Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Taylorsville Holds Second Annual Town Farm Picnic, 1940

From the October 10, 1940 issue of the Taylorsville Times
Extensive plans have been completed by the Taylorsville Rotary Club for the Second Annual Town Farm Picnic, which will be held on Thursday October 17th at 7:00 o’clock. This occasion again, will be held in the County School Bus Barn in Taylorsville. An interesting program has been worked out. Mr. Frank H. Jeter, Editor of the Extension Service of State College will be the principal speaker. Mr. Jeter is a very capable speaker and is noted for his witty talks. Mr. Ed K. Willis, District Governor of the Rotary Club is expected to be present.
Every man and his wife living in Alexander County are cordially invited to attend this picnic, and bring a basket and have a good will fellowship dinner together. This will enable people from all sections of the county to meet, and make new acquaintances and to rub elbows with those they already know. With the troubled times that prevail in the world today it is necessary that we bind ourselves closer together through friendship. So, let’s all of us leave our work, our business, our farms, for a couple of hours and really enjoy one grand evening.
Last year it was estimated that 400 were present for this gala event.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Morrill Act Set Up Land-Grant College System

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College
By I.O. Schaub, retired dean of the School of Agriculture, N.C. State College
Justin S. Morrill was born in Vermont in 1810. He was the son of a blacksmith and farmer and attended school in the traditional one-room, red school house. He had two terms in academies, corresponding to our present high school. However, he left school to become a clerk in a mercantile business, where he received a salary of $45 for the first year and $75 for the second. Later he became a partner with a friend in the operation of a store. His business prospered and finally he bought a farm and retired from business to manage the farm.
In 1844 Morrill became interested in politics and was elected to Congress in 1856. During his first year he introduced a resolution directing the Agricultural Committee to investigate the expediency of establishing agricultural schools similar to those at West Point and the Naval Academy. Congressman Keitt of South Carolina objected to the resolution and under the rules of the House at that time, this killed the bill.
Next year, in 1857, he introduced his first Land Grant Bill which contained most of the essential features of the later bills. Under this bill each state was to receive 30,000 acres of public lands for each senator and congressman representing the state. In most of the eastern states there was not sufficient public land to comply with the requirements. Accordingly his bill provided that in lieu of land within the state, the government would issue land script which was to be sold to private individuals and these in turn could make entry in the western states where there were immense areas of public domain. He further provided that any funds acquired from the sale of land or land script should be invested in securities and the income serve as a perpetual endowment of one or more colleges in each state where subjects related to agricultural and mechanical arts would be given equal recognition and prominence with classical studies.
He expressed his objectives as follows: “Let us have such colleges as may rightfully claim the authority of teachers to announce facts and fix laws and scatter broadcast that knowledge which will prove useful in building up a great nation.”
Morrill’s bill was opposed by nearly all Southern representatives as being unconstitutional. At that time, four years prior to the Civil War, the question of States’ Rights and Federal Domination was the outstanding issue in the political field. The same kind of argument is being advanced at the present time regarding issues of our day. It is not surprising, therefore, that most Southern representatives looked with suspicion on Morrill’s proposal.
Morrill’s bill was referred to the Committee on Public Lands and after four months of consideration was given an unfavorable report by Chairman Cobb of Alabama. However, a minority report was submitted by Congressman Walbridge of Michigan and on motion to postpone consideration of the bill, Morrill had the opportunity to make a speech. He pointed out that the “power of Congress to dispose of the public lands is plain, absolute, and unlimited.” He offset the argument of unconstitutionality by pointing out that a way had been found under the constitution to promote and protect commerce through a tariff, immense land grants had been made to the railroads, literary labor was protected through copyright, and inventions were encouraged through patents. Army and Navy officers were educated at the Federal academies, but encouragement to agriculture was withheld. In 1827, Kentucky was granted lands for the establishment of a deaf and dumb asylum. The bill was supported by Buchanan and Polk—then members of the House of Representatives.
After much parliamentary maneuvering, Morrill’s bill finally passed the House by a vote of 105 to 100, and later in the Senate by a vote of 25 to 22. However, when the bill reached the White House it was vetoed by President Buchanan who had supported the bill for the establishment of the deaf and dumb asylum in Kentucky. The President argued that the bill was extravagant and would deplete the treasury. It was impolitic in that it would encourage states to rely on the federal government for aid to which they were not entitled. It would be injurious to new states by forcing down the price of land. It was insufficient because the federal government had no power to force compliance. It was unjust because it would injure the established institutions, and finally it was unconstitutional because there was no grant of power to the federal government to expend public money for the benefit of the people in various states. The president’s veto killed the bill at that time.
For a number of years, prior to this period, a Mr. Turner of Illinois had advocated the establishment of an industrial university. He advocated the sale of public lands to get the necessary financial support. He continued his efforts after the presidential veto of the Morrill bill and during the campaign between Lincoln and Douglass he secured the promise of both candidates that if elected, they would sign the Morrill bill. Lincoln was elected president and the South seceded. This completely changed the complexion of Congress with the Republicans coming into power.
In December, 1861, Morrill reintroduced his bill in the House. It was referred to the Committee on Public Lands which again gave an unfavorable report. However, Senator Wade of Ohio introduced the bill in the Senate in May 1862 and his bill passed the Senate 32 to 7. When the bill reached the House, Morrill succeeded in getting a vote on the bill without having it referred to the committee and it passed 90 to 25. President Lincoln signed the bill and this led to the establishment of a Land Grant College in every state of the Union.
There were a number of provisions in the Morrill bill that had to be complied with by the respective states. Each state had to accept the provisions of the bill within two years. Southern states being in rebellion were not eligible. Subsequent amendments extended the period of acceptance so that finally all states complied. Under Morrill’s bill the state could establish one or more institutions and these would be new or part of established institutions.
Morrill stated that the bill was broad enough so that states could use it to the best advantage. He did not intend that they be just agricultural schools. He wanted schools of science but of college grade. He did not object to their being part of a classical college provided the sciences were given prominence.
Iowa was the first state to accept the provisions of the act. Others in the North followed rapidly and it was not until after the ending of the Civil War that the Southern states became eligible.
The disposition of the land and script varied widely and scarcely a state complied strictly with the provisions of the bill. Some held the land for higher prices while most sold within a year or more at fifty cents to one dollar per acre. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Illinois lost all of their investments and later these states had to replace these losses. Altogether, by 1923, some 10,928,295 acres of public land were received by the states and the total received from such sales amounted to $17,416,000.
North Carolina had two senators and seven representatives and not having sufficient public lands within its borders received 270,000 acres of script. The Legislature of 1866 accepted the provisions of the act and secured the script which was deposited with the State Treasury. Due to the low market value of land at that time, which was fifty cents per acre, the script was held for one year. In February, 1867, the legislature transferred the script to the University Board of Trustees at Chapel Hill and authorized that Board to sell as they saw fit. In August 1867, the Board contracted to sell all of the script to B.F. Lewis and Company of Detroit for fifty cents per acre. Lewis agreed to pay $10,000 cash and the balance as he in turn disposed of the script to private individuals. At the same Board meeting where the contract was signed with Lewis, it was voted to use 10 per cent of the receipts to pay off the indebtedness of the University. This was illegal under the terms of the Morrill Act but nothing was done about it.
The reconstruction Legislature of 1868 appointed a new Board of Trustees. This new Board made an effort to void the contract with Lewis but this effort was not successful. The Board did, however, receive $120,000 additional funds from Lewis and ordered the Treasurer of the Board to invest this money in U.S. Bonds. Eight days later a new meeting of the Board was called which rescinded the previous instructions to the Treasurer and authorized the purchase of North Carolina bonds. The Treasury secured $240,000 of North Carolina railroad bonds for $120,000. Within a few months, however, these bonds were worthless and the entire investment was lost. It would be interesting to know why the Board changed its mind within eight days from the purchase of U.S. Bonds to invest in practically worthless North Carolina bonds.
The subsequent Legislature elected a new Board including a number of members of the Board prior to 1868. The University had been closed due to lack of financial support. Friends of the University, realizing that the State had agreed to replace any Morrill funds that might be lost in any manner, memorialized the Legislature of 1875 to authorize the issuance of a perpetual certificate of indebtedness to the University bearing interest at 6 per cent on $125,000. After much parliamentary jockeying the bill finally passed the House by a majority of one. This was the first annual State appropriation to the University.
However, the act required the University to each agriculture and engineering and to that end the Board organized a College of Agriculture and a College of Engineering. Very few students enrolled in these courses and the records fail to show that there were any graduates in agriculture during the time that the University received the benefits of the Morrill Land Grant Act. North Carolina farm leaders, including Colonel L.K. Polk, were not satisfied with the courses offered. The University officials argued that they were complying with the law in that they were teaching subjects related to agriculture. Colonel Polk and his followers, however, wanted courses in applied science. Having determined in their own minds that they could not get such courses at Chapel Hill, they fought for the establishment of a new institution. They were successful with the Legislature of 1887 when the act was passed authorizing the establishment of an Agricultural and Mechanical College at Raleigh, and transferred to the institution the benefit of the funds received under the Morrill Land Grant Act.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ruth Current Named to N.C. Agriculture Hall of Fame

