Eno River’s Patron Saint, Margaret Nygard

Nygard sits on the banks of the Eno River. Image from North Carolina State Parks and Recreation.

Nygard sits on the banks of the Eno River. Image from North Carolina State Parks and Recreation.

On August 16, 1966, a group led by local activist Margaret Nygard and her husband, Holger, voiced opposition at a Durham City Council meeting to a plan to dam the Eno River. The city had been perusing the plan for more than year in attempt to bolster the local drinking water supply.

Nygard, a Durham teacher and social worker, and a group of concerned local citizens used the energy generated by that meeting to form the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley, now known as the Eno River Association. The association, in turn, worked with The Nature Conservancy to build a partnership with the area’s local governments and the state to formulate a plan to save the natural and cultural resources of the Eno area.

The idea for a state park was proposed and an initial donation of 90 acres from a local farm family was made in 1972. A state conservation board endorsed the park that same year, and the following year, Governor Jim Holshouser officially announced the park’s creation.

Thanks to the stewardship of the state and the Eno River Association, Eno River State Park has continued to grow since its inception. Today it encompasses more than 4,000 acres along 35 miles of the river’s course through Orange and Durham Counties.

Visit: Like all other state parks, Eno River State Park is open to the public every day of the year except for Christmas Day.

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Jockey’s Ridge Patron Saint, Carolista Baum

Baum with Jockey's Ridge in the background, circa 1973. Image from North Carolina Parks and Recreation.

Baum with Jockey’s Ridge in the background, circa 1973. Image from North Carolina Parks and Recreation.

On August 15, 1973, Carolista Fletcher Baum placed herself in the path of a bulldozer removing sand from Jockey’s Ridge and refused to move. The driver cut off the engine and talked with Baum, who, after some time, left the dune unscathed. When the operator left, Baum took the distributor cap so the machine would not start.

Baum received word of the bulldozer from her three children who long had climbed the dune for the spectacular views it offered.

Though local groups had talked about protecting the large dune from encroaching development for years, Baum was the driving force that made the idea a reality. She helped form the People to People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge after her dramatic protest, raising money and organizing petition drives to capture the attention of state and local lawmakers.

She even drove to Raleigh every day for three weeks to keep the dune in the minds of legislators.

In 1973, the Division of Parks and Recreation issued a report in favor of preserving Jockey’s Ridge as a state park, and a year later the dune was declared a National Natural Landmark. When the General Assembly appropriated funds to create the park in 1975, the preservation of the dune was secured for generations to come.

Visit: Like all other state parks, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is open to the public every day of the year except for Christmas Day.

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Kannapolis Man Laid Claim to Photographic Immortality

V-J Day in Times Square. Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.

V-J Day in Times Square. Photo by
Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.

On August 14, 1945, Life magazine photographer Albert Eisenstaedt captured the spirit of celebration of the United States’ victory over Japan in World War II in an iconic photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square.

The sailor had been running down the street kissing random women when he was spotted by Eisenstaedt, who snapped a few quick pictures when he grabbed a nurse in white nearby. Because of the chaos in the streets Eisenstaedt did not have time to get the names of the couple.

Many people have claimed to be the sailor or the nurse over the years, but North Carolina native Glenn McDuffie went to great lengths to prove that he was the kissing sailor. Tired of disputes as to the sailor’s identity, McDuffie asked Lois Gibson, a forensic artist with Houston Police Department, whether she could make a positive identification.

In 2007, Gibson, who also compared the photo with those of several other kisser-claimants, reported that McDuffie’s features were an exact match to those of the sailor in the photograph. He enjoyed several years of celebrity, being invited to fundraisers and veterans’ events.

Born in Kannapolis in 1927, McDuffie was 15-years-old when he forged documents to join the Navy. He died in 2014 in Texas.

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Banker Ponies Protected Since 1998

Wild horses on Shackleford Banks. Image from Zach Frailey via Visit North Carolina.

Wild horses on the Shackleford Banks. Image from Zach Frailey.

On August 13, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the Shackleford Banks Wild Horses Protection Act.

The act, which amends the 1966 law that created the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, directed the National Park Service to partner with a local non-profit, Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. to manage the herd of wild horses located on the uninhabited 9-mile long island east of Morehead City between Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout.

