Wednesday, February 22, 2017

National Geographic

Many events have impacted Ocracoke and the Outer Banks. An 1846 hurricane opened the more-navigable Hatteras Inlet, thus diverting shipping away from Ocracoke. Union occupation of the Outer Banks in 1861 caused many islanders to flee, and the establishment of an ice plant on Ocracoke in 1938 helped energize commercial fishing. Other storms, wars, and "man-made" changes have had enormous consequences.

In September, 1969, a quieter, less dramatic event helped propel Ocracoke towards becoming a major tourist destination.

Starting on page 393 of National Geographic (September, 1969), author William S. Ellis and photographer Emory Kristof devoted 29 pages documenting the appeal of the Outer Banks with history, stories, and stunning photos. Three elements of the article stand out: a two-page aerial photograph of Ocracoke Village, a three-page map locating Outer Banks shipwrecks, and the dramatic, space-eye image of the Outer Banks made by the crew of Apollo 9.

This issue of National Geographic is available numerous places on-line, and can often be found in antique stores and thrift shops.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Electrification of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:  


  1. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Philip, this issue inspired my parents and my aunt & uncle to bring all of us to Hatteras Island that very next summer. I still remember the endless car trip from NJ, travelling down the old Rt. 13 through rural Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. We had never seen such places where poverty was on full display for all the people driving through. We were fascinated by the endless sights and begged to stop at Stuckely's for turkish taffey and other candies. The CBBT was an absolute wonder for us all to experience, and then more driving through small towns with funny names like Barco and Sligo. Once we were over the Wright Memorial Bridge, we thought we had surely arrived, only for dad to say we still had more miles to go. The Oregon Inlet Bride made my mother scream in made her think of the drop of a roller coaster. But once we landed safely on the other side, the beauty of Hatteras Island took over. We had been to the Jersey shore, but this was different. There were dunes, and soft waving sea oats....and miles of gorgeous, endless beach. Pristine beauty. I have been back (almost ) every summer since.

    NJ Reader

  2. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Let's see 1969 --the Viet nam War was raging, riots in the inner city, the Weathermen, SDS, The Blackk Panthers, the country was in tourmoil The Kennedy Brothers are dead Jimmy hoffa is missing etc etc. The Johnson Great Society programs were getting traction HeadStart, sesame street, PBS Julia Child teacing us to eat fancy stuff--- We were all trying to Change there was Hope back then too . Now look where it has put us.