Week in NC History – The Daily Advance

30July 2020

Asheville Fascist and Presidential Prospect William Dudley Pelley

On July 30, 1965, American fascist and anti-Semite William Dudley Pelley passed away. A writer, author and film writer from Massachusetts, he relied on politics and religious beliefs after a near-death experience and the Great Depression.

He spent the 1930s in Asheville where he established his “Freedom Faith,” a combination of components of Christianity, fascism, nationalism, theocracy and socialism. In Asheville, he established Galahad Press, through which he released his extreme magazine New Liberator. In 1932, he established Galahad College where he further promoted his political and financial theories.

In 1933, Pelley established the Silver Legion of America, much better referred to as the “Silver Shirts,” an organization designed on Hitler’s Brown T-shirts. He ran for president in 1936 as a prospect of the Christian Celebration.

Founded guilty of scams in North Carolina, Pelley transferred to Indiana in 1940. Detained in 1942 and charged with sedition and treason, he spent the rest of the 1940s in federal jail. After his release in 1952, he lived the rest of his life in Noblesville, Ind., establishing and publishing on another religious philosophy called “Soulcraft,” which was based on UFOs and later on his noted contact with souls of well-known historical figures.

NCSU Alumni Ought To Recognize D.H. Hill’s Name

On July 31, 1924, kept in mind academic Daniel Harvey Hill, Jr. passed away.

Born in Davidson in January 1859 and called after his father, D.H. Hill, a Confederate basic, Hill earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Davidson College and hung around teaching at Georgia Military College before joining the very first professors at what’s now N.C. State University as an English professor in 1889. He would remain on at the Raleigh university for 29 years.

At N.C. State, Hill was instrumental in assisting the budding college grow. In addition to his duties on the English professors, Hill worked as the college’s bursar, accountant and secretary of the professors. He assisted start the library at N.C. State and acted as the school’s first librarian on a part-time basis for 10 years.

Hill was chosen N.C. State’s vice president in 1905 and served as its president from 1908 to1916.

An active author and historian, Hill penned the North Carolina volume for the 1899 series Confederate Military History. He went on to write history books for youths, a textbook on farming and a two-volume history of North Carolina during the Civil War.

The D. H. Hill Library, the main library on the N.C. State school, is named in his honor.

Lowe’s and Homegrown Home Enhancement

On August 1, 1952, Lowe’s Home Improvement was incorporated.

The chain can trace its roots to 1921 when I. S. Lowe established a hardware shop in North Wilkesboro. His son, Jim Lowe, and son-in-law, Carl Buchan, took over the shop after his death, but the 2 disagreed on whether to broaden business, and Buchan ultimately purchased out Lowe.

Buchan acknowledged the post-World War II building boom that was coming to the county, and narrowed Lowe’s focus to offering just hardware, appliances and building products (at the time hardware shops tending to offer a great deal of general product). He rapidly connected the company’s reputation to low prices, buying items directly from makers and operating on extremely slim revenue margins to keep expenses.

Buchan’s model took off, and by 1960, Lowe’s had 15 stores and $30 million in annual sales. The business continued to grow rapidly in the 1960s and 70s by concentrating on offering mostly to professionals. After a new chairman took control of in 1978, the hardware chain began marketing straight to the public.

Still based in North Carolina, Lowe’s is among the country’s 50 biggest business, according to Fortune. It operates nearly 2,000 stores throughout the United States and Canada, and had incomes of more than $52 billion in 2014.

Legendary Percy Flowers, “King of the Moonshiners”

On August 2, 1958, the Saturday Night Post profiled Percy Flowers of Johnston County, labeling him the “King of the Moonshiners.” Throughout his career, Flowers handled to stay simply out of reach of the law and developed a credibility as a local Robin Hood.

Born in 1903, Flowers grew corn and tobacco on his almost 5,000 acres, like many others in region did. Unlike most others, he began to utilize some of his corn for making prohibited alcohol, hiding the stills and spirits in his tobacco barns.

Flowers’ first brush with the law came in 1935 when he and his bros attacked a federal treasury agent. His brothers served time for the incident, but Flowers was sprung after only 3 days when a judge remained his sentence. His lawyer argued that 22 sharecropper households were dependent on Flowers for their income.

A bigger bust can be found in 1957 when agents searched and padlocked his shop, seizing his safe and its contents which reputedly included big quantities of money. The jury deadlocked over the charges but the judge found Flowers guilty of contempt for openly berating another agent in the court house lobby. 6 months in the federal penitentiary followed, the longest sentence he dealt with.

Flowers farmed well into the 1970s, and he died in 1982.

Bearded Lady, Included in Freaks, at Circuses

On August 3, 1940, an article about Wilmington native Woman Olga, considered by many to be the world’s biggest bearded girl, was released in The New Yorker.

