History marked

Jennettes pier construction begins while alcoholic beverage consumption in ends

Professor Robert "Bob" Dolan pioneering coastal geologist surveys Nags Head

May 22, 1926 Establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National ParkPresident Calvin Coolidge signed a bill establishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The idea to establish the park in North Carolina and Tennessee originated in the late 1890s with an original debate to make the land a national park or national forest. The main difference between the two is that timbering is allowed in national forests as opposed to a national park where land is preserved and protected. Although Coolidge had signed the bill, supporters had to raise funds to purchase the 150,000 acres before the Department of Interior would assume responsibility. By 1928, $10 million had been raised. The park was dedicated in 1940 and today is one of the most visited national parks. May 22, 1939Work begins on Outer Bank’s first fishing pierSeventy-eight years ago work began on Jennette’s Pier, the first fishing pier along the Outer Banks. That summer, the pier opened with a snack bar, bait stand, guest rooms and restrooms for the public. The pier helped establish the business district in south Nags Head. Jennette’s Pier suffered damage from hurricanes, nor’easters and sea worms, but met its final demise during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. In May 2011, a new 1,000-foot, state-of-the-art pier was opened. Today, the pier is a facility of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and hosts nearly 200,000 anglers and visitors each year. May 26, 1908Prohibition approvedNorth Carolina voters approved prohibition on the sale of alcoholic beverages statewide. Being the first in the nation to approve such a measure, the votes were a wide margin of 62 to 38 percent. Restrictions and regulations traced as far back as the 1700s but the temperance movement was not in full swing until the mid-1800s. The federal government’s 18th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect in 1920, making it illegal to manufacture, sell or transport intoxicating liquors in the United States. Nationwide prohibition ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933, with North Carolina refusing to hold a convention to consider ratification. May 27 1925 Worst mining disaster in North Carolina historyThe Carolina Coal Company experienced a massive explosion that ended up becoming the worst coal mining disaster in North Carolina history. Occurring in the small town of Farmville in Chatham County, the explosion was nationwide news and almost everyone in the town knew someone who perished in the disaster. The first boom of the explosion occurred in early morning that split the air as smoke filled the sky. Rescue efforts began immediately and by nightfall 5,000 people waited at the mouth of the mine for word of survivors. In total, 53 victims died in the explosion and it took a total of five days to remove the bodies from the mine. Source: North Carolina Department of Cultural and Natural Resources