We are pleased to announce that we’ve added the Greensboro News and Record to our archives. This paper resulted from a merger of the Daily News, an afternoon paper, and the Daily Record, a morning paper. These archives date back to 1905 and 1906, respectively.
Greensboro is named in honor of Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, who faced off against Lord Cornwallis’ army during the Battle of Guilford Court House in 1781.
In the early 20th century, Greensboro’s denim industry was big business. Denim was a sturdy cloth and perfect for making durable work clothes. Greensboro’s proximity to cotton fields made the city an ideal place to develop denim mills.
Brothers Moses and Caesar Cone opened Proximity Manufacturing Company, later called Cone Mills. As the business grew, the brothers opened additional mills. The mills employed many workers, and the Cone brothers had a reputation for treating their employees fairly. Among the perks were mill housing, a mill dairy, a mill grocery store, and more. There was also an annual 4th of July picnic, with food, entertainment, prizes, and a paid day off. Mill employees respected the Cone brothers and appreciated the job security, fair wages, and good working conditions. Happy employees meant high production, and at one point, denim mills in Greensboro made one-third of the world’s supply of denim fabric. The city earned the title of denim capital of the nation.
During WWII, factories turned to wartime production, and mills in Greensboro helped make garments for the U.S. Armed Forces. Over time, globalization led to a downturn in the mill industry in North Carolina as many textile mills moved overseas. Mills shut down, resulting in job losses.
The pages within the News and Record also provide glimpses into the Civil Rights movement in Greensboro and beyond. In 1960, four first-year college students, later known as the Greensboro Four, staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at a Woolworth’s store. Their Civil Rights protest sparked a movement that spread to other college campuses and cities throughout the South. The movement forced Woolworth’s and other businesses to change their policies. The sit-ins were a turning point in bringing integration and civil rights to the forefront of the national consciousness.
If you have ancestors from Greensboro, explore the many obituaries, wedding announcements, or interesting historical finds like this 1928 interview where an elderly resident whose grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War shared early memories of Greensboro. She recalled being 12 when the Civil War broke out and remembered Union soldiers encamped in the city after the South surrendered.