Welcome to the first edition of the Raleigh Rewind, a look back at what was happening in the city fifty years ago this week.
NC State was dominating the headlines in the second week of March 1965 as well, although not for their feats on the basketball court. While the Wolfpack had won the ACC Tournament the week before, a March 11 headline in the Raleigh Times blared: “Arson Squad Fingerprints About 175 State Students.” The next day, the banner headline read: “Is the NCS Arsonist True Pyromaniac?”
The March 11 article noted that SBI agents, Raleigh detectives, and arson investigators from the State Insurance Department were in their third week of an investigation into the 15 or so campus fires set since December 1964.
The worst of them was on February 22, when Pullen Hall burned to the ground and the roof of Peele Hall was severely damaged.
The article goes on to quote Dr. Harold Corter, of State’s psychology department.
He said the most common type of pyromaniac is between the ages of 15 and 30 and is almost always a male with a character or behavioral disorder which reflects a sexual disorder. According to Corter, such a person would be nice, quiet, overly attached to his mother and would probably have had little success with women.
Fire wasn’t the only hot topic at State that week though, as a contentious name change debate was underway in the General Assembly.
A headline in the March 9 edition of the Raleigh Times read: “Full House to Decide: Group Okays ‘NCSU'”
As baffling as this sentence might seem to a contemporary audience, readers at the time were likely well aware of the ongoing debate over a name change for NC State, an argument that stretched back nearly two years.
After the General Assembly changed the name of the school to the North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh [sic] in 1963, protests and letter-writing campaigns led elected officials to take up the issue again in 1965.
The new name selected is one that remains in place today — mostly. The assembly selected the name “North Carolina State University at Raleigh” — although the “at Raleigh” part is generally left off and ignored.
However, this decision did not come easy — an article in the Raleigh Times on March 8 noted:
The NC State name change ruckus is causing discomfort and deep unhappiness among at least two groups in the state house.
The following headlines are all taken from issues of the Raleigh Times dating between March 8 and March 15 1965.
Drowned Man Found Living High and Dry
Daylight Time: Boon or Bane? Solons* Hear Both Sides Today
*The Raleigh Times often referred to lawmakers as “solons,” a reference to the Athenian statesman. People were smarter back then.
Water Bills Higher Today
Neckin’ ‘n Drivin’ All Right With Solons
Racing Trial Begins in Superior Court
Eight Million Gallon Tank May Be Ready By Summer
Courthouse, Post Office Sale Talked
NCSU Professor Found Dead in Bed
County May Need 2-Cent Tax Hike
Weekend Weather to be Wet
Policeman Favors War on Goofballs*
*Goofballs was slang for amphetamines and barbiturates. People did better drugs back then.
City Employees Singing Those Water Bill Blues
Ex-Detective is Missing Since Friday