September 18, 2014

Thursday Open Line

One century ago this month, the last known remaining member of a bird species some thought to have been the most abundant on Earth passed away. The death of the 29-year-old female passenger pigeon, named Martha, marked the extinction of the species that once covered North America with enormous flocks. Deforestation and extensive hunting reduced […]

Wednesday Open Line

On this date in 1787, the Constitutional Convention wrapped up in Philadelphia with the delegates accepting the document and sending it on to the states for ratification. Less than two years later, the new U.S. government had to take out a loan. This week in 1789, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was in negotiations to borrow […]

Fresh Ways to Enjoy Fall Across North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 15, 2014) — Fall’s blue skies, crisp temperatures and vibrant foliage create the urge to head outside, and fresh activities across North Carolina add ways to enjoy the season. With six weeks of prime leaf looking, events that relish the harvest and festivals energized by fall breezes, travelers find boundless rewards for […]

Tuesday Open Line

One of the nation’s largest corporations is 106 years old today, although in common with other centenarians, it has its ailments. General Motors was conceived by William Durant of Flint, Michigan. Durant co-founded Chevrolet — named after noted racing car drivers Louis and Gaston Chevrolet, originally from Switzerland — and Durant promoted Buick to prominence […]

Monday Open Line

Today marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to recognize the contributions and cultures of the nation’s fastest-growing population group. The idea started as a special week in 1968 and was expanded to a full month 20 years later. There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., 17 percent of the […]

Friday / Weekend Open Line

This was a day that didn’t exist in Colonial America in 1752, as the familiar calendar underwent what is called the “Gregorian correction,” switching from the ancient Julian calendar to adjust for errors accumulated over centuries. After September 2nd, the next day was September 14th, and there was rioting by those who felt cheated and […]

Thursday Open Line

Through the centuries of coffee’s popularity, if someone ordered the beverage, there was no question about what kind. Today, many Americans prefer their coffee decaffeinated. That option dates to early in the last century, when Ludwig Roselius, a coffee merchant in Bremen, Germany, succeeded in removing caffeine from coffee beans. He moved to the U.S. […]

Wednesday Open Line

To highlight its importance, both as a crop and as part of the changing U.S. diet, this is National Rice Month. Globally, rice is the world’s most important cereal grain. Reflecting both our increasing cultural diversity and awareness of good nutrition, Americans have increased their annual consumption of rice from 1980’s 9½ pounds to today’s […]

Tuesday Open Line

The first instance of debugging a computer was recorded on this date in 1947. The early Mark II computer being developed at Harvard University was balky, and a programming team– which included Navy Lieutenant Grace Hopper, a pioneer in computer history–found and fixed the problem. A moth had wedged into a relay board, causing a […]

Monday Open Line

Of the millions of students going to class in the new school year, many are attending junior high schools or middle schools. The first such school in the U.S. opened its doors this week in 1909 — the Indianola Junction Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio, with seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Ninth grade students […]

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