My research has only begun to scratch the surface of the origins of the North Carolina Civil Defense Agency (NCCD). I have looked over some of the papers of Governor W. Kerr Scott, who on 24 July 1950 created the state Council of Civil Defense. Among his papers in the North Carolina Archives is a letter from E.Z. Jones, dated 7 April 1950, months BEFORE he became the first director of the NCCD. This letter leaves me with more questions than answers, particularly about Jones' work on behalf of the state during World War II.
Two statements in particular make this letter intriguing:
"You as a private citizen, know that at no time during the last war did any voluntary program prove a success. The people of this generation have been regimented to the point that they are too complacent to act, even in their own behalf, without proper leadership and education on the matter at hand."
"I am not interested in whether you appoint me or someone else, but I do hope that you will carry out your original idea on this subject. That is, organize a N.C. Civil Defense Bureau on a full time basis.
I am writing this letter personally and you may destroy it after you have read it, knowing that you are busy I do not expect or insist on an answer to it, since it is just a personal experience expressed to you as a friend."
Considering Jones became the state director only several months later, and references World War II actions and a broader public debate in the state in the first quarter of 1950, the rabbit hole continues to grow. If I have learned one thing when it comes to researching, it is to never stop researching!