In 1940 Chapel Hill was filled with love, hope, romance, and innocence. The Great Depression was finally showing signs of ending and the United States had a President who promised to keep us out of the war raging in Europe. The Jitterbug dance craze was engulfing the local high school and UNC student population. Even though some outside of Chapel Hill wanted this new dance banned because they considered it vulgar, there were five or six dances a week in town where everyone was jitterbugging. Most of these dances were sponsored by the University or one of Carolina's fraternities. The overwhelming male-dominated UNC student population usually invited local town girls to these dances. Men wore rented tuxedos while women wore formal dresses that they, or their mother, made. After the dances couples typically went to a local downtown restaurant like Harry's, or a drugstore like Sutton's, for a milkshake or coffee and a piece of pie. Another popular combination was a Coca-Cola and a package of crackers which daters often shared and cost 11 cents. They next would usually attend a movie at one of Chapel Hill's two theaters – the Carolina or the Pickwick. After the movie let out Franklin Street was filled with strolling couples holding hands or sitting on one of many benches along the street.
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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.