History marked

The Battleship U.S.S. North Carolina launched

United States Navy photo courtesy of David Buell

June 12, 1886

Founder of Hanes Knitwear born

On June 12 1886 the founder of Hanes Knitwear, James G. Hanes, was born in Winston-Salem. After graduating from the University of North Carolina Hanes returned to his native Forsyth County to join the family textile business. His factory, Hanes Hosiery Mills, became the largest manufacturer in the world for women’s nylon seamless hosiery. In 1965, a merger with P.H. Hanes Knitting Company led to the internationally-known Hanes Corporation. Hanes was also known for his involvement in the community serving as Winston-Salem mayor for four years and Forsyth County’s Board of Commissioners for 22 years.

June 13, 1940

U.S.S. North Carolina launched

The U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship was launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Commissioned on April 9, 1941, the ship was the first of ten fast battleships to join the fleet in World War II and was considered the world’s greatest sea weapon. During WWII the battleship was active in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater and earned 15 battle stars along the way. Although the Japanese claimed the ship had sunk six times, she survived many close calls and near missiles. Today, the U.S.S. North Carolina is docked on the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington.

June 15, 1988

Bull Durham premieres

The film Bull Durham premiered. Centering around the story of Durham’s minor league baseball team, the film starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins became a Blockbuster hit grossing more than $50 million in the U.S. The saying “Bull Durham” had roots in the post-Civil War era with Durham tobacco industrialist John R. Green basing his advertising on a popular brand of mustard from Durham, England that features a bull’s head on the label. Bull Durham brought national and international attention to the famous namesake and the baseball team. Sports Illustrated put it at the top of its list on greatest sports movies of all time.

June 16, 1903

Pepsi-Cola founded in New Bern

Brad’s Drink, today known as Pepsi-Cola, received its trademark status from the U.S. Patent Office. New Bern pharmacist and inventor Caleb Bradham was fond of mixing fresh syrup flavors with soda water at his drugstore’s fountain and named Pepsi-Cola after its two main ingredients, pepsin, a digestive enzyme, and kola nut extract. Bradham worked in his pharmacy’s backroom originally selling his product exclusively to soda fountains. In 1905 he began bottling and franchising Pepsi-Cola. Today the internationally known soft drink rivals Coca-Cola for popularity and is owned by the multinational corporation PepsiCo, Inc., of Purchase, N.Y.

Source: North Carolina Department of Cultural and Natural Resources