November 19, 2017
Time of Death: The true tale of a quest for justice
Presentation by Nora Gaskin, author
Time of Death explored an unsolved murder in Chapel Hill and examined the impact the crime had on the town, as well as the people intimately involved. It looked at the cultural and social factors that contributed to this search for justice. Nora Gaskin grew up in Chapel Hill in the 1950s and '60s, went to Carolina, and has lived mostly in Durham and Chapel Hill. After a career as a financial planner and stock broker, she returned to her first love, story-telling. She published a novel, Until Proven, inspired by the events she wrote about in Time of Death. Nora's next novel, The Worst Thing, will appear in early 2018. Her company Lystra Books has published more than 20 books.
May 21, 2017
Doing Our Bit: UNC and the Great War
Presentation by Sarah Carrier, Curator, NC Research & Instructional Librarian
The Carolina campus transformed into a military training ground when the U.S. prepared for war in 1917.The Chapel Hill Historical Society would like to thank Dr. Robert Anthony, Curator of the Wilson Library NC Special Collections, for setting aside a Sunday afternoon for the CH Historical Society membership to enjoy the current exhibit, Doing Our Bit: UNC and the Great War. Sarah Carrier, NC Research & Instructional Librarian, gave a 30 minute talk on Chapel Hill and Orange County's involvement in WWI in the Pleasants Auditorium. You can view this presentation here.
April 23, 2017
Four Chapel Hill Writers Whose Lives Light Up Our Past
Presentation by Dr. Patrick Horn and Dr. Valerie Yow
George Moses Horton is often remembered as the "black bard" or "slave poet" of North Carolina, but the author who helped him get published, Caroline Lee Hentz, has become less famous than her celebrated student. Over a hundred years later, Paul Green, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright at the University of North Carolina, helped Betty Smith embark on her literary career. The speakers presented the words of the four writers and their lives in Chapel Hill - especially the ways they helped other writers and people who were fighting injustice - they give us stories to live by.
March 19, 2017
From Astronomical Illiteracy to Science Festivals: The Morehead Planetarium's History and the Training of Astronauts
Presentation by Dr. Todd Boyette
"Cookie Time." Intrigued? This talk by Dr. Todd Boyette, director of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC - Chapel Hill, discussed the Morehead Planetarium, which opened in 1949 as the first planetarium in the South. It has played a leading role in science education ever since. We learned what inspired John Motley Morehead to build a planetarium on UNC's campus and how the organization has continued to deliver on his promise ever since.
February 19, 2017
Five Orange County African-American Families Remembered
A Talk by Kim Smith
The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray's memoir Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family chronicles the lives of her Orange County grandparents. Her grandfather Robert Fitzgerald was a free man who became a notable Durham brick-maker. Her grandmother Cornelia Smith was an enslaved woman unconventionally reared alongside her sisters in their white aunt's Orange County plantation home. History has overlooked Cornelia's siblings and their mother, Harriet. Their captivating narratives reveal how freed African-American families lived in post-Civil War North Carolina. Kim Smith's talk re-introduced remarkable members of the largely forgotten Smith, Fitzgerald, Morphis, Kirby, and Toole families.
January 22, 2017
CHHS Remembers Its Own History
A Talk by Richard Ellington and Others
We celebrated and explored the story of the Historical Society, how we got to the present, and our hopes for the future.Former leaders and officers related how the Society changed, grew, prospered or struggled during their time in office. What important events occurred during that time? How has the Society helped the community achieve its goal of understanding local history? After the discussion, a festive reception and displays of historic materials took place. You can view the presentation material here and enjoy a sample of the recorded music by Chapel Hill area musicians played at the event.
View photos of the celebration below: