RALEIGH, NC April 25, 2013 — When is a bench more than a bench? When it has a barcode that teaches visitors about North Carolina history. The State Capitol will unveil a new QR barcode program and host a bench dedication at a public ceremony on Wednesday, May 1, at 10 a.m. Visitors will be able to scan the barcodes on commemorative benches using smartphones to learn about North Carolina governors and other state leaders.
This is the final phase of a Seat of Honor commemorative program which honors men and women who have contributed to the state while working at the State Capitol. Two new benches will be dedicated, one to recognize the State Capitol Foundation, the other in tribute to the “Peanut Man” who had a cart and sold peanuts on the State Capitol grounds for almost 20 years. His name was Jesse Broyles, and he endeared himself to school children and politicians from around the state. The State Capitol Foundation has supported the preservation and educational efforts of the State Capitol Historic Site since 1976.
Current benches honor governors Beverly Perdue, Michael Easley, James Hunt, James Martin, James Holshouser, W. Kerr Scott, Robert W. Scott, Dan Moore, Luther Hodges, Terry Sanford, John Christoph Ehringhaus and Angus McLean in addition to Secretaries of State Thad Eure and Rufus Edmisten.
All of the commemorative benches were made by North Carolina foundry Carolina Bronze, based in Seagrove, and were paid for by private donations. The QR barcode program was also funded through donations from visitors. Tom Blalock will re-enact the now deceased Peanut Man and the North Carolina Bankers Association will provide freshly roasted peanuts. A light reception will follow the dedication.
The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and functions of the 1840 building. The Capitol is bounded by Edenton, Salisbury, Morgan and Wilmington Streets. For more information, visit www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol or call (919) 733-4994.
The State Capitol is a unit of N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.