May 4, 1970 file photo, Ohio National Guard soldiers move in on war protesters at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, on 4 May 1970.
                                 AP file

May 4, 1970 file photo, Ohio National Guard soldiers move in on war protesters at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, on 4 May 1970.

AP file


<p>Dale Earnhardt was born on April 29, 1951, in Kannapolis.</p>
                                 <p>Image from NCSU Libraries.</p>

Dale Earnhardt was born on April 29, 1951, in Kannapolis.

Image from NCSU Libraries.

Robeson County History

April 28. Lumberton High School wins first in State Elimination Series. The April 28, 1924 (100 years ago) Robesonian included the following story: The Lumberton high school baseball team won from the Wilmington highs on the latter’s diamond Friday, 11-10, overcoming the lead in the ninth inning by sending three men across the rubber for the winning score.

This was the first game played by the locals in the state high school elimination series. It was played on the Robert Strange playground before a crowd estimated at 500, and the boys seemed to have stage fright during the 5th inning when Wilmington scored 6 runs, going two runs in the lead. In their half, though, the tale was changed when Jennings drove out a long one.

April 28. St. Pauls High “Peaceful” following unrest. The April 28, 1974 (50 years ago) Robesonian carried the following: “Friday was a day of peace and quiet for St. Pauls High School students following a day of unrest in which 14 students were arrested by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department and St. Pauls Police. The students were arrested for trespassing when they sat down on the school grounds at the start of the day and refused to go to classes.

April 29. Lions Club helps students see future. The April 29, 2015 Robesonian reported the following: PEMBROKE — Students in Keri Locklear’s first grade class at Deep Branch Elementary School recently took a series of eye-catching photographs — literally. Members of the Lumberton Lions Club brought their recently purchased Spot Vision Screener to capture images of the students’ eyes to test for poor vision.

April 29. Lumbee leader confident Congress will grant full recognition this year. A year ago on April 29, 2023 (one year ago), The Robesonian reported the following: Lumbee Native American tribe’s quest for full federal recognition has been denied by Congress for 135 years, disappointing tribal members but not dampening their efforts to try again. Finally, tribal chairman John Lowery says, this could be the year. Lowery told the Border Belt Independent on Wednesday that chances are “very high” that both the House and Senate will vote in favor of full recognition for the 60,000-member tribe based in southeastern North Carolina.

North Carolina History

April 29: NASCAR Great Dale Earnhardt. On April 29, 1951, Dale Earnhardt was born in Kannapolis. His father Ralph, was a competitive driver on the NASCAR Modified, Sportsman and Grand National circuits. Following in his father’s footsteps, Earnhardt dropped out of school in ninth grade to pursue a career in racing.

Earnhardt made his stock car debut in 1975 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 22nd. He drove sporadically, without a full-time sponsor until 1979, when Richard Osterlund chose him for his team. He won at Bristol in his 16thstart, and went on to place in the top five in 11 races during the season. His performance earned him Rookie of the Year honors. The following year he won the first of the seven Winston Cup Series titles he would win over the course of his life.

Known for his aggressive driving style, and often called “The Intimidator,” Earnhardt dominated the sport through the 1980s and early 1990s. Aside from his seven Winston Cup and three IROC titles, he was also named American Driver of the Year twice and National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year five times.

Dale Earnhardt was killed in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 on February 18, 2001, at the age of 49.

APRIL 30: African Diplomat Denied Service in Raleigh. On April 30, 1963, Angie Brooks and Allard Lowenstein attempted to have lunch together at two restaurants in downtown Raleigh but were denied service because Brooks was African.

Brooks, Liberia’s United Nations ambassador and a Shaw University graduate, was in Raleigh to deliver a speech at N.C. State University. After the speech, Allard Lowenstein, then a professor at the university, invited the ambassador to lunch.

The pair, with a few students in tow, visited the S & W Cafeteria and Sir Walter Coffee Shop in downtown Raleigh. Despite her diplomatic credentials, Brooks was refused service at both establishments. In fact, the manager at the coffee shop went so far as to say that he would not serve Brooks but could offer her a job as a cook or a waitress.

Angie Brooks when she was president of the United Nations General Assembly.

The press was on hand to report the story. The incident brought national attention to North Carolina, and Gov. Terry Sanford issued an apology to Brooks on behalf of the state. Since Lowenstein chose restaurants that were frequented by state officials, many believed he was an agitator who wanted to stir up controversy. Although he was aware that the establishments were segregated, he denied staging the event.

May 1. Air Mail Introduced in North Carolina. On May 1, 1928, North Carolina’s first air mail delivery arrived at the small airport in Greensboro known as Lindley Field.

Pitcairn Aviation was given a contract to fly an air mail delivery route between New York and New Orleans, and Greensboro was one of five stops along the route. Pilot Sid Malloy landed at 8:15 p.m. with two bags of mail and took three bags of mail with him when he left for his next stop in Atlanta.

Lindley Field had only been open for a year at that time. National hero Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis drew large crowds to the field’s opening ceremony in 1927. He visited Lindley Field as part of a three-month tour promoting air flight that took him to 48 states and 82 cities. As a result of his visit, interest in the use of air mail intensified.

Lindley Field was closed during the Depression because of a decline in service and sub-standard facilities. It was a project of the Works Progress Administration during the late 1930s and was re-opened in 1937. The facility, now known as Piedmont-Triad International Airport, has grown into a major hub for both transportation and commercial shipping.

MAY 1. Gas Chamber in Use at Central Prison After 1935. On May 1, 1935, the state Senate approved a bill making lethal gas the method of execution in North Carolina. It replaced electrocution, which was used until that time.

Dr. Charles Peterson, a Spruce Pine physician who served as a member of the General Assembly during the first half of the 20th century, was the primary advocate for the change. The Raleigh News & Observer described bringing about the change as his “pet project.”

Doctors and dentists testified before the legislature’s Joint Committee on Penal Institutions that lethal gas was a more humane method of execution than electrocution, and a bill Peterson authorized was quickly sent to and approved by both houses of the General Assembly.

A lethal gas chamber was constructed at Raleigh’s Central Prison by December 1935, with many across the state seeing the change as a positive technological innovation.

Allen Foster, who had been convicted of rape in Hoke County, was the first to be executed by lethal gas. His January 1936 execution demonstrated that the change in method was not necessarily a positive one. Because prison officials kept the temperature in the gas chamber near freezing, the gas failed to work effectively and Foster didn’t die for 11 minutes and convulsed violently in the process.

Death row inmates could choose between lethal gas and lethal injection until 1998, when the General Assembly made lethal injection the only method of execution in the state.

Nation and World History

April 29, Dachau is liberated. In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Dachau (DAH’-khow) concentration camp. Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun inside his “Fuhrerbunker” and designated Adm. Karl Doenitz (DUHR’-nihtz) president.

April 30, Hitler and wife found dead. On April 30, 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler took his own life, as did his wife of one day, Eva Braun.

April 30, Washington takes oath. In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

May 1, Americans hear of bin Laden’s death. On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation. (Because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end.)

May 2, Nelson Mandela claims victory. On May 2, 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.

May 2. Giuliani connects Trump to hush money. Attorney Rudy Giuliani said President Donald Trump had reimbursed his personal lawyer for $130,000 in hush money paid to a porn actress days before the 2016 presidential election, comments that appeared to contradict Trump’s past claims that he didn’t know the source of the money. Two black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education; they settled separately with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

May 3, Margaret Thatcher elected. On May 3, 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

May 4, four killed at Kent State. On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

Executive Editor David Kennard compiles the History column from Robesonian archives, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and Associated Press reports.