Former Governor Martin Donates Personal And Historical Artifacts To N.C. Museum Of History | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    Raleigh, N.C. - Today, former Governor James G. Martin donated some of his personal and historical artifacts from his tenure as governor to the North Carolina Museum of History. Governor Pat McCrory joined in the ceremony and thanked Governor Martin for his donations and legacy of public service.

    "I would like to thank Governor Martin for donating these timeless artifacts to the North Carolina Museum of History and also thank him for the legacy he has left behind in North Carolina," said Governor McCrory. "These donations present a picture of an engaged, well-rounded statesman who led our state in such a positive direction and who has continued to shape it to this day."


A Bible, a Rubik's Cube and more from Governor & First Lady Martin

    At the event, Governor Martin played a quick tune on the tuba and demonstrated how to use the Rubik's Cube.

    Governor Martin and his wife, Dottie, have donated more than 50 items to the North Carolina Museum of History. The artifacts will be featured in an exhibit on Governor James G. Martin. The exhibit will open Sunday, Nov. 9, and run through Sunday, Jan. 4. Admission is free.

    "We are honored to receive artifacts from one of North Carolina's truly great men, Governor James G. Martin," said Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. "A tuba, a Rubik's cube, a Spanish coin —with items such as these, our Museum of History staff can capture the attention of future visitors and hold that attention while they remind them of how, over two terms, this governor bettered the state's transportation network and strengthened its schools—all while building a more vibrant economy."

    "We are grateful to Governor Martin and his wife, Dottie, for this wonderful addition to the museum's artifact collection," said N.C. Museum of History Director Ken Howard. "The items will help us tell an important part of our state's history."

    Some of the donated items included:

  • Ring. Governor Martin received the gold and diamond ring, which is inscribed "Governor Jim Martin" and "North Carolina," while in office. The ring was a gift to the state from the N.C. Jewelers Association in 1989.
  • Spanish Coin. This 16th-century four reales (half-dollar) coin bears the legend "Plus Ultra," which was the theme chosen for Governor Martin's second inauguration in 1989.
  • Rubik's Cube. Governor Martin used this Rubik's Cube on the campaign trail in 1984 and 1988.
  • Tuba. Governor Martin has played this Salvation Army tuba on various occasions since the mid-1990s, including a performance with members of the Charlotte Symphony at a 2010 Carolina Panthers football game.
  • Academic Regalia, Princeton University. Governor Martin earned a doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University in 1960. He taught chemistry at Davidson College for more than a decade.
  • Bible. Governor Martin used this Bible when he was sworn into office on January 7, 1989. It has an inscription from the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, James G. Exum Jr.
  • Inaugural Suit. First Lady Dottie Martin wore this suit to her husband's second inauguration in 1989.
  • Clock. This clock sat atop Governor Martin's desk when he served as governor, 1985-1993.
  • Book. First Lady Dottie Martin was instrumental in publishing North Carolina's Executive Mansion: The First Hundred Years in 1991. This copy is signed by the first lady and the governor.
  • Golf Clubs and Hole-in-One Ball. Governor Martin used these clubs during his tenure. With the five iron, he achieved a hole-in-one on the No. 3 hole of the Oaks course at Raleigh's North Ridge Country Club on December 23, 1992.
  • Order of Knights Grand Cross Masonic Cap. Governor Martin is an active Mason. Fewer than 50 Masons in the country have achieved this 33rd-degree honor.

    The N.C. Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 300,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

  • Contact: Crystal Feldman
  •     govpress@nc.gov

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