From an Oct. 7, 1976 press release from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture
RALEIGH--The late Miss Ruth A. Current was enshrined here Thursday in the North Carolina Agricultural Hall of Fame.
During her career Miss Current served as a dietician, home economics teacher and with the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service. In 1957, she was named assistant director of the Extension Service in charge of the state’s home economics program. She retired in 1961.
In presiding over the enshrinement, Agricultural Commissioner James A. Graham praised Miss Current for a lifetime of service to North Carolina agriculture through teaching, working with the young and instructing the people in the field of home economics.
“She was a grand lady, expert administrator, and a credit to her profession,” Graham said.
Miss Current’s education was broad. She studied at Meredith, Madison and Peabody Colleges and at Columbia and N.C. State University. In addition to home economics, she majored in sociology and adult education.
During her life the Rowan County native has received numerous recognitions and awards including Woman of the Year by the Progressive Farmer magazine, Carolina’s Farm Leader, Tarheel of the Week, Woman of the Year by Chi Omega Sorority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Superior Service Award.
Presenting the Hall of Fame citation were Mrs. Charles Graham, past president of the North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association; Miss Lorna Langley, state agent, home economics, emeritus, N.C. Agricultural Extension Service; and Mrs. Josephine Patterson, district Extension agent, N.C. Agricultural Extension Service.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rural School Children Being Shortchanged, 1936

“Our Rural School Problem” by Willard E. Givens, published in the October 1936 issue of The Nation’s Agriculturist
Thousands of our rural schools do not have sufficient funds to afford good educational opportunities. Our rural teachers are the most poorly paid public servants in the nation. When the richest nation on earth permits 7 million of its school children to be taught by a quarter million teachers who receive less than $750 per year, including 30,000 teachers who receive less than $450 per year, there is a need for an awakening of civic pride in the discharge of our obligations to children.
With 2,740,000 children of school age not in school at all, and another 2,745,000 who are attending schools in temporary buildings, there is a need for national attention to the problem of a fair opportunity to all of America’s children.
The rest of this article can be found on pages 6 and 14 of The Nation’s Agriculture.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wilkes County EH Winners and Officers Named, 1982

By Brenda M. Walker, as published in the Winter 1983 issue of Tar Heel Homemakers
Homemakers and guests from 17 Wilkes County Extension Homemaker Associations gathered October 26 for the annual Achievement Night and covered dish supper at the Wilkesboro United Methodist Church.
The Pores Knob Association was honored as the 1982 “Club of the Year.” Outstanding projects completed this year by the members were a Halloween party for the children; food and rummage sales with proceeds going to their community center, and assistance to the free blood pressure clinics in the county.
The award for Club Woman of the Year went to Clara Sibley, cultural arts leader for the past two years. She has taught lap-quilting classes, how to dry flowers and make your own arrangements, and served on the quilt and podium cloth committees.
The reading award was presented to the Ferguson EHA for reading and sharing reviews of 442 books.
The Garden Award was won by Hazel Warner for canning 400 quarts of fruits and vegetables and freezing over 600 containers for her family during 1982.
Outstanding Lesson Leaders were Brenda Walker for her leader lesson on breakfast foods and Edith Miller for her leader lesson on gardening.
The Hinshaw Association received the membership award for the most new members gained.
The new county officers installed for 1983-84 were Brenda Walker, president; Phyllis Pegg, first vice-president; Glenda Adams, second vice-president; Robin McGlamery, corresponding secretary; Mozelle Spainhour, recording secretary; Gladys McGlamery, treasurer; and Phyllis Blair, advisor.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Rebecca Green, a student at Appalachian State University, and her husband, Kenneth Green, drama technician instructor at Wilkes Community College. They performed excerpts from “The Rainmaker” by Richard N. Nash.
A special scholarship to help a needy student was presented to Wilkes Community College. This is an annual project given by Wilkes County Council.
Wilkes County Extension Homemakers during the 1982 completed a Dresden plate quilt which was raffled at the Wilkes County Apple Festival; made 44 lap robes and wheel chair skirts for patients in the nursing and rest homes in the county; made handmade bibs and urine bag covers for patients at the Veterans’ Hospital in Salisbury; contributed to “Save the Lighthouse” project; donated money for draperies for the new Sertoma 4-H Camp in Stokes County;  donated $250 to the new John A. Walker Community Center for which a seat will be named in their honor; promoted their cookbook, “Cooking With Wilkes County Extension Homemakers”; and volunteered service to the Wilkes Cancer Clinic, the Red Cross bloodmobiles, and free blood pressure clinics in the county.
The Wilkes County EH Council received the 1981 Gold Chip Award presented to the Blue Chip Division of the Northwest N.C. Development Association. This award is presented to only one woman’s club or organization in the 11-county area.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Summer Camp, 1971

