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North Carolina County of the Week: Orange

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This week, August 24-30, we feature Orange County for the GHL North Carolina County of the Week!

North Carolina County Map, Orange County hi-lighted in green

North Carolina County Map, Orange County hi-lighted in green

A county of the Piedmont region, Orange County was created in 1752 from nearby counties of Granville, Bladen, and Johnston and named for William V of Orange, grandson of England’s King George III.

Stay with us this week for snapshots of the people, history, culture,  geography, and natural heritage of Orange County.

We’ll showcase the documentary history and collections of the Government & Heritage Library, our sister agencies in the Department of Cultural Resources, and other heritage institutions throughout the state.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join in the conversation by using the hashtag #nccotw.  And don’t forget to visit us on Pinterest for our Orange County board where we’ll showcase a range of historic images.


State Doc Pick of the Week: Datanet

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Datanet4Half of the total votes cast in a typical statewide general election come from just 15 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Almost half of North Carolina voters were born in other states. These and other statistics and reports about North Carolina and North Carolina voting trends come from Datanet. First published in 1992, Datanet is produced by UNC’s Program on Public Life and contains short research reports on topics of interest to social scientists, journalists and the general public. Topics include NC demographics, campaign finance analysis, political advertising, public opinion polling and voter statistics.


Issues of this publication can be downloaded, printed, saved, and viewed by clicking here.

North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860 now online

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The North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860, is now available online in the NC Digital Collections.

The Portrait Index was published in 1963 by University of North Carolina Press and compiled by Laura MacMillan on behalf of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina. It contains information on approximately 500 portraits created between 1700 and 1860 that were either of North Carolinians or owned by North Carolinians. Photographs of the portraits are made available in the book courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library.

North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860

North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860

In order to make this information more widely available, the NC Government & Heritage Library received permission from the University of North Carolina Press to digitize this title and make it available online for personal use by researchers.

To illustrate where the individuals depicted in the portraits lived, we have also generated a map using Google Fusion Tables and Google Maps.

If you click on any point on the map, a box will open giving you information on the individual in the portrait as well as linking to the page in the Portrait Index in which the image appears.

Take a look! Included are portraits of Ben Franklin, and George and Martha Washington. No, they weren’t from North Carolina, but we portraits of them here in North Carolina.

Celebrating National Aviation Week: NCpedia can fly you “virtually” anywhere in NC!

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This week is National Aviation Week, and North Carolina has a lot of history in the development of aviation.  And yesterday was National Aviation Day, coinciding with Orville Wright‘s birthday on August 19, 1871.

With a number of aviation “firsts” claimed by the state, it’s little wonder our license plate bears the motto “First in Flight.” Here’s just a sampling of the “firsts” – with facts gathered from the collection of articles covering aviation in the GHL’s NCpedia:

Photograph of Belvin Maynard, William Kline, and Trixie

Photograph of Trixie, Belvin Maynard, and William Kline, ca. 1910. Used on NCpedia courtesy of Digital Forsyth.

The list could go on, from famous military commanders and aviation heroes, inventors, NASA administrators and astronauts, to the role of the Morehead Planetarium at UNC in training folks who took to the sky and stars.

The story that caught my attention this week as I searched NCpedia is about Belvin Maynard, WWI flying ace and flight pioneer, known as the “Flying Parson.” Born in Sampson County in 1892, for a time Maynard was known as the “greatest pilot on earth.” Ordained as a Baptist minister and educated at Wake Forest College, he joined the army in 1917 during WWI and tested planes in France where he achieved the record for performing 318 consecutive loops in 1919. He later won flight races in the U.S., including a transcontinental race in 1921 from Long Island to San Francisco.

Adding some extra romance to the picture of the early days of aviation, in 1922 Maynard officiated at an in-flight wedding. The high altitude event included a radio address from the air by Maynard to make an appeal to an estimated 50,000 earthbound listeners to support the American Legion’s effort to build a Soldiers’ Mountain home for convalescing soldiers. And any time there’s a pooch involved, you’ve got me hooked: I love this circa 1910 photo of Maynard, his mechanic, and Maynard’s trusty German Shepherd, Trixie. Apparently Trixie was also his faithful sidekick in the cockpit. Talk about a job where you could bring your dog to work!

Take a virtual flight on over to NCpedia to explore the full range of resources we have on North Carolina events and event-makers in the history of aviation! And thanks to Digital Forsyth for sharing the photo with NCpedia!

Over and out!

Kelly Agan, Digital Media Librarian, Government & Heritage Library

This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.