Monday, November 15, 2010

These Storied Mountains by John Parris

These Storied Mountains, John Parris (1972).

From the dust jacket:

Here is a rich, new collection of mountain folk tales and mountain folkways, traditions and legends mined from the hills of Western North Carolina by the mountains' special chronicler. This is John Parris, mountain born himself, writing with skill and sympathy and the ease of familiarity about a people of great dignity and simplicity of character, and a land of almost magical and intoxicating beauty.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Liberty Ship SS Zebulon B. Vance (1941)

As the United States entered World War II, the military found itself ill prepared for large-scale naval operations. By 1941 German submarines were sinking American and British ships at a rate far exceeding their production. The government asked certain large shipbuilding companies, including Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, to produce on government contract much needed cargo ships for the war effort. Newport News Shipbuilding initially declined the government’s request, but in January 1941 announced that it would build the ships in Wilmington, North Carolina, creating a subsidiary company, the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, for this purpose. This emergency shipyard in Wilmington, along with eight others, geared up to produce 260 ships in 1941—a tall order with a desperate purpose.