Thursday, May 29, 2008



(Elizabeth City) The Museum of the Albemarle pays tribute to Newspaper Editor W.O. Saunders with their latest exhibit entitled: The Independent: A Century of Progress. The exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of editor W.O. Saunders’s newspaper, The Independent, and features photographs, typesetting “leads,” ink, and a few of Saunders’s publications.

William Oscar Saunders was born in Perquimans County to a poor farm family. Too poor to afford college, W.O. took his first reporting job at age 17 in Norfolk. For a few years, he bounced among newspapers, apparently getting fired more than once because of the hard-nosed reporting and biting commentary that later became his hallmark.

W.O. Saunders founded his newspaper, The Independent in 1908. Saunders was controversial, attacking corrupt politicians and immoral preachers. He championed the rights of blacks, women and the poor.

Saunders was responsible for the idea of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and was instrumental in making the production of the Lost Colony a reality. He crusaded for the first bridges to the Outer Banks, the creation of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, among others.

The exhibit will be open through July 13, 2008.

The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC. 252-335-1453. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, Sunday, 2:00pm-5:00pm.Closed Mondays and State Holidays. Serving Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties, the museum is the northeast regional history museum of the North Carolina Division of State History Museums. Department of Cultural Resources, State of North Carolina.“Telling Our Stories”.

Contact: Thomas Spagnol
Communication Specialist
Museum of the Albemarle
501 S. Water Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

"The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance." Ben Franklin

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