North Carolina-Henry Ward Oxendine-September 13

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-September 13

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

I work at UNC Pembroke which was founded in 1887 to train American Indians (Lumbees) to become teachers.

Photo below from 2015 when the Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory came to visit UNC Pembroke.


From that humble beginning the institution has grown to over 6,000 students and is one of the 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina.

The school was created because there was no place for American Indians to attend school. It was against the law so they had to create their own. It took an act of the NC General Assembly to make that happen.

On May 19, 1973 a Lumbee Indian named Henry Ward Oxendine became the first American Indian to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly. He entered the General Assembly on appointment after the death of Frank White on March 11, 1973.

Henry Ward Oxendine is a UNCP Graduate and received his law degree from NC Central

Found an interview with Henry Ward Oxendine that was conducted in 1973 by Lew Barton.

In the spring of 2015 I had the pleasure of accompanying my son Mack and Henry Ward Oxendine’s grandson Hunter Oxendine as they competed in the NCHSAA 4A golf regionals in New Bern, NC at Taberna Golf Course.


Mr. Oxendine is a great gentleman.



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