History for All the People

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1930-1939 Eclipsed by Federal Projects . . .
Chowan County Courthouse, ca. 1932
CHOWAN COUNTY COURTHOUSE ca. 1932. WPA workers inventoried local records at this and other courthouses throughout North Carolina as part of the Historical Records Survey.
First English Colonies Marker
ROANOKE MARKER This marker in Dare County dedicated to the Roanoke colonies was among the first five signs approved by the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee in 1935.
Christopher Crittenden, 1930
CHRISTOPHER CRITTENDEN (1902-1969) with wife, Janet, in Wilmington in 1930. On July 1, 1935, Crittenden replaced Albert Ray Newsome as secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission, beginning a thirty-four-year association with the state office.

If North Carolinians have failed to receive their just due from historians, they have only themselves to blame. For no one was going to write our history accurately for us if we did not do it ourselves; no one was going to collect and preserve our historical records if we ourselves did not do the job. And yet until a few decades ago we made no comprehensive efforts either to care for our records or to write our history.
Christopher Crittenden, 1937

North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities
SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF ANTIQUITIES A private preservation organization advocated by Christopher Crittenden. The group's first board meeting was held in December 1939. Pictured here at that meeting are, from left to right: Margaret Smethurst; Christopher Crittenden; Adelaide Fries; Joseph Hyde Pratt, president; Janie Fetner Gosney; Ruth Coltrane Cannon; and Emily Gilliam Gary. The group is known today as Preservation North Carolina.
Excavation at Town Creek, Late 1930s
FRUTCHEY MOUND Excavation of the Frutchey mound at Town Creek. The site, seen here in the late 1930s, was the first major archaeological project involving the Historical Commission. This historic site is now known as Town Creek Indian Mound (Montgomery County).
Education Building
EDUCATION BUILDING Home to the North Carolina Historical Commission and the Hall of History from 1939 to 1969.

In a very real sense Mr. Connor was the father of the Commission and its present high standing among historians is largely due to his splendid work. His appointment by President Roosevelt to his present high position [Archivist of the United States] is a very fitting recognition of Mr. Connor's past service in archival work.
Christopher Crittenden, Raleigh Times, January 7, 1937


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