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Chapel Hill Veterans Remember D-Day

On the 20th anniversary of D-Day the Chapel Hill Weekly published the following piece in which they spoke to four Chapel Hillians who had participated in the historic D-DAY invasion that set up the defeat of Hitler’s Germany and the Allied Victory in Europe on May 8, 1945.


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Doug Johnston      12:41 PM Wed 6/9/2010

Tom Gaugher and others who remember J.A.C. Dunn. Can you help with locating the other interviews of Mr. Dunn? He had a regular interview feature in the Chapel Hill Weekly. It was generally believed that he conducted the interviews without a tape recorder or written notes. He listened carefully and then immediately typed the interview, nearly verbatim, on a little portable typewriter in his car. I personally can not believe he did that with these interviews, but my father, who was interviewed by him, confirmed that he took no notes, had not recorder, and faithfully reported what my father had said in a 20 minute interview. I worked for Mr. Dunn as a high school sports reporter in 1963-4.

Tom Gauger      10:01 AM Fri 1/1/2010

J.A.C. Dunn was my favorite columnist at the old Chapel Hill Weekly in my days at WCHL in the very early 1960's. Both the newspaper and radio station were owned by one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, Roland "Sandy" McClamroch. But I digress.. The point of this note is to point out that John Young ("J.Y.") was the Director of WUNC-Television and was instrumental in putting the station on the air. In reading Dunn's piece I'd no idea that J.Y. had been in the Navy. Sadly, J.Y. died not long ago.

Jason      9:52 AM Sun 8/2/2009

I just found the following on BoingBoing.net this morning, and I thought it was an interesting segway from this post.<br \><br \>http://www.boingboing.net/2009/08/02/the-amazing-unseen-h.html#comments<br \><br \>&quot;Vacation films from a well-to-do Chapel Hill family, at the beach, some interesting aerial shots of Chapel Hill&quot; from the 1930s. The family apparently took a trip to Europe, which included original, unseen before shots of Nazi Germany including Hitler himself.

Frank Morgan      9:38 AM Fri 7/31/2009

I&#39;ve just forwarded this piece to my five grandchildren. This article accurately captures what war is like. I am a Korean War veteran.

David French      4:44 PM Thu 7/30/2009

Thank you for sharing this well written piece. I recall fondly when newspapers often had in-depth articles like this.

Lori Parker      1:37 PM Thu 7/30/2009

This is a chilling piece. As someone who was born in 1986 it is hard to imagine the horrors of war. Somehow men from my hometown talking about their experieces make it even more real and dreadful. I am glad we won this war, but hope nothing like this ever happens again.

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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".



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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.



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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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