The banker ponies, as they are often called, are small horses believed to have been descended from Spanish mustangs abandoned in the area about 400 years ago. Some have also tried to link the horses’ ancestry to Ponce de León or the Lost Colony, though their exact lineage is lost to history.

The 1998 act provides for a target range for the herd of between 110 and 130 horses. When the herd exceeds that target, a round up is held and excess healthy horses are adopted to out to different places around the country.

The seashore, in conjunction with the foundation, is charged with the management of the herd for its own protection and health, as well as that of the natural resources of the seashore.

The Shackleford Banks herd is one of four herds of wild horses that can be found up and down the Outer Banks.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Plott Hound Native to Haywood County

A man and Plott hound on a bear hunt in western North Carolina. Image from the State Archives.

A man and Plott hound on a bear hunt in western North Carolina. Image from the State Archives.

On August 12, 1989, the Plott Hound was officially designated as the State Dog.

One of only four dog breeds native to the United States, the breed was developed in Haywood County by the Plott family. The foundation stock for the dogs that became Plott Hounds came to America with Johannes George Plott in 1750.

The Plotts bred hard-working, tenacious and loyal dogs that would hunt bears and wild boars with boundless courage. Plott enthusiasts describe the breed as bold and energetic hunting dogs, gentle with people and loyal to their owners. The breed was popular across the region as early as the mid 1800s; people from near and far would travel to Haywood County to get puppies from the Plott family.

Plott hounds on the Plott family farm in Haywood County. Image the State Archives.

Plott hounds on the Plott family farm in Haywood County. Image the State Archives.

The dogs, once black, brown or brindle, are now usually brindle—meaning stripes of varying color. They stand 20 to 25 inches at the shoulder, weigh about 45 to 55 pounds and are strong and fast. The Plott Hound has a distinctive high-pitched bark that is effective in alerting hunters to treed prey.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Plott hound as a distinctive breed in 1998.

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Robert B. Glenn of Winston-Salem, Prohibition Governor

Glenn works at his desk in Raleigh, circa 1905-1909. Image from the N.C. Museum of History.

Glenn works at his desk in Raleigh, circa 1905-1909. Image from the N.C. Museum of History.

On August 11, 1854, Governor Robert B. Glenn was born in Rockingham County.

After being educated at Davidson College and Richmond Hill Law School, Glenn practiced law in Rockingham and Stokes Counties. His entry into politics came in 1880 when he was elected to a single term in the General Assembly, representing Stokes County.

In 1885, Glenn moved his law practice to Forsyth County and served as U.S. attorney for the western district of North Carolina before returning to politics as a state senator in 1899. While in the General Assembly the second time, he spoke widely on behalf of white supremacy and supported the successful efforts in the legislature to disfranchise black voters.

Glenn ran against the Democratic machine in the 1904 gubernatorial primary for that party and went on  to win the general election by a wide margin.

Glenn focused his term in office on expanding public education and on increasing funding for hospitals, public health and care of the insane. He successfully spearheadeda campaign to ban the sale and manufacture of liquor, the “crowning act of my administration,” in his words.

After leaving office, Glenn returned to his law practice in Winston-Salem and served on an international boundary dispute commission. He died in 1920.

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Archdale Home to Rodeo Champion

Davis with fellow bull rider J.W. Hart. Image from Professional Bull Rider.

Davis (left) with fellow bull rider J.W. Hart. Image from Professional Bull Rider.

On August 10, 1972, Jerome Davis, who would ultimately put North Carolina on the bull riding and rodeo map, was born in Colorado Springs, Colo. His father, stationed in Colorado while in the military, brought his family home to their ranch in Archdale, in Guilford County, just six months later.

Davis rode his first bull at age 11. On his fourth ride, he lasted the required eight seconds and committed himself to becoming a competitive bull rider. Davis won his first event as a freshman in high school. He was the North Carolina State High School Bull Riding Champion in 1990 and won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Bull Riding Championship two years later.

In 1992, he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), a dream only a few cowboys experience.

Davis had a stellar career on the bull riding circuit. He earned a World Championship in 1995 and was elected to the Professional Bull Riders Ring of Honor in 1998. His career ended in March 1998, in Fort Worth, Texas, when he was paralyzed from the chest down after being thrown from a bull.

Davis returned home to Archdale and continues to run the Davis Ranch and his bucking bull and rodeo business.

Read more about sport in North Carolina on NCpedia

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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