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Archive for December, 2013

This Day in NC History: Vicks VapoRub, a Mighty Salve

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

On December 29, 1854 Lunsford Richardson, the inventor of Vicks VapoRub, was born in Johnston County. After graduating from Davidson College with a degree in Latin in 1875, Richardson joined his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Vick in Selma. There he used his Latin skills to learn the names of chemicals used as drugs and become a pharmacist.

In 1890, he moved to his wife’s hometown of Greensboro, buying W.C. Porter’s drug store with partner John B. Fariss. His most famous employee there was writer O. Henry, then only a teenager.

Richardson went on to patent 21 medicines, including Vick’s Magic Croup Salve in 1894. Renamed Vicks VapoRub in 1911, it is still sold today. The salve in the blue jar is composed of menthol, camphor, oil of eucalyptus and several other oils, blended in a base of petroleum jelly.

Richardson is credited with marketing to post office box holders without personalizing the materials, thus inventing “junk mail.” He was a trustee of the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia and a champion of race relations. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19 increased demand for VapoRub but also claimed Richardson, who died of pneumonia in 1919.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online at www.ncdcr.gov.


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Morning fire ruled an accident

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department says a house fire this early this morning was an accident.

Crews responded to the call around 6 a.m. at 1005 N. Kerr Ave.

Investigators say a smoke alarm alerted the person inside, who got out safely before crews got there. They say it likely saved his life.

Investigators say the fire started under the middle of the house and caused an estimated $30,000 worth of damage.


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NC schools receiving $13.5M in federal grants

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina is receiving $13.5 million from the federal government to help transform its lowest-performing schools.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that North Carolina’s grant is the largest among seven receiving states. The latest round of school improvement grants is aimed at turning around schools with low scores and high poverty rates. The other states splitting $43.4 million are Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

North Carolina state Superintendent June Atkinson says schools must apply for the money through a competitive process. The winners could begin receiving the money next school year.

Since 2010, North Carolina has designated $143 million in federal school improvement grants to 61 schools.

Atkinson says 118 schools statewide are consistently low-performing.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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WFD officials: Morning fire accidental

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Damage estimates for single structure fire not known

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Fire department says smoke alarm may have saved occupant’s life

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

A house fire at the intersection of North Kerr and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway has been ruled accidental.

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News provided by WWAY NewsChannel 3 and the StarNewsOnline

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