By Jimmy Tart, 4-H Editor, N.C. State University, as published in the October 1971 issue of Extension News
Camp is a place where youngsters go to have a good time playing, swimming, learning about the environment and meeting new friends.
But for more than 3,650 North Carolina youths, camp was something more. The youngsters attended various types of camps where major emphasis was placed on foods and nutrition.
Some 34 Tar Heel counties held camps during the summer, ranging from one day to a week. While some counties held one-day countywide camps, Hoke had one-day sessions in nine communities. Moore conducted three-day camps in six communities. Three counties (Greene, Jones, and Lenoir) combined to send 123 youngsters to Camp Mitchell for a weekend June 26-28. Attendance in one-day camp  programs ranged from 18 to 486.
Most youngsters came from homes served by Extension program aides.
Camps were held at fairgrounds, city and state parks, recreational areas, private campgrounds and beach cottages, community buildings, youth centers, and Extension office buildings.
While most campers attended free, others paid from 10 to 50 cents per day, ranging up to $1 to $2 for more days. Transportation was usually provided free, using school activity and OEO buses and private cars.
In most instances, food was donated by the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA. Individuals, businesses, industries and civic organizations played a prominent role with financial contributions and in donating craft items and camp supplies.
Food was prepared and served by Extension Homemakers, church groups, junior and adult 4-H leaders and other volunteers. Caldwell had food catered by a local restaurant.
Classes were taught by Extension aides, agricultural and home economics agents, 4-H members and leaders, and local people.
The basic food groups were taught at most camps. Other classes included personal and social development, crafts, safety, electric, drugs, first aid and environment. Swimming and other recreational activities were offered as time and facilities permitted.
Other counties holding camps were Alamance, Alleghany, Ashe, Beaufort, Bladen, Burke, Cabarrus, Caswell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Columbus, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Lincoln, Macon, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Tyrrell, Union, Wake, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes and Yadkin.
When asked to indicate changes in future camps, agents said they would
--Group youngsters by ages (9-13; 14 and older) for classes, and perhaps even hold junior and senior camps.
--Limit the number of campers to 10 per adult counselor.
--Hold camps at several locations within the county but not on consecutive days or during the same week.
--Have camp last two or more days, preferably overnight and maybe on weekends.
--Have a class for parents who attend.
--Adjust camp schedules for local summer activities.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hurricane Hazel in North Carolina, 1954

Our State magazine has invited the public to post their memories of Hurricane Hazel online at http://www.ourstate.com/hazel-stories/. Post your own memories or read the stories posted by others.
According to a WRAL TV documentary (available online at http://www.wral.com/news/local/documentaries/story/1032176/), Hazel struck on Oct. 15, 1954. It was the only Category 4 hurricane to hit our state in the 20th century.
National Geographic has a story about Hazel, the worst hurricane in North Carolina, which can be read at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1014_041014_hurricane_hazel.html.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tribute to Ruth Current by Mrs. Gilbert English, 1976

Tribute to Ruth Current made at her portrait ceremony at the Jane S. McKimmon Center, October, 1976, by Mrs. Gilbert R. English
This opportunity to pay tribute to a great lady, I believe, means much to many this day. Miss Ruth Current was North Carolina’s first Lady in Leadership to some 50 to 6,000 Home Demonstration Club members and their families. As State Agent and Assistant Director, she served from 1937 to 1961.
The dedication and devotion which were so much a part of her work took her to all parts of the state to find, encourage, inspire people where they were to do better with what they had. Improved persons, home, communities, schools, churches, counties, areas—a better way of life for all were her goals.
In those years, rural women and their Home Agents were her treasurers. From her, dream-weaver that she was, they took heart and moved toward new achievements, attitudes, understanding; saw greater, broader realms of training and service attainable for themselves and those about them.
In fact, Miss Current literally practiced what the poet Robert Frost penned. He said:
                But I have promises to keep
                And miles to go before I sleep.
                And miles to go before I sleep.
She personified these paraphrased lines in actions and deeds. She might have said:
                But I have dreams to weave and reap,
                And miles to go before I sleep.
                And miles to go before I sleep.
And she did!
As State Leader, Ruth Current planned and toiled with her organization. Together they established statewide activities, programs, projects.
Beginning in 1938, the Reading Program expanded ideas for better living, presented a world of intriguing interests.
With improving access to libraries and bookmobiles, encouraged and aided by club members, reading tremendously influenced the ensuing 20 years. The 1940s and 1950s burst forth with statewide programs of:
  • Letter Friends
  • Assistance in establishing school lunch service
  • Cooperation during World War II with health and food requirements and collection of needed war commodities
  • Promotion of enriched corn meal legislation
  • Established building fund for adult education, resulting in seed money for this building
  • Entertained meeting of the National Home Demonstration Council
  • North Carolina Cookbook of and by the club members
  • Music program
  • United Nations study tours
  • Annual State Leadership awards
  • Arts and Crafts training and promotion
  • Attendance of organization officers and groups at Triennial meetings of Associated County Women of the World, Annual National Home Demonstration Councils, National Citizenship Conferences in Washington, D.C., National Leadership Training Workshops, National Safety meetings. And the list activities could continue.
Miss Current was adept at promoting participation. She would look at her staff and/or club members earnestly, pleasantly, but determinedly and say, “You Can Do It.” And they did!
There are those of you in the audience this morning who remember well certain assignments arranged by Miss Current in which you were involved. There were meetings with individuals or groups with which she had appointments or had had invitations—and sent you.
For instance, you have heard these greetings.
  • “Welcome!  We are glad you are here. Miss Current told us you would attend.” Interviews will be underway soon.
  • “Come In! Miss Current arranged for this.” TV taping will be coming up presently.
  •  “Good morning to you. Miss Current called to say you were taking her place.” Air time is 15 minutes away.
When contacts were made regarding schedules or duties she always said, “You Can Do It.”
To and from such assignments, you went in faith, did the best you could because she believed in you. Starry-eyed, inspired, you performed for her as Dag Hammerskjold mentioned in Markings. He wrote: “Never look down to test the group before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road.”
A few years after her retirement in 1961, Miss Current left us robed in red. Vivid, vibrant, a leader still! An inspiration to the numerous loved ones gathered for a final farewell, to continue their dreams and hers. To God, a Hymn of praise, “How Great Thou Art” rang through her home. And she was gone.
Her likes are not easily duplicated. Fortunate are those who find so wonderful a dream-weaver in their midst.
Today we are aware that many of her dreams—and ours—have come into being, are established. Others are still in the making. They stand to benefit, to bless the people of this state and beyond.
Serving as tributes to her memory are the fruits of her labors. The results of her influence and leadership remain and are cherished on the hills, in the valleys, across the level places in North Carolina and the Nation.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gov. Scott Praises Accomplishments of Extension Homemakers, 1970