The profile, composed by literary journalist Joseph Mitchell, himself a native North Carolinian, stated with a sweet solemnity Girl Olga’s life from her birth as Jane Barnell in 1871 in the Port City. Barnell had an awful youth. She was offered by her mother to a passing circus at a young age before ending up in an orphanage.

Retrieved by her dad and sent out to deal with her granny in Mecklenburg County, she satisfied a guy there who persuaded her to grow her beard as soon as again and join the circus. So, at age 21, she became Girl Olga. Though she was popular in the circus, it wasn’t until she played a bearded girl in Tod Browning’s notorious movie Freaks in 1932 that she gained larger acknowledgment.

The New Yorker article articulated the typically conflicting sensations that Barnell had about her long profession in circuses, carnivals and fairs, and in-depth Barnell’s opinion of sideshows.

Mitchell stated the story of Barnell’s life simply, and his effective prose leads the reader to know, as Woman Olga understands, that the real freaks are not those supporting the drape, but those seeing from in front of the curtain.

Woman Olga’s last circus efficiency was with the Ringling Brothers in New York City in 1938, though she continued revealing looks until her death in 1951.

James Dobbin of Fayetteville, Secretary of the Navy

On August 4, 1857, Secretary of the Navy James Dobbin passed away.

Born in 1814 in Fayetteville, Dobbin got in the University of North Carolina at age 14 and finished with honors in 1832. He went back to Fayetteville where he studied law, introduced his law practice and ended up being active in local politics.

Unsuspectingly nominated for Congress and eventually chosen to the body in 1844, Dobbin declined to run once again 1846. He later served in the General Assembly, rising to end up being the speaker of the House in 1850.

Influential in the election and election of Franklin Pierce, Dobbin was awarded with a visit as the Secretary of the Navy. He worked to reform and broaden the Navy, making it a more efficient and reliable military branch.

As a company follower in a strong Navy as insurance coverage for peace, Dobbin put 18 ships, consisting of 6 steam-powered frigates, into service during his period. He supported exploratory voyages, consisting of Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition to Japan, which led to an 1854 trade treaty with that nation.

The four years that Dobbin invested as Secretary of the Navy took a heavy toll on his vulnerable health. He died just 5 months after leaving workplace and is buried in Fayetteville.

The USS Dobbin, called in his honor, was harmed at Pearl Harbor during the 1941 attack.

Dobbin’s papers are held by the State Archives.

Quick Start for Predecessor of Western Carolina University

On August 5, 1889, Cullowhee Academy, an independent school that was the predecessor of Western Carolina University, opened with an enrollment of 18. The school quickly prospered and closed the year with 100 trainees.

The school’s 2nd principal, Robert Lee Madison, was a strong supporter of instructor education and proposed that the General Assembly provide cash to an existing high school in each congressional district so that a normal school could be opened to train prospective teachers. The lawmakers picked just to fund Cullowhee, providing $1,500 to Madison to get the program began. Although not fully-funded at the time, Madison’s idea, called the “Cullowhee Experiment,” ended up being the design for the state’s regional colleges.

Improvements to the school were funded by the legislature in 1901, and the school’s name was changed to Cullowhee Regular and Industrial School in 1905. It began operating as a junior college in 1913, while continued development helped with the shift to a four-year college in 1925.

Rechartered in 1929, the school became Western Carolina Educators College, a four-year, degree-granting institution. In 1953, the name altered again to Western Carolina College, to better reflect the organization’s liberal arts programs and graduate courses.

The college acquired university status in 1967 adopting its ultimate name, Western Carolina University.

World War I U-Boat Casualty Off Cape Hatteras

On August 6, 1918, Diamond Shoals Lightship No. 71 was shelled by a German submarine while anchored off Cape Hatteras. The lightship, which had actually just sent a wireless message about the submarine’s shelling of the USS Merak, worked as a beacon at sea to alert mariners of the hazardous shoals that formed off the coast.

As a result of the blows, the ship quickly sank. The lightship’s crew of 12 rowed 10 ten miles to coast in a small lifeboat. “We prospered in getting away and never ever did mortal man row as we did that afternoon,” the primary engineer later recounted. The lightship was quickly changed by another that was kept to utilize as a backup.

The German submarine that took the ship down, U-140, likewise claimed the Requirement Oil tanker O.B. Jennings 100 miles off the Virginia coast and the four-masted schooner Stanley M. Seaman off Cape Hatteras in the each of the two previous days. Following the sinking of the lightship, the submarine was spotted simply a half mile of the North Carolina coast in hectic shipping lane.

By sinking American merchant vessels, Germany intended to the hinder crucial trade along the Atlantic coast. Securing the lightship would even more interrupt navigation.Source: dailyadvance.com

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