Poster will help NC students learn state history through governors
Posted September 3, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina students will get a new look this fall at the 67 men and one woman who have led state government.
The North Carolina Bankers Association will provide a poster, free of charge, featuring each governor to all schools across the state. This isn't the first time the bankers compiled such a list. An old poster, last updated in 1954, hangs at the association offices. Since that time, the tenure of Luther Hodges, nine more people have come and gone from the Governor's Mansion.
Sixth graders in Maricia Langston's class at Moore Square Magnet Middle School could easily identify the most recent governors. Teachers and historians hope the poster will help them learn about all of these state leaders.
"We hope that, certainly, when they're studying North Carolina history, that the young people of NC will get to know their state better," said Thad Woodard of the bankers association.
Lunden Ellison is one student who can see the benefits. "We can know the history of our governors, like we know the history of our presidents and what they've done," he said.
There is also some entertainment value.
"How about this guy's hair," Ellison said, pointing to Richard Dobbs Spaight Jr., governor in 1835. "He looks like Elvis."
Historian Mike Hill, who works at the North Carolina State Archives and edited a book on the state's governors, defended Spaight.
"I think that's just a bad hair day," he said.
Hill's favorite person on the poster is Zebulon Vance, governor of the Tar Heel State during the Civil War.
"He really kept the state going during those years," Hill said.
Each of the governors – from Richard Caswell in 1776 to Pat McCrory in 2013 – have contributed to the state's story. The poster helps to tell their tale.
The original poster was missing pictures of six governors. The bankers association worked with historians to track down two of those pictures, and they still are searching for the others.