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Black Thursday: The Exodus of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad

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Cape Fear Unearthed by Hunter Ingram

StarNews Media Presents "Cape Fear Unearthed," a podcast digging into the history books of Southeastern North Carolina. The weekly podcast will featur 
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Black Thursday: Dec. 15, 1955.

To shock of Wilmington, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad announced it would be ending its century-long relationship with the city, where it operated its headquarters in 1900, and moving to a new city.

It was a devastating day that provided a harsh period to a massive legacy for the railroad in Wilmington, an industry that put the region on the map and thousands of its residents to work.

In recognition of the 65th anniversary of Black Thursday, Cape Fear Unearthed is closing out 2020 with an episode on the steamrolling history of the railroad in Wilmington. Starting with the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company in 1834, the episode weaves through the next century of local challengers, mergers and an in-depth look at the incredible scale of the railroad’s local presence.

Joining the episode is special guest Holli Saperstein, the executive director of the Wilmington Railroad Museum.

Cape Fear Unearthed is written, edited and hosted by Hunter Ingram. Additional editing by Adam Fish.

The show is sponsored by Northchase Family Dentistry, Tidewater Heating & Air Conditioning, and Cape Fear Pharmacy.

Sources:

  • "Building a Great Railroad: A History of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company," by Glenn Hoffman
  • "Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten," by Beverly Tetterton
  • Wilmington Morning Star, Dec. 16, 1955
  • Wilmington Railroad Museum exhibits
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