Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

ECONOMIC PROGRESS IN NORTH CAROLINA

SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE DEDICATION OF THE WILMINGTON BRIDGE* WILMINGTON, N. C.

DECEMBER 10, 1929

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have looked forward to this occasion and to this opportunity to revisit Wilmington with the most genuine interest and pleasure.

This is not the first time that I have been the recipient of the gracious hospitality of North Carolina's chief city by the sea. And this, doubtless, is one of the reasons why I was so anxious to return. Nor am I the first to discover Wilmington's hospitality. More than a hundred years ago an English traveler wrote in his journal: "There is a ripeness and charm about this city [ Wilmington] worthy of an older civilization. Its people, like the people of Charleston and Boston, are extremely hospitable and are informed of most that happens in Europe."

I suppose there is about every seaport town a certain individuality of atmosphere not found elsewhere. There is for me, I know, and I am sure there is for most people who have always lived inland, an appeal of high romance in the coming and going of ships and in commerce with far places. But there is more than this in the atmosphere of Wilmington. There is the living, tangible presence of much of the earlier history of North Carolina. For here, as elsewhere in America, settlement and civilization began along the eastern seaboard rivers, and moved westward. This city was the commercial and social metropolis of a great section while

____________________
*
This bridge was constructed by the State across the Cape Fear River at a cost of approximately $1,250,000.

-139-

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