Remarks of Gov. Robert Scott made to Extension Homemakers Club members gathered at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh to celebrate their organization’s 50th anniversary on Oct. 27, 1970.
Yes, you have come a long way. You are to be commended as an organization for your accomplishments over the past 50 years.
But we are still faced with many challenges that are of great importance to family life and to women. Let’s take a look together at some of them, starting with nutrition.
In spite of 50 years of progress we still have, in this state, some families who don’t have enough to eat. They don’t know how to make best use of foods donated by the Department of Agriculture or they don’t know how to use Food Stamps to best advantage.
These same families don’t have the kitchen equipment most of you take for granted—measuring cups, sauce pans, or fry pans. They don’t know how to conserve food. Or they don’t know how to protect what little they have from roaches or rats.
The Expanded Nutrition program that you women are lending a helping hand to, is making progress in these areas.
A vivid example of what I’m talking about occurred in Wayne County. A family there started with nothing and ended up with better food, better housing and better family relationships.
It didn’t happen overnight. It took a year of cooperation between the nutrition aide and the family.
The family of 12, with a 21-year-old sister as head of the house, was receiving commodity foods. The aide helped the girl make canisters from donated food cans to protect the foods from rats and bugs.
She gave the family recipes that called for donated foods and that suggested other low-cost foods that could be bought to insure well-balanced meals.
Next, she introduced the family to Food Stamps. She worked with them on meal planning and buying, so they could get the best value—nutrition-wise and money-wise—for their stamps.
The aide taught the girls how to can home-grown foods for later use.
The 21-year-old decided to improve the family’s living quarters, along with their food habits. So she painted the inside of the house and added inexpensive floor coverings and curtains.
One day she told the aide, “I can never forget the progress you helped me and my family achieve.”
There are many more stories like this one. In fact, more than 30,000 persons in 70 counties are being helped by the Expanded Nutrition program.
Let’s take a look at another challenge we have today—inadequate housing. It’s been estimated that four out of every 10 Tar Heel families live in substandard houses.
I suppose each of us has his own definition of what a substandard house is. Many of us no doubt feel that a substandard house is one that we wouldn’t want to live in. But, when I think of a substandard house, I think of one that is unpainted, or is without hot, running water, or is without a private, usable flush toilet, or is without a private bath or shower. A substandard house may also be unheated, or have a leaky roof, or a sagging floor, or a broken porch railing, or some broken window panes or no underpinning.
What does it mean to live in a substandard house? None of us would live in such a place if we could help it because we know that such housing is unhealthy, unsanitary, and quite uncomfortable.
Our problem of substandard housing is complex. It involves interest rates, water and sewer services, building codes, zoning ordinances, and a host of other factors. The tendency has been to postpone solving this problem.
I did not choose to postpone the job to another day or to leave it for another generation to solve. The 1969 General Assembly and I accepted the challenge by establishing the North Carolina Housing Corporation.
The women of this organization have accepted the challenge in their own way. Many of you have agreed to let your houses be demonstration houses—so that others in the area could get building and furnishings ideas. You have worked to decorate six-room houses and apartments in low-income developments on budgets of $1,000 or less.
Families with low- to moderate-incomes could visit these places to see for themselves that it is possible to have adequate housing on a shoestring.
You have helped organize county committees to sponsor better housing; you have encouraged persons in our communities to become familiar with laws and zoning codes.
But there is still a lot more work to be done. I believe we can work together, using your resources and ours, to do even more.
Let’s take a look at another real problem. At all levels of income, some North Carolina families are having trouble managing their resources. For many families, it’s a matter of stretching an inadequate income to cover the necessities of life.
For other families, even when money is adequate, there’s a problem of making the wisest choices for use of money.
The pressures of advertising and desire of getting or hanging on to social status can lead to overspending and excessive use of credit without regard to the costs involved.
The results: personal bankruptcies in this state are at an all-time high.
The type of educational materials you have available, the year-long emphasis you placed on consumer competence, and the “Consumerama” ’70 program in Winston-Salem that reached over 10,000 peolple, were all valiant attempts to share your know-how with others.
Another subject we are vitally interested in these days is a category I believe you Extension Homemakers call family relations.
It includes the population explosion, women working outside the home, parent-child relationships, divorce, aging, environment, mental health—the whole gamut. All of these areas of concern are most important.
But today I shall confine my remarks to two areas: the status of women and the protection of the environment.
First, the status of women. To delve into this subject you have to take a few minutes to look at some recent trends and projections and at some of the economic and social changes that are occurring.
For example, over the past 25 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women in paid employment and volunteer work.
Because today women live longer than ever before. Those who marry tend to have completed the child-rearing process at an earlier age than did their mothers and grandmothers. And, yes, women seem to be getting more independent.
This reminds me of the story of two suffragettes in England. One was a young woman. Both were jailed over their zealousness for the cause. They were put in adjoining cells.
The older woman, somewhat accustomed to the situation, heard the younger woman sobbing. She knocked on the wall that divided the two cells and shouted, “There, there dear, don’t cry. Put your trust in God. She will protect you.”
It has been predicted that by 1980, 42 percent of all women over the age of 16 will be in the labor force. Statistics show that nine out of 10 women will hold jobs at some point in their lives, thus contributing significantly to the support of their families.
Historically, the South has had limited economic resources, but now this region shows the fastest rate of growth in the country. And thus, the “New South” will need more and more women power in the professional and technical areas.
More emphasis will have to be placed on encouraging women to enter training programs that will not lead just to the traditional occupations of women, such as teaching and nursing.
Far too many women are still concentrated in low-skilled, low-paid jobs. They are not yet fully realizing and utilizing their talents and abilities.
There will be a need for more child care programs for working mothers. The number of women workers is expected to increase faster than that of men workers in the years ahead, just as it has over several decades.
It is conservatively estimated that 40 percent of all married women in North Carolina work outside the home.
The question no longer seems to be, “Should a woman work outside the home?” It appears to be, “What can be done to help women best serve the two roles they will have—the traditional one of wife and mother and the newer, but fairly common role of career woman?”
Members of your organization have helped many women to cope with their dual demands and have taken an active interest in child care centers and kindergartens.
Many middle-aged women enter the labor force when their children are grown or in school. These women could benefit from continuing education and special training programs.
Often women have interrupted their education for marriage and child rearing. Many need to update their skills before returning to paid employment. Others seek cultural enrichment. Let us help them achieve their aims.
There is one more problem that relates to the family. That is the environmental problem, which involves air, water, soil, and noise pollution. It involves junk cars and littered streets. It involves legal questions, population patterns, land-use questions. It involves technology and a great deal of money.
There is no doubt in my mind that every man, woman, and child in this country will have to pay the costs to improve our environment. These costs will be high. But I believe our people and our economy can bear these costs.
As long as there are people around, there will be some pollution. We cannot eliminate pollution. But we can and should try to control pollution and to reduce it as much as possible.
As we plan and prepare for the advent of a new century, less than 30 years away, I suggest that we ask ourselves if what we do today will be good for our children and our grandchildren tomorrow.
I want these future generations to say that we planned well and that we acted wisely. There is no better legacy we can leave them.
Some of you have already taken leadership roles in your community to help improve the environment and to slow down pollution. Some of you are serving on statewide committees, such as the Governor’s Beautification Committee.
What I have related to you today is a part, and only a part of some of the challenges facing family live now and in the future. Let us meet these challenges, by working together, using your resources and ours.
We in government need your help. We need to hear from leaders, such as you, because we know your particular needs and problems far better than we do.
As I said in my Inaugural Address, the strength of North Carolina is in its people—its men, women, and children. I am dedicated to their advancement.
Thank you.
Robert W. “Bob” Scott was governor of North Carolina from 1969-1973. Scott was born in Haw River and was a dairy farmer. He was also the son of N.C. Gov. W. Kerr Scott and the grandson and nephew of state legislators.  He was president of the N.C. Community College System from 1983-1995. His daughter, Meg Scott Phipps, was elected North Carolina’s commissioner of agriculture in 2001.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Genevieve Greenlee's Work Praised, 1971

