Highlights for William Friday
WRAL celebrated 60 years of broadcasting on December 15, 2016. In recognition of that anniversary, Scott Mason – better known as The Tar Heel Traveler – took viewers on a time travel, via black and white film footage, to witness several news events covered by WRAL during the early years.
A few of the highlights include President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the campus of UNC to WRAL News Director Bill Armstrong’s interview with NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong while he was training at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Meet Marlene Carole, WRAL’s first female weatherperson who used a chalkboard to write the high and low temperatures – with an eye-wink. Later we see WRAL transition to color and then lead the nation in HD technology.
Feature edited by WRAL Tar Heel Traveler photographer Bob Meikle.
October 12, 1961 President John F. Kennedy visited the campus of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Later that day, the President traveled to Fort Bragg near Fayetteville. UNC Chancellor William Friday shared his recollections of that historic day with WRAL News reporter Scott Mason.
The Dixie Classic featured the “Big Four” universities in North Carolina – Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest – playing basketball in a tournament against four teams from across the country. The tournament was played at Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1949 -1960.
The “classic” was the brainchild of Everett Case, then head basketball coach at NC State University.
A point shaving scandal involving players from UNC and NC State brought the tournament to an end in 1961.
William Friday, President of UNC system, was informed of the scandal in 1960 and was told that gamblers had allegedly threatened to harm members of the teams. Friday took action and pressed the chancellors at the other universities to back his decision to discontinue the highly popular tournament. The vintage film shows, in part, Friday making the announcement to end the Dixie Classic basketball tournament.
WRAL News reporter Laura Leslie interviewed UNC System President emeritus William Clyde “Bill” Friday on March 6, 2012. The 15 minute interview was used as a segment within another WRAL news/public affairs program. President Friday addressed several topics including NCAA investigations into the UNC Football program, higher education, tuition costs, politics, and civility.
Friday was assistant Dean of Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1948 to 1951, assistant to the President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina Gordon Gray from 1951 to 1955, then Secretary of the University of North Carolina system, and acting president from 1956 to 1957, when he was chosen to take the position permanently. Friday led the UNC system from 1956 to 1986, a period that included desegregation, challenges to free speech and the creation of a 16-campus state university system in 1971. Enrollment began to surge during his tenure, setting the stage for major expansions and battles over tuition increases in the years since he retired.
Friday was born in Virginia July 13, 1920 and grew up in Dallas, North Carolina. He died in his sleep on October 12, 2012, coincidentally UNC’s University Day. He was 92.