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Seal, The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Encyclopedia

North Carolina developed four different state seals during the colonial period and there have been six state seals since North Carolina declared its independence. While the Great Seal changed many times throughout North Carolina history, some variations on symbols have remained and appear on the current Great Seal.

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Secession Encyclopedia

Secession of the state of North Carolina from the American Union occurred on May 20, 1861; this date was chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of 1775.

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Secret Basketball Game of 1944 Encyclopedia

During the Jim Crow era, African American college teams were barred from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). But a brave few found ways around these restrictions. A secret game held in 1944 between a white team from Duke and a black team from NCCU was one of the first integrated sports events in the South.


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Sevier, John (1745-1815) Encyclopedia

John Sevier arrived in western North Carolina during the troubled years just prior to the American Revolution. His leadership was crucial during the Cherokee offensive of 1776 and four years later at the Battle of King’s Mountain. Sevier went on to play central roles in three separate governments west of the Appalachians. His relations with the Cherokee were marked by military success but also marred by controversy. Even so, his leadership on the frontier was unquestioned and was an essential factor in the transition from North Carolina wilderness to Tennessee statehood.

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Seymour Johnson, Air Force, Base Encyclopedia

Founded in 1941, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was named in honor of Lt. Seymour Johnson. During WWII, the base served as a important training center for bomber pilots, but the camp was closed after the war. Seymour Johnson was reopened in 1956 due to the work of local political leaders, and it has since remained home to the Fourth Tactical Fighter Wing.

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Sharp, Susie (1907-1996) Encyclopedia

Judge Susie Sharp was an old school Southern Democrat.  She publicly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) of the early 1970s and even attempted to persuade legislators to vote in the negative.  Some have credited her, along with her friend Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (1896-1984), for playing a big part in defeating the ERA in North Carolina.

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Shaw University Encyclopedia

From its beginning in 1865, Shaw University has been a forerunner in starting educational programs among historically black colleges, and in 1960, it served as the birthplace of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights Movement.

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Shaw University Encyclopedia

The first institute for African American higher education in the South, Shaw University, was founded by Dr. Henry Tupper in 1865 following the Civil War. The institution was named in honor of Elijah Shaw, an important early benefactor. Alumni of Shaw University did much to change the higher education system in North Carolina. Today, over 2,500 students attend Shaw University in Raleigh.

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Shelton Laurel Massacre Encyclopedia

Not the only incident in the turbulent wartime mountains, the Shelton Laurel Massacre of Madison County proved, writes historians John Inscoe and Gordon McKinney, that “guerrilla warfare blurred the lines between combatants and noncombatants and obscured the rules of war.”  It also revealed that Confederate sympathizers were as willing as Union sympathizers to be bushwhackers and redefine mountain warfare.

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Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820-1891) Encyclopedia

William Tecumseh Sherman was a Union General during the American Civil War. He led the Atlanta Campaign, and his “March to the Sea” was extremely popular in the North and dealt a severe blow to the South. Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign seized control of South Carolina and North Carolina and led to the official surrender of the Southern Confederate Army at Bennett’s Place. Sherman’s force left a path of devastation where it went and burned down prominent cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. After the war, Sherman became the commanding general of the United States Army and was the military leader during the Indian Wars.

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Silver, Frankie; murder; folklore; Burke County Encyclopedia

On July 12, 1833, Frankie Silver was hanged for the murder of her husband. Nearly 10,000 people traveled to Burke County to witness her execution. She was the first woman executed in North Carolina by hanging. Numerous ballads, articles, and documentaries have added to Silver’s myth and legend.

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Simkins, Cone, 1963, Supreme Court Encyclopedia

In Simkins v. Cone (1963), the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that two Greensboro hospitals had discriminated against African American doctors and patients. Before the case, most North Carolina hospitals were segregated, and those designated solely for black patients offered only sub-optimal healthcare. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, and Simkins became the first time a federal court applied the Fourteenth Amendment to private racial discrimination.

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Simmons, Furnifold McLendel (1854-1940) Encyclopedia

A Democratic Congressman and U.S. Senator, Furnifold M. Simmons was born on January 20, 1854 to Furnifold Green, Jr., and Mary McLendel Jerman Simmons of Jones County, North Carolina.  A leader in the "white supremacy" movement during the late 1890s, Simmons played an instrumental role in the disfranchisement of African Americans in North Carolina and served thirty years in the U.S. Senate, where his most notable achievements were obtaining funds for the Intercoastal Waterway and ensuring lower tariff rates and the passage of the Underwood-Simmons Tariff. 

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Sitton, Claude (1925-) Encyclopedia

Claude Sitton (1925-) is a journalist famous for covering the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 60s. Sitton served for six years as the New York Times’ chief Southern correspondent and reported on the desegregation of schools, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and the 1964 Freedom Summer—to name only three events. His dedication led the editors of Newsweek to praise him in 1964 as “the best daily newspaperman on the Southern scene.”

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Skimmington Encyclopedia


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a common custom was a skimmington.  Traditionally, it served as a reminder for spouses to perform certain societal roles and behave within prescribed social boundaries and thereby secure social order.  It was also incorporated into colonial political protests.

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Sloop, Mary T. Martin (1873 - 1962) Encyclopedia

Mary T. Martin Sloop was a physician and educator from Davidson, North Carolina.  She played an instrumental role in educational efforts and reform in western North Carolina.  In particular, she established the Crossnore School for mountain children.

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Smith, Arthur "Guitar Boogie" (1921-) Encyclopedia

Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith (1921-), son of a poor mill worker, rose to become one of country music’s brightest stars. His singles, including “Guitar Boogie” and “Feuding Banjos,” sold millions of copies, and millions more people tuned in to his radio and television programs.

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Smith, Ashley W. (1850?-1928) Encyclopedia

Ashley W. Smith's greatest accomplishment may have been providing an example of what a black property owner could achieve in a small town during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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Smith, Benjamin (1756-1826) Encyclopedia

Born into wealth, Benjamin Smith died in poverty.  From 1810 to 1811, Smith served as governor of North Carolina.  Although a Democratic-Republican, he never abandoned his former Federalist inclinations.

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Smith, Willis; Democrat; Graham, Frank P.; Senator Encyclopedia

Born in Virginia in 1887, Willis Smith studied law at Trinity College, and he served as a inheritance tax lawyer from 1915 until 1920.  After serving in the state legislature, Smith ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950 after the death of Senator J. Melville Broughton.  Smith defeated Frank P. Graham in the Democrat Party runoff, and he thereafter served in the Senate until his death in 1953.

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