From the October 1971 issue of Extension News, a newsletter for employees of the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service
Mrs. Genevieve Greenlee, a tireless worker on behalf of the disadvantaged, will retire October 31 as a housing and house furnishings specialist.
Mrs. Greenlee began her Extension career as a home demonstration agent in New Hanover County in 1943. She transferred to Cumberland County a year later and became a specialist in 1945.
Mrs. Greenlee has won wide recognition for her better bedding program, which has helped thousands of poor families. She has also concerned herself with storage problems of families enrolled in the Expanded Nutrition Program and has given much attention to Extension techniques in working with the poor.
When she was nominated for the Superior Service Award, a statement was made that, “It is difficult to single out any one attribute which accounts for the success of Mrs. Greenlee’s leadership. One of the most inspiring is her friendly manner and willingness to help others. She uses finesse in delicate and difficult situations, and she has a knack for establishing an atmosphere of rapport and informality.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sarah Nixon, An Outstanding Extension Homemaker

From a letter nominating Sarah Nixon, Gaston County Extension Homemakers, for an award. Sarah Nixon is probably most widely known editor of Tar Heel Homemaker. To see another post about Sarah..this one with photos…go to http://ruralnchistory.blogspot.com/2011/06/scholarship-winner-nicole-rudisill-and.html
At least 25,000 North Carolina Extension Homemakers know and love Sarah Nixon. Sarah was one of the very first members of our State Association to receive a Life Membership. She has been a working, giving, supporting, caring member all of her life. She serves her local community with the same zest and zeal that she gives to the larger district, state, national, and international leadership opportunities that come her way.
I came to know Sarah shortly after I became an Extension Homemaker in 1956 at the district level, then as we both progressed to the state level, our paths crossed more often. Sarah and I both served as President of the North Carolina Extension Association, and on the Steering Committee which was appointed in 1985 to plan and execute a five day meeting of the National Extension Homemaker Association which was held in Charlotte, NC, in July of 1988. During these three years Sarah and I became even closer friends. I found out very soon that if I needed something done in the Charlotte area, Sarah could get it accomplished. Sarah was so willing to do what the task required, regardless of how busy she was with her own life. Hosting 3,015 Extension Homemakers from across these United States for five days was no easy task, but we got the job done in first class style. This was the largest conference the city of Charlotte and the National Extension Homemakers had ever had. Sarah and I traveled together to Kenya, East Africa, in 1977 as voting delegates to the triennial meeting of The Associated Country Women of The World. Sarah is an ambassador of good will and has created many lasting worldwide friendships. Sarah holds a life membership in this organization and recently attended the triennial meeting held in The Netherlands.
Sarah Nixon is deserving of any recognition that might come her way. Sarah is a quiet person, doing every day something to make this world a better place. I hope I have conveyed to you the esteem the North Carolina Extension Homemakers hold for Sarah Nixon. She is the “jewel” among us, and we are all proud to be associated with her in this volunteer organization.
                Sincerely yours, Mrs. Elmer B. Lagg, Past President, North Carolina Extension Homemakers

