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Kudzu is a plant native to China and Japan, however some smarty pants decided to bring it to the SE United States where it has become either loved or hated depending on whom you ask! This vine, when left uncontrolled, will eventually grow over almost any fixed object in its proximity including other vegetation. Kudzu, over a period of several years will kill trees by blocking the sunlight. For this and other reasons many would like to find ways to get rid of it; however, the flowers which bloom in late summer have a very pleasant fragrance and the shapes and forms created by kudzu vines growing over trees and bushes can be pleasing to the eye. The first frost will turn these shapes into dead leaves and soon after just gray vines. In the south where the winters are moderate, kudzu will continue growing the next summer almost from where it was stopped by cold weather the previous year. These vines will cover buildings and parked vehicles if no attempt is made to control its growth. A number of abandoned houses, vehicles and barns covered with kudzu can be seen in North Carolina and other southern states.
Common names for kudzu include the mile-a-minute vine,the foot-a-night vine, and the vine that ate the South.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Soil Conservation Service promoted kudzu for erosion control. Hundreds of young men were given work planting kudzu through the Civilian Conservation Corps. Farmers were paid as much as eight dollars an acre as incentive to plant fields of the vines in the 1940s.
"Cotton isn't king in the South anymore.
Kudzu is king!"
- Channing Cope
When Carolina was divided in 1710, the southern part was called South Carolina and the northern, or older settlement, North Carolina. From this came the nickname the "Old North State." Historians have recorded that the principal products during the early history of North Carolina were "tar, pitch, and turpentine." It was during one of the fiercest battles of the War Between the States, so the story goes, that the column supporting the North Carolina troops was driven from the field. After the battle the North Carolinians, who had successfully fought it out alone, were greeted from the passing derelict regiment with the question: "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" Quick as a flash came the answer: "No, not a bit, old Jeff's bought it all up." "Is that so; what is he going to do with it?" was asked. "He's going to put on you-un's heels to make you stick better in the next fight." Creecy relates that General Lee, upon hearing of the incident, said: "God bless the Tar Heel boys," and from that they took the name (Adapted from Grandfather Tales of North Carolina by R.B. Creecy and Histories of North Carolina Regiments, Vol. III, by Walter Clark).
|The State Toast|
by Leonora Martin and Mary Burke Kerr (1904) Adopted: 1957
Here's to the land of the longleaf pine, The summer land where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State! Here's to the land of the cotton bloom white, Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night, Where the soft southern moss and jessamine mate, 'Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State! Here's to the land where the galax grows, Where the rhododendron's rosette glows, Where soars Mount Mitchell's summit great, In the "Land of the Sky," in the Old North State! Here's to the land where maidens are fair, Where friends are true and cold hearts rare, The near land, the dear land whatever fate, The best land, the best land, the Old North State!
After a Southern man moved from Atlanta to a New Jersey suburb, a fellow passenger on a train asked how he liked it in the country. "It was difficult at first," the man replied, "but it's a lot better since I got myself a paramour." The passenger was astonished. "A paramour?" he said. "Does your wife know?" "Sure," said the Southerner. "She doesn't care how I cut the grass."
First English child born in America, Virginia Dare, was born on Roanoke Island on August 18, 1587
First state university in the United States - University of North Carolina opened in 1795
First gold nugget found in the United States - Reed Gold Mine in Cabarrus County in 1799
First interstate railroad opened in 1833 between Blakely in Northampton County and Petersburg, Virginia
First operating silver mine in the United States - opened in 1838 near Lexington
First mint in the United States to coin a gold dollar - Bechtler Mint in Rutherford County
First state governor to be impeached was William Holden - removed from office March 22, 1871 by vote of the state legislature
First forestry school in the United States - opened in 1898 near Mount Pisgah
First structure for which Congress appropriated money - Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
First successful powered airplane flight - 1903 by Wright brothers near Kitty Hawk
First state to establish a soil and water conservation district in 1937
|THE MASON-DIXON LINE|
Logically enough, the Mason-Dixon line is named for the two British men, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, who surveyed the land between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Though the Mason-Dixon line is often thought of as the boundary between the Union and the Confederacy, we learned that it was actually drawn about 100 years before the American Civil War. It all started in the early 18th century. Due to imprecise and confusing land grants, the Penn family (the owners of Pennsylvania) and the Calvert family (who owned Maryland) couldn't agree on the boundaries between the two colonies. In 1750, the feuding neighbors decided to go to court. The Court Chancery in England ruled that the latitude 39°43' north (15 miles south of Philadelphia) should serve as the Pennsylvania / Maryland border (which runs east-west). Surveying the land proved a daunting task, however, and in 1763 experienced surveyors Mason and Dixon were called in to handle the job. After four years of hard work, their 244-mile line was completed and the boundaries were settled. It wasn't until the Missouri Compromise of 1820 that the boundary took on the role of front line in the war on slavery:
The Compromise established a boundary between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north... This boundary became referred to as the Mason-Dixon line because it began in the east along the Mason-Dixon line and headed westward to the Ohio River and along the Ohio to its mouth at the Mississippi River and then west along 36° 30' North. The Mason-Dixon line is still thought of today as the boundary between the North and the South.
I even found an alternative description for the Mason-Dixon: "The line that separates y'all from youse!"
| Stuff & Things...|
"Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war. This war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream." - Scarlett O'Hara
"There is as much dignity in plowing a field as in writing a poem."
"In the South, the breeze blows softer...neighbors are friendlier, nosier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do)...This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names. Nothing about us is quite the same as in the country to the north and west. What we carry in our memories is different too, and that may explain everything else."
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