Category Archives: History

Free Pizza Downtown in One Hour! Oh, and BTW the Oral History Project is Coming to Winston-Salem

WFDD is holding a press conference in about an hour to officially kick off the first day of the StoryCorps oral history project that will be in residence here in Winston-Salem until March 21st. If that doesn't excite you this might: Mellow Mushroom's providing free pizza at the kickoff.  From the press release:

88.5 WFDD, the National Public Radio affiliate licensed to Wake Forest University, will hold a press conference this Thursday, February 26th, at 11:30am, at Winston Square Park. The press conference will officially kick off opening day of the StoryCorps national oral history project, in residence in Winston-Salem until March 21st, 2009. While in Winston-Salem, StoryCorps will be collecting the stories of everyday residents of the Piedmont Triad and surrounding region. These stories will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and some may be selected for broadcast on WFDD, as well as National Public Radio.

At 11:30am, Mayor Allen Joines will read a proclamation officially renaming North Marshall Street between Second and Fourth Streets "Honorary StoryCorps Boulevard" for the duration of StoryCorps's visit. Remarks from WFDD General Manager Denise Franklin and StoryCorps Site Supervisor Sara Esrick will follow. The first two interview pairs of the day will be present. H'tuyet Rahlan, a member of Greensboro's Montagnard community will be interviewed by her sponsor; and James Ballew, a well-known area piano tuner, will be interview by a long-time friend. The Mellow Mushroom will provide pizza for attendees.

StoryCorps's Airstream trailer, now a sound-proof recording booth, arrived in Winston-Salem last night. Parked in Winston Square Park, near Winston-Salem's iconic Sawtooth Building, it makes for a striking visual. 88.5 WFDD is proud to partner with StoryCorps to bring the mobile recording booth to the community. It is an honor for our area to be selected as a stop on the national tour.

Lest You Think all Sheriffs are Old, Fat or Both

Sheriff will flynt Who's that strapping young fellow pictured to the left?  Why that's Forsyth County's first duly elected sheriff, one Will Flynt who served as sheriff from 1850-1854.  Is it just me or does he look like he's 12 in that picture?  More photos like that can be found at Digital Forsyth. (Picture courtesy of the Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection)

1898 Williamsburg City Directory

Check out the image of the 1898 City Directory for Williamsburg, VA to the left (click on it to enlarge; Source College of William & Mary).  You’ll notice no phone numbers or addresses for the individuals listed and the existence of a "Yellow Pages"-style advertising section, which means that the format for the phone book existed even before the phone.  Head to the College of William & Mary  SWEM Library website to see more manuscript and rare book samplers.

History of Religion

I came across this very cool site called Maps of War (via Boing Boing) and found the map you see below.  It depicts the spread of various religions throughout recorded history.  This is a fantastic tool to grasp both the historical relevance of religions and their scope.  You’ll notice that in the grand scheme of things Christianity and Islam are "johnny come lately" and their spread has largely occurred in the recent past. 

Presidential Health

Here’s a website that details all the illnesses suffered by the Presidents of the United States.  A surprising number suffered gunshot wounds, and apparently our healthiest President was Jimmy Carter who only has severe hemorrhoids listed.  George W. Bush also has hemorrhoids and his possible experimentation with cocaine is listed as well.

Pop Quiz: US Constitution

Okay, no cheating.  Here’s a pop quiz about the US Constitution.

  • How many articles does the US Constitution have?
  • How many amendments to the US Constitution are there (as of December, 2005)?
  • When was the last amendment ratified?

I could make it easy and give you the answers, but instead check out this page that has the text of the Constitution in its entirety.

Use the comments to tell me how you did. BTW, I failed miserably.