Friday, October 19, 2012

Extension News, October 1971

Extension News Across the State, October 1971
Five county home economics agents received distinguished service awards at the National Association of Extension Home Economists’ annual meeting, October 1.
  • Miss Martha B. Edmondson, Durham County, in Extension for 14 years, was cited for her outstanding programs in housing and house furnishings and in family relations.
  • Miss Helen McCoy Payne was honored for her ability to develop an outstanding housing and foods and nutrition program for low-income families in Caswell County.
  • Mrs. Jane H. Ross, Bladen County, was cited for her special ability to develop leadership in county adults and youths.
  • Mrs. Gladys B. White was honored for her ability to help people to help themselves in the two counties in which she worked: Pamlico and Chowan. She has excelled in house furnishings and crafts.
  • Mrs. Natalie P. Wimberley, an agent with more than 23 years of service, was recognized for her skill in working with the disadvantaged. She has trained aides for the Raleigh Housing Authority, OEO, WIN, Headstart and GROW, and has lead a strong home management program for families of various income levels.
Jack Cullipher, associate agricultural agent in Bladen County, was awarded the Geigy Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to Agriculture at the National County Agricultural Agents Association meeting.
Cullipher and H.C. “Gene” McCall, agricultural agent in Haywood County, will be receiving Extension agent awards from the N.C. Irrigation Society when that organization meets in November.
Extension Director George Hyatt Jr. was a member of a five-man study team which recently spent three weeks evaluating agricultural extension and research in the newly formed African nation of Ghana. The study was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences.
Clay has become the first county to meet its goal under the new North Carolina 4-H Development Fund Drive, mailing a check for $1,000 to Raleigh on Sept. 4.
The money was raised in just two months as “an awful lot of people learned more about 4-H,” according to Clay Agricultural Agent George Bowers. “We began the drive by calling a meeting of 10 key leaders. A lot of questions were asked about the uses that would be made of the money. After we explained, the drive went over well.”
Leading the drive was Bob Penland, a retired farmer, who chaired the committee. Other leaders included Jerome Smith, farmer; Ray Rogers, druggist; Mrs. Evelyn Groves, bank teller; Wallace Smith, school teacher; Mrs. Irma McClure, homemaker; Steve England, 4-H’er; Col. Wayne West, U.S. Army, retired; Neal Rogers, retired county accountant; and Perry Gribble, retired real estate dealer.
The new Development Fund Drive has a statewide goal of $750,000. The money will be used to support camping, leadership development, program development, the National 4-H Center, and IFYE.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dean of Agriculture Talks to College Editors, 1924

By C. Larsen, Dean of Agriculture, South Dakota State College; The A.C.E., American Association of Agricultural College Editors, October 1924
Since the agricultural depression fell upon this country four years ago this summer, the entire nation has come to recognize that the farmers’ problems were real and not artificial. There has grown up in the city a very wholesome respect for the true condition of agriculture and every one has come to fully realize that urban prosperity on a substantial basis depends largely upon agricultural prosperity. We not only make this statement but we believe it.
Although there has been this general recognition of the true plight of the American farmer, I cannot help but feel that there will always be a conflict between city and the country as there naturally is between producer and consumer, not only of agricultural products but of all products. Therefore, I say advisedly and without elaboration that one of the newer and chief functions of the press service is to sell agriculture, not to farmers but to the consumer.
We have made substantial progress along this line during the past year, due largely to the eagerness which commercial, financial, and the general magazines have sought stories on agriculture. As I stated before a great deal of time has been spent by Press Service writers during the past year in making special contact sand we expect to continue this line of effort in the future. One writer, for instance, has averaged more than one column a week in the Wall Street Journal. Another person has spent considerable time in writing special articles on agricultural economics  for general magazines, and at least 90 per cent of my time is taken up in direct contact with newspaper correspondents and special writers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

4-H Clubs Camp on Braswell Farm, 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh
A camping program for Negro 4-H Club members was conducted this summer on the M.C. Braswell farm by T.J. Pearsall, director of the farm, in cooperation with Extension agents in Nash and Edgecombe counties.
A group from Nash attended the first two days and a similar group from Edgecombe the second two days. The mornings were devoted to subject-matter instruction, and the afternoons were taken up with group singing, fishing, and other recreational activities. A free dinner was served the visitors each day.
W.C. Cooper, Negro 4-H Club specialist, participated in the program.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Extension Office Move, 1952

By Frank Jeter, Extension Editor, in the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh
After years of laboring in various dingy basements here and there over the State College campus, the Department of Publications is at long last to be allowed a glimpse of sunlight in a few above ground offices where molds and dampness are brushed away by the free circulation of fresh air. Word comes that the Department shall have a few offices on the first floor of Ricks Hall.
Don’t get us wrong…we have been happy where we were. In fact, those who will be moved upstairs would prefer to stay together as they are, but progress must not be stayed. Not that our meager progress in any way compares to the plush new buildings constructed for our Agronomy, Poultry, Horticulture and Forestry Department. We do understand, however, that the old offices we are to inherit are to be cleaned and perhaps the floors will be polished. We do not hope, for instance, to reach the happy situations we viewed on the trip of inspection through the Agronomy Building on the occasion of their open house. Nor would we aspire to the regal offices about which we hear so many vague rumors in the School of Engineering.
Printer’s ink, heavy paper and crank case grease cups do not permit of such elegance on our part. Nevertheless, the young ladies who toil daily in the Department of Publications are intrigued to know that they may not perhaps in the future have to climb three stories to the nearest rest room, or that the envelopes which they use will not have to be pried open for each mailing because of the damp rooms in which they of necessity have been stored.
Dr. Bill Colwell and his staff held a successful open house in the new Agronomy Building and we share with him and his associates a great pride in the fact that this hall has been named for the late Charles Burgess Williams, for so many years the head of the Agronomy Department and one-time Dean of the School of Agriculture and Director of its Experiment Station.
Naming the walnut-paneled seminar room for Mrs. Katherine McKimmon is a deserved honor and those of us who have worked with Mrs. McKimmon are delighted that her name will be associated with the Department of Agronomy in such an appropriate fashion during the years to come.

