From the Archives

History, documents, and photos

Archive for the 'Brushes with History' Category

Methodists and World War I

This was my column for the April edition of the SC United Methodist Advocate This month marks the centennial of American entry into the First World War. On April 2, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a special session to declare war on Germany, and on April 6, Congress passed a declaration of war. The […]

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Spartanburg’s Centennial Pageant

I recently acquired this program, from the 1931 pageant commemorating the centennial of Spartanburg’s incorporation as a village.  My student assistant digitized it recently and I’ve added it to Wofford’s digital repository. The program contains lists of all of the area high schools as of 1931 and the names of each individual from each […]

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Happy Birthday, Phi Beta Kappa

A long time ago, in a state not far away….. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest, and arguably its most prestigious honor society, was founded 238 years ago today, December 5, 1776, by 5 students at the College of William and Mary.  Between then and 1780, when the British army’s approach led William and Mary […]

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Wofford and World War II

Last week, I published a new digital collection of World War II-era newspapers from the Wofford campus.  Today, I have posted a collection of Wofford newsletters sent to alumni who were serving in the armed forces during the war. The World War II alumni newsletter started out as a simple 2-page typed legal-size leaflet, and […]

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The letter to Nelson Mandela

I wanted to post this earlier this year, during the international period of mourning following the death of South African President Nelson Mandela.  I knew this letter existed, but I couldn’t put my hands on it in the papers of President Joe Lesesne. Yesterday I figured out why I couldn’t find it in the Lesesne […]

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Fifty Years Ago

History happens on ordinary days. Most of the time, we don’t know when we get up in the morning that something earth-shaking is going to happen during the day.  And that’s certainly how it must have been fifty years ago today, on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.  And as I […]

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Seamus Heaney at Wofford

I’ve been digging in the files today for photos or clippings about Seamus Heaney’s visits to Wofford.  The Nobel laureate in literature and arguably Ireland’s most famous literary figure of the present day died recently. Heaney spoke at Wofford on two occasions.  This poster is from his 1984 visit to the campus. Heaney’s visits came […]

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How the Methodist Church split in the 1840s

This column appears in the February 2013 issue of the SC United Methodist Advocate.  I thought that sharing some information about why the Methodist Church split before the Civil War would be interesting.   For nearly 100 years, the Methodist Episcopal Church was divided into northern and southern wings.  Sixteen years before the southern states […]

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Dickens at 200

I heard on the radio this morning that today is Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday. My thoughts immediately went to the lock of his hair that is in my office safe.  Yes, you read that right.  Strange things often wind up in archives and special collections.  This was the gift of a Wofford alum some years […]

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George H. W. Bush visits Wofford, 1980

Spartanburg has often been a stop on the presidential campaign trail, and Wofford has seen candidates drop by over the years.  Former President Gerald R. Ford dropped in to meet classes and hold a press conference in April 1980, as I’ve noted in a previous blog.  Future president George H. W. Bush, who in 1980 […]

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