This Week in History: Oct. 23

October 21, 2013 

David Lanier acts as a field musician during a living history demonstration of the Civil War in 2003.

2003 FILE PHOTO

The Eastern Wake News invites you to look back in the pages of history as we examine stories printed 10, 25, and 50 years ago.

In 2003, the special Harvest Edition of the Eastern Wake News was looking even further back in history than usual, covering re-enactors of the Civil War. In 1988, the Knightdale Town Council dropped its reservation on land in the proposed outer loop of the Raleigh beltline, in hopes that it would force the NCDOT to place the corridor east of town. And in 1963, Mayor Ed Hales of Zebulon spoke about his recent trip behind the USSR’s Iron Curtain.

2003

In late October, the Eastern Wake News ran the yearly Harvest Edition. On the first page, we looked back at the Civil War through the lens of a troop of re-enactors.

“The only way to really learn about the Civil War is to ‘immerse yourself in it,’ Rick Walton of the 6th N.C. State Troops said.

During a recent living history demonstration of the War between the States, Walton, along with several others of the group dressed in authentic attire and armed with authentic artillery, marched about the Capitol grounds in Raleigh to re-enact the lifestyles of the Confederate soldiers 140 years ago.

Walton, an IBM project manager, said he enjoys the “hobby” of re-enacting for the public. Just as there are many arguments for the recent war in Iraq, there were many reasons behind the Civil War, he said, calling it a “very complicated issue.” Slavery was not the only issue, he said, citing economic issues and many other variables.

“One thing you’ll hear a lot of Southerners say is that it really wasn’t a civil war, because a civil war means you are fighting for control of the government. And the Southerners didn’t want to control the government. They wanted to form their own government. It was really a war for Southern independence.”

1988

On Oct. 19, the Knightdale Town Council agreed to stop preserving a plot of land from development, in hopes that the NCDOT would be forced to move the outer beltline east of Knightdale, thus putting the town inside the loop.

In an unexpected move last week, the Knightdale Town Council members appeared to have changed their minds and decided to stop reserving a corridor west of town for the proposed outer loop of the Raleigh beltline.

The council had previously asked the N.C. Department of Transportation to move the outer loop (Known as the Northern Wake Expressway) east of town, but DOT is not expected to make a final decision until early next year. In the meantime, the council has held open from development a corridor along the proposed western route, which is approximately one mile from town limits.

When the issue of dropping that corridor came up three weeks ago, the suggestion by Councilman Charles Bullock did not draw support from the other council members, but it did draw some criticism.

However, without any discussion, the council agreed during an informal work session last Wednesday night (Oct. 19) that the corridor should no longer be preserved because it gives DOT a more accessible option than the eastern route sought by the council and other area groups.

Anyone familiar with the current geography of Knightdale will notice that the bid for placing the outer loop east of Knightdale was ultimately unsuccessful – I. 540 now lies just west of Knightdale.

1963

Ed Hales, mayor of Zebulon, spoke to the Zebulon Record about a trip that he and 39 other Wake County officials took to Europe, also traveling behind the USSR’s Iron Curtain and into Russia.

“People behind the Iron Curtain are afraid to express themselves because of the fear they might be talking to the wrong person,” Mayor Ed Hales said in an interview.

Mayor Hales was among 40 Wake County city and town officials who toured Europe and Russia for three weeks. The group returned last Thursday.

“They are fearful, and you can’t get close to them,” Hales said. “However, we found them sociable.”

He said he talked with a young Russian man who spoke English. This young man’s father was a Communist, and ofttimes he and his father would discuss things of Communist nature. They did not see eye to eye, this young man told Hales. He further told Hales that the laboring class of people in Russia liked Stalin even with the many persons he had killed during his reign. The young man said further to Hales that Russians won’t know how many Khrushchev has killed until he is dead.

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