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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice Monument, UNC (Chapel Hill)

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic Sports Figures

    Educational Institutions

  • Creator

    Johnpaul Harris, Sculptor

  • City

    Chapel Hill

  • County

    Orange

  • Description

    A bronze statue standing 8 feet, 6 inches tall depicts Justice walking in his #22 Tar Heels uniform, carrying his helmet in his left hand. He has a peaceful, pleased expression on his face. Behind the statue is a wall with the text, “’22’ Charlie ‘Choo Choo’ Justice” alongside four bronze plaques which list his accomplishments. Teammate Joe Neikirk, Charlie Loudermilk, and Hugh Morton are credited with proposing the monument.

  • Inscription

    Leftmost plaque: CHARLIE "CHOO CHOO" JUSTICE / WAS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING, / TALENTED AND BELOVED / PLAYERS IN THE HISTORY OF / CAROLINA ATHLETICS. HE WON / THE MAXWELL AWARD AS THE / NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR / IN 1948 AND WAS TWICE / RUNNER-UP FOR THE HEISMAN / TROPHY. HE WAS THE LEADER / OF TAR HEEL TEAMS THAT / ESTABLISHED THE MOST / DAZZLING ERA IN CAROLINA / FOOTBALL.

    Next plaque from left: CHARLIE JUSTICE EARNED / RECOGNITION ON THE FIELD FOR / HIS EXICITING PLAY AND IN THE/ COMMUNITY FOR HIS PUBLIC / SERVICE. JUSTICE WAS NAMED / FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN IN / 1948 AND 1949, WAS TWO-TIME / SOUTHERN CONFERENCE PLAYER / OF THE YEAR AND WAS ELECTED/ TO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND / NORTH CAROLINA SPORTS / HALL OF FAME.

    Third plaque from left: "CHOO CHOO" JUSTICE AND HIS / TEAMMATES LED THE TAR HEELS / TO A 32-9-2- RECORD, THREE / BOWL GAMES AND TWO/ SOUTHERN CONFERENCE / CHAMPIONSHIPS FROM 1946-1949. / IN 1948, UNC WAS RANKED NO. 1 / IN THE NATION DURING THE / SEASON AND FINISHED THE YEAR / AT NO. 3, THE HIGHEST RANKING / IN SCHOOL HISTORY.

    Rightmost plaque: "CHOO CHOO" WAS THE MOST / VALUABLE PLAYER IN 1950, / WHEN THE COLLEGE ALL-STARS / DEFEATED THE NFL CHAMPION / PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 17-7. / PLAYING IN FRONT OF 88,885 / FANS, JUSTICE GAINED 133 / YARDS AND AVERAGED AN / ASTONISHING 14.8 YARDS PER / CARRY.

  • Custodian

    UNC Athletics.

  • Dedication Date

    November 5, 2004

  • Decade

    2000s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.907330 , -79.049380 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice," The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History, (accessed March 13, 2012) Link

      Hilliard, Jack. "My Personal ‘Photo by Hugh Morton,'" A View to Hugh, November 5, 2009, (accessed February 4, 2011) Link

      Quincy, Bob. "Charlie Justice Bio,” TarHeelBlue.com, October 17, 2003, (accessed February 7, 2011) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze.

  • Sponsors

    The costs of the monument were paid for by private donations.

  • Subject Notes

    Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice played football for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels from 1946 to 1949, after serving in the Navy during World War II. Justice was a star tailback and finished second for the Heisman Trophy in 1948 and 1949. In 1961, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1970, UNC named a portion of its athletic center the Charlie Justice Hall of Honor.

  • Location

    The sculpture is located by the west entrance of the Frank H. Kenan Football Center, near the Sonja Haynes Stone Center.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.