For my independent study on the History of Tourism in America, we’ve moved down South with the book:
Dixie Emporium: Tourism, Foodways, and Consumer Culture in The American South Edited by Anthony J. Stanonis
The book is a collection of essays by historians of tourism and cover topics from the “Horny Hillbilly” souvenir line to advertising the Civil Rights Movement and Krispy Kreme. Even though I had to stay awake until 4 a.m. to finish it for my independent study the next day, I still enjoyed the essays and got some fun facts out of it!
1. Most of the songs written about Dixie were written by Jewish immigrants in New York City.
2. “Hillbilly” is one of the strongest and most enduring southern stereotypes. In the 1920s and 1930s it began to be marketed and it hasn’t stopped since.
3. Oddly enough, “hillbilly” souvenirs are often marketed as extremely masculine and supportive of the Confederacy. In actuality, most of the people who lived in the mountains supported the Union in the Civil War.
4. South of the Border, in South Carolina, was created by a Jewish immigrant and started out as a beer distribution company before expanding into the tons of acres it encompasses today.
5. Krispy Kreme did not advertise at all when it opened and only grew from word of mouth. The store actually has a very interesting history of customer service: starting out as a people-to-people store, changing to a pristine-laboratory-style restaurant and moving to somewhere in between. You can read more about the history here!