Backtalk: they didn’t accidentally forget it in our history books


For the web last week, Rebecca Schneid wrote on the former UNC and New York Times the Pulitzer Prize of contributor David Zucchino for his book on the Wilmington coup in 1898, The Wilmington Lie. Readers were appalled that they had never heard of such a significant event in the history of the state at school.

“I first heard about it in the #StoryofNorthCarolina exhibit at @NCmuseumhistory about ten years ago,” tweeted Bigfoot_CigarSmoker. “I was so surprised that something so huge was left out [of the] state history program? It made me want to learn more about the Old North State.

“I graduated from @UNCWilmington and was completely amazed to find out what happened in our backyard with no one saying a word in the four years I was there,” tweeted RHPD3. “It is common among my alumni colleagues. What is UNCW? Why the silence? Amazing BTW reading.

“I grew up in Wilmington and had never heard of the Wilmington massacre until there was a series of commemorations in 1998,” replied Aylet Colston. “They haven’t forgotten it from our history books by accident.”

“I only learned that in history class at UNC!” Thank you for making this knowledge more widespread, David! “Tweeted Sarah madigan.

“This event has been part of US State History II standards since 2010,” tweeted History of the Mount.

He’s right: references to the “Wilmington race riots” appear in the North Carolina Department of Education’s American History II curriculum.

We are pleased that this pivotal event in North Carolina history is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

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