Monday, October 15, 2012

4-H Pledge Song Composed by Raleigh Organist, 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh
Dedicated to L.R. Harrill, State 4-H Club leader, the 4-H club pledge song has just been published and copyrighted by the National Committee on Boys and Girls Club Work, Inc., with headquarters in Chicago.
Dr. Frederick Stanley Smith, organist and choirmaster of Christ Church in Raleigh, composed the work.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Controlling Pine Tree Beetles and Peach Tree Borers in 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, October 14, 1946
Mecklenburg farmers have become alarmed over the presence of the pine beetle in their farm woodlands. This is a serious pest, and the W.D. (Peavine) Reynolds says it seems to be spreading. This tiny beetle kills healthy, vigorous pines of all ages and of all kinds coming within its range. It attacks the middle and upper portions of the trees, destroying the soft inner bark through which the tree gets its nourishment, and sometimes it seems that the weather has a lot to do with its spread.
For instance, after abnormally dry weather, such as occurred in Mecklenburg this summer, the pine beetle will be found to spread rapidly. Then, when the drouth is broken by normal or heavy rainfall, the beetles disappear. Low winter temperatures also will hold them in check, but forestry authorities say that this little pest is responsible for more periodic devastation of southern pine trees than any other ting. In one single epidemic, it has killed more than $2 million worth of trees.
There is no way, known now, to poison the pest and the best way in which to control the pest is to take out any dead or broken trees. If trees should become damaged in summer by lightening or windstorms, it would be well to remove the trees, destroying the limbs and tops, and knock the bark off the stump so that the beetle cannot get a start in your pines. This is good insurance in all parts of the state.
By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, October 21, 1946
Eastern Carolina peach orchard owners have begun to treat their trees for the borer. It is in this treatment administered in October that the peach tree borers are killed before they can do much damage to the trees. Growers are using both Pdbenzene or Ethelene dichloride and both of these materials can be secured at the local drug store. The material should be used according to directions given on the package and is applied on the ground near the truck of the tree. Then two or three shovels of dirt should be mounded over the chemical so that the fumes will spread through the ground and kill the borers.
Dr. Clyde F. Smith, associate entomologist of the Experiment Station, has prepared an interesting little publication telling exactly how to control these peach tree borers. The booklet is well illustrated and those peach tree growers who may desire a copy can get one free of charge on application to the Agriculture Editor at State College.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NC Transportation Described in Federal Writers' Project Book

From North Carolina: a guide to the Old North State, a Federal Writers’ Project book, which is online at http://books.google.com/books?id=dQDwh9Ep6jAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

