This Day in NC History Blogs

On January 1, 1942, the Rose Bowl was played in Durham—the only time the game has not been played in Pasadena, California. 

On January 1, 1996, North Carolina became the last state in the nation to grant its governor the veto power. The change met with the approval of voters the previous November when they overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot.

On January 1, 1864, Parker Robbins of Bertie County, a free person of color of mixed African and Native American descent, enlisted in the 2nd United State Colored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Monroe, Va.

On January 2, 1926, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company was formally incorporated by local business people in Wayne County.

On January 2, 1975, Susie Sharp took the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

On January 3, 1893, Alpheus Branch, founder of the bank now known as BB&T, died at age 50.

On January 3, 1787, frontiersman William Sherley Williams was born in what’s now Polk County.

On January 3, 1837, Nimrod Jarrett Smith was born near what is now Murphy at the height of the Cherokee removal.

On January 4, 1969, conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton were found dead in their home in Charlotte.

On January 4, 1856, a train accident on the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad occurred near Wilmington, giving rise to an enduring North Carolina legend.

On January 4, 1659, George and Ann Marwood Durant, pioneer settlers of the Albemarle region of Carolina, were married.

On January 5, 1878, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice and law instructor Richmond Mumford Pearson died in Winston.

On January 5, 1921, Lillian Exum Clement took her seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, becoming the first woman in the South to hold legislative office.

On January 5, 1891, Gov. Daniel G. Fowle, two years into his term, moved in to the state’s new Executive Mansion before construction was completely finished.

On January 6, 1965, Governor Terry Sanford announced that the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) would invest $70 million in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) by locating its National Environmental Health Sciences Center there.

On January 6, 1924, Earl Eugene Scruggs was born near Shelby.

On January 6, 1889, James Francis Shober, the first black physician with a medical degree to set up practice in North Carolina, died.

On January 6, 1870, Central Prison opened in Raleigh. The first three prisoners—one man and two women—had been convicted of robbery in Johnston County. 

On January 7, 1839, the first silver mine in the United States opened at Silver Hill, near Lexington in Davidson County.

On January 7, 1839, the legislature passed an act to establish North Carolina’s common school system.

On January 7, 1931, Gertrude McKee became the first female member of the North Carolina Senate.

On January 8, 1975, famed firearms inventor David “Carbine” Williams died.

On January 8, 1926, children’s show television host Soupy Sales, noted for taking pies in the face, was born Milton Supman in Franklinton.

On January 9, 1878, Tabitha Holton became the first woman licensed to practice law in North Carolina. 

On January 9, 1951, the cornerstone of the “World’s Largest Chair” was laid in downtown Thomasville.

On January 9, 1779, James Hogun of Halifax County was chosen as a brigadier general for the North Carolina Continental Line.  

On January 9, 1859, the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal opened, connecting Albemarle Sound and Chesapeake Bay, providing a vital economic link between North Carolina and Virginia.

On January 10, 1934, the Dow Chemical Company and the Ethyl Corporation began extracting bromine from sea water on a neck of land near Wilmington. Bromine was used in photography and chemical warfare, but its primary use was in Ethyl, an anti-knock compound in gasoline.

On January 10, 1881, Clarence Poe, a social and agricultural reformer, was born. 

On January 10, 1924, popular jazz drummer Max Roach was born in Pasquotank County. Shortly after moving to New York City with his family in 1928, Roach began to study piano with his aunt.

On January 10, 1936, the first state highway marker was dedicated.

On January 11, 1909, alto saxophonist Talmage “Tab” Smith was born in Kinston.

On January 11, 1887, education advocate Calvin Henderson Wiley died. 

On January 11, 1740, Revolutionary War colonel and state legislator Thomas Robeson was born in Bladen County.

On January 11, 1961, noted African-American educator and founder of the Palmer Memorial Institute, Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown died.

On January 12, 1909, Stonewall Jackson Training School, a state correctional facility for juvenile male offenders, opened near Concord.

On January 12, 1896, three students at Davidson College experimented with x-rays.

On January 13, 1868, classes began at Raleigh’s Saint Augustine’s University.

On January 13, 1825, the first issue of the Fayetteville Observer, the state’s oldest newspaper still in print, was published by Edward Jones Hale. 

On January 13, 1962, Mary Martin Sloop, founder of Crossnore School in Avery County, died at the age of 88.

On January 14, 1771, Joseph Montfort was appointed Grand Master of the Freemasons of America by the Duke of Beaufort, Grand Master of England.

On January 14, 1868, a North Carolina constitutional convention, now known as the “Convention of 1868,” opened in Raleigh.

On January 14, 1834, William Polk, the last surviving field officer of the North Carolina Continental Line, died in Raleigh.

On January 15, 1948, Josephus Daniels, newspaper editor and former Secretary of the Navy, died in Raleigh.

On January 15, 1974, congressman and agricultural advocate Harold Cooley died from the effects of emphysema.

On January 15, 1865, Fort Fisher, nicknamed “Gibraltar of the South,” fell to Union troops.

On January 16, 1944, award-winning country musician Ronnie Milsap was born in Robbinsville.