Image of Katharine Wright sitting beside Wilbur before her first flight in 1909.
Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University

The state of North Carolina has many claims to fame, but there is likely none more popular or controversial than the slogan on the state license plate: “First In Flight.” The phrase commemorates the spectacular achievement of brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright who piloted their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.


Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun's smiling self-portrait.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun / Wikimedia Commons

A white-toothed smile is a gesture that many likely engage in dozens of times a day without thought. Historian Colin Jones traced the history of the smile and found a toothy smile is a relatively young phenomenon. 

In his recent book, "The Smile Revolution In Eighteenth Century Paris," he argues that the white-tooth smile emerged in 18th century Paris in conjunction with the cult of sensibility and the creation of modern dentistry.

The Biltmore Company

Biltmore House is bringing Downton Abbey to Asheville with a new exhibit featuring more than 40 original costumes from the show.“Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” traces the evolution of fashion and social norms during the early 20th century and draws a number of parallels between

Laura Wagner/ The Radio Haiti Archive

Radio Haiti was the first independent Haitian radio station and the first public media platform to broadcast largely in Creole. Under the leadership of journalists Jean Dominique and Michele Montas, the station spent decades covering the social, cultural and political stories often ignored by most other Haitian media. Radio Haiti was shut down by the government a number of times and was under constant government pressure while it was on the air.

Creative Commons/ Wellcome Library, London

Writer Megan Mahew Bergman describes her newest collection of short stories as “10 years of my reading life.” Almost Famous Women (Scribner/2015) is historical fiction that explores the lives of powerful and unusual women who have remained in the margins of history. The stories range from an account of conjoined twins who were sold into show business in North Carolina, to the life and legacy of Africa’s first female horse trainer. Host Frank Stasio talks to Megan Mahew Bergman about women who took risks, broke rules, and disrupted cultural and gender norms in the early to mid 20th century.

Image of William Shakespeare.

This year marks the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, and worldwide celebrations earlier this year indicated that his life and work continue to transcend racial, ethnic and geographic boundaries. 

Livingston Press


Durham writer Gregg Cusick's day job as a bartender allows him to write about some things he hears from the other side of the bar.

He uses just a few elements of the tales from his patrons to create historical fiction in the form of short stories.

His first book, My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible (Livingston Press/2014), is a collection of short stories that explore our emotional connections to our own stories of love, loss and humor.

Roadside meeting with Durham County farmer. North Carolina. He gives road directions by drawing the dirt with a stick. July 1939
Dorothea Lange / Library of Congress Call Number LC-USF34-020259

During the Great Depression, the federal government sent photographers around the country to meet Americans and document their lives. Those photographers took some 170,000 photographs throughout the latter half of the 1930s and into the 194os. The images they captured are among the most iconic of the era.

There's a new way to browse the images by state and even by county. The site is called Photogrammer and it was created by a team at Yale University.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum faces ongoing financial struggles, and the Greensboro mayor wants the city to take it over.
Jeff Tiberii


The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro was built to commemorate a transformative moment in civil rights history when four NC A&T freshmen staged a sit-in at the city's whites-only lunch counter. 


The Levine Museum of the New South recently unveiled a historic exhibit that spotlights the LGBTQ community of Charlotte.