Of the principal rivers of the state, the Meherrin is navigable from its mouth on the Chowan River to Murfreesboro; the Chowan, between Albemarle Sound and the confluence of Nottoway and Blackwater Rivers; the Roanoke, between the mouth and Hamilton; the Pamlico and Tar, from the mouth to Washington (2.6-foot channel at Greenville); the Neuse to a point 23 miles above New Bern. Since the time of the early settlements the Cape Fear River was navigable to Fayetteville, a distance of 115 miles above Wilmington. In 1923 navigation to Fayetteville was abandoned, but in 1936 the channel was deepened and new locks were constructed so that the river affords a channel 27 feet above the ocean bar, 30 feet deep to Wilmington, 19 feet deep to a point 9 miles above Wilmington, and 9 feet to the head of navigation at Fayetteville.
From Colonial times, Wilmington was the principal port, since the channel was deepened the city has become an important point for distribution of gasoline and other petroleum products and for a large export trade. Construction of great piers and deepening of the channel at Morehead City in 1935-37 have made the port available to large ships that may arrive, dock, and depart under their own power. Elizabeth City enjoys a thriving trade on the inner course of the Intracoastal Waterway and along the Pasquotank River from Albemarle Sound.
In the early days travel by land was more difficult than by water. Efforts at road building in eastern Carolina were hampered by the numerous creeks, rivers, and swamps. Yet many roads were made in the 18th century in both the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont. From north to south a highway ran through Edenton, Bath, New Bern, Wilmington, and Brunswick. Bricknell says that the road “from Edenton to Virginia” was “broad and convenient, for all sorts of carriages, such as coaches, chaises, wagons, and carts, and especially for horsemen.”
The Northeast Branch of the Cape Fear was crossed by a bridge which, according to Janet Schaw, “opens at the middle to both sides and rises by pullies, so as to suffer ships to pass under it.” This was Herons Bridge, one of the few drawbridges in the Colonies. A later 18th-century road ran north and south from Halifax to Tarboro and another went to Cross Creek (now Fayetteville).
A constant stream of families moving from Pennsylvania and Maryland to North Carolina followed the “upper road” through the mountains or the “lower road” across the Coastal Plain. They traveled in large parties, camping out at night, and buying food from farmers along the way. Some of the men of the party, on horseback or on foot, preceded the wagons to clear the way, others followed as rear guard.
A party of Moravians moving from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to take up their lands in Piedmont North Carolina, followed the difficult upper road along the Blue Ridge. In their diary the Moravians recorded that “the road sloped so that we could hardly keep the wagon from slipping over the edge of the mountain and we had to use the tackle frequently.” Another party of Moravians came down by the lower road, “bad in many places it is true, but far easier to travel.”
The few taverns in 18th-century North Carolina generally were described by travelers as “wretched,” yet the state made an effort to regulate them. Before 1741 tavern keepers had to obtain licenses from the Governor, and after that form the county court. The law specified that the tavern keeper setup plain signs and provide “good and sufficient houses, lodging, and entertainment for travelers, their servants and horses.”
However, there were a few excellent taverns and coffee houses. One at Bute Courthouse was run by Jethro Sumner, a Revolutionary soldier. Another, the Horniblow Taverns of Edenton, was a gathering place for lawyers, and the center of community discussions of law, politics, and literature. At Salem was a good tavern, built by the Moravians as early as 1772, and operated by the church. The landlord was instructed to treat his guests with “kindness and cordiality, but not to encourage them to be intemperate,” and to behave so that the guests could tell “that we are an honest and a Christian people, such as they have never before found in a tavern.”
At the end of the 18th century, horseback was still the best means of travel. A man with a good horse could average 35 miles a day, passing through rivers, swamps, and marshes that would have halted any vehicle. Four-wheeled wagons drawn by two or four horses carried the produce of planters and the wares of merchants. The Moravians in the Piedmont section, who carried on an extensive trade with Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and with the coast towns of the Carolinas, required from 25 to 30 days to make the return trip by wagon from Charles Town to Salem, averaging about 18 miles a day.
By 1789 a stagecoach was running between Washington and Edenton, and between Edenton and Suffolk, Virginia. In the early 19th century there were regular lines connecting all important towns, and over these the coaches usually ran three times a week. A letter to Governor Morehead in 1949 complains that the cost of a journey from Charlotte to Goldsboro, 210 miles, is $23, while in Georgia or South Carolina the same distance could be covered for $5. As early as 1925, a line of United States mail coaches with two stages a week started at Fredericksburg, Virginia, passed through North Carolina by way of Greensboro, Salisbury, and Charlotte, and went on to Milledgeville, Georgia, traversing 586 miles in 11 days.
Toll roads, operated by private companies, had been in use for many years when North Carolina began in the 1850s to build plank roads. Following an experiment in Canada in 1934, a veritable fever for building plank roads developed in the United States. In North Carolina the roads were mostly constructed by private companies and operated as toll roads. The principal plank roads radiated from Fayetteville, a commercial point on the Cape Fear River, and longest and most important of these was the road from Fayetteville via Salem to Bethania, a distance of 129 miles. Fifteen tollhouses on the road collected tolls as follows: ½ cent per mile for man on horseback; 1 cent for one-horse vehicle; 2 cents for two-horse team; 3 cents for three-horse team; 4 cents for six-horse team. In 1852, there were 32 plant roads in the state. By the middle 1950s the North Carolina and Western Carolina Railroads having penetrated far into the Piedmont, began to carry produce to markets, and by 1860 the plant roads had practically disappeared.
Prior to 1855 public roads were laid out and maintained by local authorities in small road districts. The roads were mainly routes and cannot be said to have been built, but only cleared of obstructions. The method of upkeep was to require labor, generally six days a week, of all able-bodied men, slaves as well as freemen. Any slave owner who should have as many as three slaves to send out for road work was excused from performing the service himself. Taxes were levied for bridges only.
The first departure from the old labor-tax method took place in 1895, but at the opening of the 20th century the old method of road upkeep had been abandoned in only two counties in the state. About one-fourth of the counties had supplemented the labor-tax method with special road taxes and improved methods. Mecklenburg was the first county to establish a county road system, and for many years had the best roads in the state. They were built by convict labor at a cost of from $2,700 to $4,000 per mile, including the care and feeding of the convicts. Buncombe and Guilford Counties were next to follow with county systems.
About 1900 the good roads movement received a great impetus from the establishment of rural free delivery of mail, and the farmers, who as a class had opposed the movement, became converted by the prospect of a daily visit from the mail carrier.
In October 1901 a Good Roads Train, one of several operating in the United States that year, was started by the Southern Railroad Company from Alexander, Virginia. Stops were made at Winston-Salem and Asheville in the fall, and at Raleigh in February. Road conventions were held in each of the towns, where Governor Aycock and other leading citizens addressed enthusiastic audiences. At a mammoth convention in Raleigh the crowning event was the organization of the North Carolina Good Roads Association, which became the focal point of the movement.
In 1911 the legislature appointed a central highway committee which was to get the counties to cooperate in routing a highway from Morehead City through Raleigh, Greensboro, Salisbury, and Asheville to the Tennessee Line. The route followed the line of a railroad built about the middle of the previous century. Today that roundabout course is closely followed by the excellent US 70.
The importance of the automobile in the story of road building can scarcely be overestimated, as modern public roads are primarily motor highways. In 1913 there were 10,000 motor vehicles in the state; in 1919 there were 109,000. Not only was public sentiment for good roads greatly increased by the increasing number of automobiles, but the whole purpose of road building was changed, and the county as an administrative unit was found to be inadequate. License fees and gasoline taxes brought in new sources of revenue.
The year 1919 stands out in North Carolina road history; in that year much larger sums were appropriated to match increased federal allotments, and Frank Page was appointed chairman of the State Highway Commission. During the 10 years he was in office, Mr. Page served with marked ability and integrity. The 1919 program still adhered to the county maintenance plan, aided by state and federal funds.
Beginning in 1921, the state took sole responsibility for construction and maintenance of a system of hard-surface highways to connect all county seats. The change in public opinion that made possible a bond issue of $50 million for this purpose was partly due to the industrial development of the World War period. In eight years a primary highway system of 7,500 miles was built, with all main routs constructed of concrete or asphalt. In 1933 the state assumed full responsibility for maintaining the entire secondary road system, constituting about 4,500 miles. In 1938, North Carolina had 10,762 miles of numbered highways which constituted the state highway system, and 48,216 miles of improved county roads. A notable activity of the last few years has been the building or improvement of numerous farm-to-market roads with the aid of federal funds.
Agitation for railroads began in 1828 when Dr. Joseph Caldwell, president of the State university, proposed that a line be built from Beaufort and New Bern to the Tennessee Line. The state was divided over this proposal, however, and no such railroad was commenced for 20 years. The Raleigh Experimental Railroad, a mile and a half long, was the first to be constructed (1833) and was successfully used to move stone for rebuilding the capital. Horse power appears to have been used.
Ten railroads were chartered by the general assembly of 1833-34, only two of which were constructed: the Wilmington & Raleigh and the Raleigh & Gaston, both completed in 1840. The Wilmington & Raleigh was 161.5 miles long, and was reported to be the longest railroad in the world at the time. Rails were of heart pine faced with iron strips. The road cost nearly $2 million and was built by private enterprise.
As a result of state aid in the construction of the more important routes, the central part of North Carolina is now well provided with railroad facilities, both for north and south trunk lines and short haul lines. North Carolina commerce is now handled through home ports to any considerable extent; hence, there is no east-west railroad based upon the existence of an adequate port, and the state suffers from high freight rates to and from the East and Middle West. North Carolina is served (1939) by 4 trunk lines and some 30 independent lines with a total trackage of 4,800 lines.
Asheville had the first electric street railway in North Carolina, its initial line being built in 1889. Similar systems were established soon after in other large cities. In 1934 streetcars began giving way to buses throughout the state; since then a few trackless trolleys have been installed.
Bus transportation had begun in 1922, when the Carolina Motor Company operated without a charter between Raleigh and Durham. The first chartered bus company was the Highway Motor Transit Company of Goldsboro, organized in 1925, operating between Raleigh and Wilmington. In 1939, 24 bus companies were serving the state, under the supervision of the State Utilities Commission. There are approximately 5,000 miles of bus lines in the state.
North Carolina is crossed by two regular mail and passenger air routes, operated by Eastern Air Lines. On the New York to Miami route, Raleigh is the only stop between Washington and Charleston. The New York to New Orleans route has airports at Greensboro and Charlotte. There are 20 airports in the state; 13 are municipal, 6 commercial, and 1 military. Six airports—Charlotte, Greensboro, Pope Field (Fort Bragg), Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Winston-Salem—are equipped for night flying, as are the three intermediate landing fields at Lexington, Maxton, and Warrenton. In addition there are five auxiliary landing fields. Radio range beacons are operated at Raleigh and Greensboro. Seaplane anchorages are at Edenton and Ocracoke.
In 1939 the United States Coast Guard had under construction at Elizabeth City an air base with a mile of water frontage on Pasquotank River. This will be the midway Coast Guard air base between Cape May, New Jersey, and Charleston, South Carolina.