a good listener." Lynn Kelly, president of Butler, confirmed that closures were definite, but in regard to the sale of Butler, he said, "That's news to me. I'd be alarmed to find that out. There are a tremendous amount of rumors. "As far as closing stores (goes), there is no question of negotiations (to close) unprofitable (locations). Some of the stores are very unprofitable, and others are profitable. I don't know of a retailer that isn't looking to close unprofitable stores. Normally, we close 20 stores because of leases coming up. "We have targeted 30 unprofitable stores to close over a 24-month period and replace those with at least that many in shopping centers where we don't have a good penetration." When asked about reports from a source close to Butler that the company had suffered a 1987 loss of $20 million, Kelly said, "That's not accurate," though he added that the company went through a restructuring and that it "had a difficult year." As for '87 sales, Kelly said, "There was a downturn in total sales in the fourth quarter, but the end-of-the-year figures were marginally ahead of last year." He added that business in January and February was "slightly ahead." p.s. Someone want to start a "Bultlers Veteran Site"? Allen Greenfield
T Rogerson01/23/2013
Rene Meyer Grimberg01/18/2013
Elmer E. Meyer Jr. passed away on Monday, June 18, 2012 in Washington DC. He had a 30-year career in higher education administration and a second 18-year career as a volunteer for the Smithsonian Institution. He was an Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dean of Students at Cornell University and finally Vice-Chancellor for Student Life at East Carolina University until retiring in 1989. He loved working as an advocate for students as the made they way through their college careers, but his favorite job was working at the Smithsonian. Elmer was a life-long big band jazz fan and a supporter of the ECU jazz program. After 2 years of declining health, Elmer E. Meyer passed away late Sunday evening at the Georgetown Retirement Center in DC. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Ramsay Meyer and his three children Marc Meyer, Megan Hartley, and Rene Meyer-Grimberg (as well as seven grandchildren). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice or to the ECU Jazz music program. to ECU Foundation. Checks should have the memo “Jazz Studies” (a/c 0197). Mail to: Nancy Ball ECU Development Office 2200 South Charles Boulevard Greenville, NC 27858 Online giving: Use the drop down box to go to: College of Fine Arts and Communication/ School of Music/ Jazz Studies. (They are adding Jazz Studies per your request for online giving – keep trying if it doesn’t function immediately as they need time to set it up)
Ben Malloy01/09/2013
Jonathan Dembo11/16/2012
Ed Joyner09/30/2012