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In many historical photographs there are signs of technology present. Identifying such technology and recognizing the changes in it over time are important skills that may not be covered in textbooks. Studying historic photographs can be an effective method of teaching such progressive changes.

An important document can be taught in a variety of ways: for its informational value, for its significance in history, or as an artifact. Many documents that are very important for their content, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or a state constitution, meet all three criteria.

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first machine-powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. With Orville aboard, the flight lasted about 12 seconds and covered 100 feet. The brothers made 3 other flights that day with the final one lasting 59 seconds and covering 852 feet. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.

This lesson plan includes a letter from John Futch, Co. K, 3rd North Carolina Troops, to his wife Martha Ramsey Futch and a letter from Catherine Ramsey to Futch, her son-in-law. John Futch enlisted February 1, 1862 in New Hanover County and was reported absent without leave from August 11-31, 1863. He was shot for desertion on September 5, 1863. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.

George Moses Horton was a slave who composed poetry and sold his poems to university students. His initial book was the first one published in the South by an African American. The sample acrostic is one written for Sion Hart Rogers, a University of North Carolina student in the 1840s, to give to Miss Mary E. V. Powell. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.

On May 1, 1868 Tom Dula (pronounced Dooley) was hanged for the murder of Laura Foster. The hanging followed several sensational trials, including two in the North Carolina Supreme Court. A version of this lesson plan is also available through the online project North Carolina Educational Resources.

The landscape of most cities and towns includes land set aside for burials. Burial practices and cemeteries have changed throughout history and give us a visual interpretation of a society’s beliefs and precepts. Cemeteries contain a wealth of information that can be used in many subject areas, including language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. Gravestones also offer a look at an under-explored art form.

Maco is a small crossroads west of Wilmington where the Manchester and Augusta Railroad crosses the road. In 1867 it was known as Farmers Turnout. The legend of a mysterious light appearing there is an old one, dating from soon after 1867. Among the many suggested causes of the light are automobile lights or marsh gas from the nearby swamp.

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