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Celebrating National Aviation Week: NCpedia can fly you “virtually” anywhere in NC!

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This week is National Aviation Week, and North Carolina has a lot of history in the development of aviation.  And yesterday was National Aviation Day, coinciding with Orville Wright‘s birthday on August 19, 1871.

With a number of aviation “firsts” claimed by the state, it’s little wonder our license plate bears the motto “First in Flight.” Here’s just a sampling of the “firsts” – with facts gathered from the collection of articles covering aviation in the GHL’s NCpedia:

Photograph of Belvin Maynard, William Kline, and Trixie

Photograph of Trixie, Belvin Maynard, and William Kline, ca. 1910. Used on NCpedia courtesy of Digital Forsyth.

The list could go on, from famous military commanders and aviation heroes, inventors, NASA administrators and astronauts, to the role of the Morehead Planetarium at UNC in training folks who took to the sky and stars.

The story that hooked me this week is of Belvin Maynard, early flying ace and flight pioneer, known as the “Flying Parson.” Born in Sampson County in 1892, for a time Maynard was known as the “greatest pilot on earth.” Ordained as a Baptist minister and educated at Wake Forest College, he joined the army in 1917 during WWI and tested planes in France where he achieved the record for performing 318 consecutive loops in 1919. He later won flight races in the U.S., including a transcontinental race in 1921 from Long Island to San Francisco.

Adding even more romance to the history of aviation, in 1922 Maynard officiated at an in-flight wedding. The high altitude event included a radio address by Maynard appealing to an estimated 50,000 earthbound listeners to raise money for the American Legion on behalf of the Soldiers’ Mountain home for convalescing soldiers. And anytime there’s a pooch involved, you’ve got me hooked: I love this circa 1910 photo of Maynard and his mechanic, along with Maynard’s trusty German Shepherd, Trixie. Apparently Trixie was also his faithful sidekick in the cockpit. Talk about a job where you could bring your dog to work!

Take a virtual flight on over to NCpedia to explore the full range of resources we have on North Carolina events and event-makers in the history of aviation! And thanks to Digital Forsyth for sharing the photo with NCpedia!

Over and out!

Kelly Agan, Digital Media Librarian, Government & Heritage Library

North Carolina Bastardy Bonds revisited

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cover for the book "Bastardy Bonds in North Carolina"

Last week, I posted about a book called North Carolina Bastardy Bonds by Betty and Edwin Camin. A blog reader contacted me with great news! It turns out that Betty already put all this information online back in the early 2000s. She has since died, but her husband and co-author Edwin Camin still maintains the site!

The website can be found at

It is important to note a few things:

  • This webpage has no affiliation with GHL. This is a personal website.
  • This webpage has many coding errors and cannot be displayed by some browsers. I have tested this on a few different browsers. This will not display on Firefox. This will display on Safari (Apple/Mac), Chrome, and IE.

NC County of the Week: Carteret County

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This week’s NC County of the week is Carteret County, North Carolina! Named for Lord Proprietor John Carteret, it was then formed in 1722 from Craven County.

Carteret County, NC

This week (August 17-23) we’ll highlight the people, history, geography, and natural heritage of this county located in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join in the conversation by using the hashtag #nccotw. Also, visit our pinterest board about Carteret County!




State Doc Pick of the Week: Exploring Rip Currents

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RipC1Going to the beach? If so, be sure to be aware of rip currents.   Since 1999 at least 62 deaths have been the result of rip currents on North Carolina beaches. North Carolina Sea Grant and UNC-Wilmington are using “drifters” to study rip current patterns along the North Carolina coast. These drifters behave much like a swimmer in the surf and can log motion, direction and speed of rip currents. Data collected from these drifters will be used to develop rip current warning products and escape procedures.

This publication can be downloaded, printed, saved, and viewed by clicking here.

This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.