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Chapel Hill and the 1963 Speaker Ban Law

by Charly Mann


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Larry Howell      9:56 AM Tue 10/27/2009

I remember as a freshman at UNC fall of 1966 a rightwing speaker who came to our campus and spoke to this issue of left wing speakers on our campus. He said "you'd let Hitler speak here"; to which a student said "yeah, bring him on". "You'd let Mussolini speak here"; to which a student said "Yeah, bring him on,too". "You'd let anybody speak here, wouldn't you"; to which the student replied "Well, we are listening to you, aren't we". Ah, the joys and humor of college wit and satire. This was funny.

Dave Pomeroy      4:18 PM Sat 9/19/2009

In May of1960 the opposite happened in Chapel Hill. A group of students at the University Baptist Church had invited Martin Luther King Jr to speak at the church. On the day he arrived for the speech the elder congregation withdrew the invitation, and UNC allowed King to speak at Hill Hall.

Richard Cherry      8:36 AM Sat 9/19/2009

Thanks for this piece. I am a high school teacher in Charlotte, and was looking for a resource for my students to understand this part of our state's history. I am making a link to your article for my students homework assignment next week.

Art Cramer      5:01 PM Fri 9/18/2009

On a campus like UNC no idea should be banned or forbidden. Freedom of thought and expression is essential to any great institution of higher learning. Freedom means having the ability to hear or express any idea. <br \>

Gordon Jones      1:32 PM Fri 9/18/2009

I was a senior at Carolina in 1965, and I recall that UNC was threatened with losing its accreditadion from the Southern Association of Colleges if the ban stayed in place. It seems even this group believed that the law violated academic freedom.

Teresa McCorkle      10:33 AM Fri 9/18/2009

I have lived in Chapel Hill since 1979 and had never heard of this law. I can not believe it was ever constitutional. I&#39;m glad so many people stood up to oppose it.

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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


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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