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The Racist Origin of the term Tar Heel

by Charly Mann

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Comments:

Joy      9:43 AM Wed 2/8/2012

I dont understand why anyone would be surprised about the information shared in this article. Did you forget about the history of Amerikkka?
 

Nyvaeh      11:46 AM Fri 9/30/2011

I have exactly what info I want. Check, please. Wait, it's free? Awoseme!
 

Jon Kimball      12:37 AM Sun 9/26/2010

"This story was widely reported by Southern newspapers and soon Virginia soldiers started calling North Carolina soldiers Tar Heels...."


Really? Why would a seemingly everyday racist story of slaves in Mississippi playing a game with a coin be "widely reported in Southern newspapers"?

That seems really far fetched. In fact, more way more far fetched than any other origin I've ever heard. Until someone can show actual examples of this "widely reported news story" in newspapers at the time, I'd have serious reservations about accepting its authenticity, despite Mr. Battle's one time authority on the University of North Carolina.
 

Jesse Morrison      12:19 PM Wed 3/3/2010

I do not think most people today associate the term Tar Heel with the racial epithet you cited in your article, but it is clear that at one time it was a symbol of racism. Thanks to your article the name Tar Heel can remind us that we once treated blacks as less than human beings. I do not think that the name Tar Heel is offensive to blacks today, but I wonder how whites would feel if they discovered that the UNC logo had once been associated with a derogatory story about white people.
 

Chip Harris      1:23 PM Tue 3/2/2010

I know Chapel Hill and UNC has a racist past which we need to be aware of, but today it is one of the most progressive communities in the United States.
 

John Lewis      9:51 AM Tue 3/2/2010

I love UNC and am a big supporter of all their athletic programs, but this information puts a damper on me wanting to call myself a Tar Heel fan.
 

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Bite Sized Facts Link



Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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