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John Foster

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967


One of the best ways to investigate the life and times of a region is to look at the local photo files from the daily newspaper. We can do that today, since more and more photographic images are being digitized and available for viewing. Local and regional newspapers give us a closer view of everyday life, much of it rather mundane — like ribbon cuttings, grip and grin photos of politicians, the local sports scene, community celebrations and the like. Now viewed with that wonderful lens called 20/20 hindsight, we are able to see with clarity the socio-economic situation of a town or region, the political events that shaped it and the family life of its citizens.

Because I attended East Carolina University between the years of 1970 and 1974, I thought to take a look at the Archive of The Daily Reflector, the Greenville, NC newspaper that was founded in 1882. Still publishing a daily and Sunday paper today, over 80,000 of their photographic images were donated to the East Carolina University Joyner Library Digital Collections, and to date a significant portion of these images have been scanned and available for access and research. This archive, called Seeds of Change, allows us to see the daily lives of eastern North Carolinians. I found the collection rich with “between-the-lines” insights, and fascinating both photographically and historically. Though I grew up in a different part of the state during those years, these images could have been taken in any small, southern town. From teen dances to parades to the reviled cloud of the Ku Klux Klan, there is plenty to discover when you go local with your research.

If you would like to learn more about the digital collections at East Carolina University, contact information is available here.

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Woman at the ticket counter waits for customers at the movie theater. 1958

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
The winner of the Country Future Farmers of America National Public Speaker's Contest Bobby Corey, who is a junior at Chicod High School. 1962

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
An African-American woman and wife of a Pitt County tenant farmer standing on her porch with six children. Date from article: “Annie Barnes, ‘about 43’, says she is mother of 31; thirteen now living.” 1949

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A man throws the first pitch at the opening of Elm Street Park. 1953

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A Little League team and coaches pose by a wall and bleachers in uniforms that read Pepsi-Cola. 1954

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Children on swings in front of houses. 1955

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A woman hangs clothing on a line to dry while her two young sons watch. 1955

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A man holds poultry on his front porch next to boxes and bags of food that have been dropped off by N.C. Patriot Inc. 1955

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A boy stands with a new bicycle, with six adults around him, in front of Jackson's Shoe Store. 1955

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Woman stands next to refrigerators in a kitchen. 1956

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Teenagers at a dance inside a building. 1956

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
The African American “Mother of the Year” sitting for picture. 1957


The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Children and teachers in front of bible school building. 1957

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Two men inside a service station watching the World Series on television. 1957

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
African American children out front of a row of wooden houses. 1950 - 1959

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members sitting at a table drinking beer. 1959

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Children dressed up in costumes for Halloween. 1950 - 1959

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Contestant wearing an evening gown in the Miss Greenville beauty pageant. 1959

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Mr. Alfred Kennedy picking up rusty nails and tacks in his driveway with a magnet attached to a string. 1960

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Man holding up a wild bobcat that was killed. 1962

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Three debutants in matching dresses sitting in front of three boys in matching shirts at the red barn dance. 1962

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Statue of Jesus in front of a cross on a parade float in a Christmas parade. 1960

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Two barbers cut hair at the opening of Gaskin’s barber shop. 1954

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Man speaking from a platform during a Ku Klux Klan rally. 1965

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
A road sign reading “United Klans of America, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Unit 73 welcomes you to Ayden.” 1966


The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Across a field, hooded figures are seen around a burning cross. 1966

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Little League scoreboard on the side fence of a field. 1955

The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
Three boys lay in front of a television. 1954

More information can be obtained by clicking on the image for source.

Posted in: Accidental Mysteries, Community, Culture, History, Photography

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