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The Rural Academy Theater

Why would a band of performers traverse western North Carolina in a wagon? Because in entertainment, delivery matters.
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History

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Lakeside Legends

In the ’60s and ’70s, Williams Lake and Lake Artesia became weekend hotspots for teens looking to put on their shagging shoes and let loose.

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Summer in the Sixties

Every generation makes its own beach memories. Summer in the ’60s was seafood and station wagons, bathing suits and board games. We didn’t realize then what those long, bright days would mean to us now – sunburns and all.
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Where Are We? The Story of North Carolina Maps

Sedan-size maps of centuries past weren’t as convenient as our smartphones’ GPS, but without them, we would have been lost.
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The Mythic School of the Mountain: Black Mountain College

Brilliant artists, poets, and intellectuals established Black Mountain College’s reputation as a bastion of innovative thinkers. The college’s brief, obscure existence — and its avant-garde “Happening” — sealed its legend.
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The National Pastime at War

Troops from both sides — and even prisons — find escape from the slog of war with a bat and ball. (Volume 4, Part 4)
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The Invasion of the Underclad Undergrads

For a brief time in the 1970s, college students threw off their inhibitions — among other things — and ran free.
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The Mineral City: Exploring the Spruce Pine Mining District

The past can be traced deep beneath Spruce Pine’s surrounding mountains — and it also can be mined.
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Our Ava

Ava Gardner lit the world on fire with her breathtaking beauty and fiery spirit. She was raised as a farmer’s daughter near Smithfield. She transformed herself into a Hollywood starlet, a crooner’s wife, and a legacy. The world will never forget her. And we will never stop remembering — she was ours.

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Party on the Line

Telephone operators once helped connect folks across the state before “If you’d like to make a call … ” became standard.
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The Great Adventure of the Outlaw Blalocks

A husband and wife stay together — and fight together — through the duration of the war. (Volume 4, Part 3)
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