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Seabreeze

History of Charlotte

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Hey everyone,

I found this link and I thought it was a pretty nice recap some of the events that shaped our city.

History of Charlotte

I remember most of the 90's events. I remember Nationbank building the tallest tower in the south. It is cool to see the pic of the celebration when we were awarded the Carolina Panthers by the NFL.

I am hoping to find out more information by starting this thread. Maybe you remember something this site has left out?

Also, the site stops suddenly at 1997.. it would be cool to get updated on since then. I have always found history important in understanding thow it came to be. Is there possibly a better link with more information?

Thanks :D

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That is a great site.

Here are some others relating to Charlotte history:

Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission - good neighborhood histories.

Historic Charlotte - focused on historic preservation.

Central NC Historic Properties for Sale - on the Preservation NC site.

Charlotte Museum of History, and Hezekiah Alexander Homesite

CMS History of Public Schools in Mecklenburg Co

UNC Southern Oral History Program Archives

Educational Resources on the LearnNC site (including many historic sites), sponsored by UNC.

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I can add some:

  • 1959 - The Observer purchases the News. Many younger people don't realize there used to be competition in the newspaper business and the same was true for Charlotte. There once were two daily papers in Charlotte, the Charlotte News and the Charlotte Observer. The News was delivered as an afternoon paper so people coming home could catch up on today's news, many people got it instead of the Observer as they didn't have time to deal with the paper in the mornings. The Observer ended up combining the two papers which I believe began the dumbing down of journalism in Charlotte, and in 1985, they killed off the paper alltogether.

  • 1978 - IBM announces that it will build a research/development/manufacturing site in what is now known as University Research Park that will eventually employ 8000 people. While it was a major announcement, it was really the first time a Fortune 10 (IBM was Fortune 1 then) looked to move employees to Charlotte. This had a profound effect on Charlotte nationally in the business world and I think, was the start of the relocation of many many companies to come in the successive decades. Prior to this, all of the major employers were homegrown.

  • 1978 - TV switcheroo. At the time Charlotte had 4 major TV stations. 3, 9, 18, 36. (42, 55, 64 did not exist) There also were only 3 networks, ABC, NBC and CBS that worked out to 3 - CBS, 9 - NBC, 18 - ABC, and 36 was and independent station owned by Ted Turner. ABC was unhappy with being on a UHF channel and 9 and NBC had unhappy relations. The networks jumped ship and we ended up with 3 - CBS, 9 - ABC, 18 - independent, 36 - NBC (same as today). Then what happened is that 36 could not put together an effective local news department and after a short while, pulled out of broadcasting news alltogether and we went for several years with no local broadcasts of the NBC Nightly News. It was the only NBC affiliate to not broadcast the NBC News. When they ressurrected the news department, they decided to break out and started offering news outside the traditional 6PM timeslot and they were the first to offer a Saturday morning news broadcast (Interestingly anchored by Mark Mathis). This is important as it is the reason that we have the orgy of local broadcast news by all of them today.

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ABC was unhappy with being on a UHF channel and 9 and NBC had unhappy relations. The networks jumped ship and we ended up with 3 - CBS, 9 - ABC, 18 - independent, 36 - NBC (same as today).

There was actuallya nother dimension to this as well. At the time, ABC had suddenly become the number one broadcast network in America after decades at number three. Similar switches happened in several markets around the country that year, Atlanta being one of them, with many longterm CBS and NBC affiliates jumping ship.

I remember that was also the first year that "Soap" aired on ABC. WCCB hadn't carried it because it was "too controversial", and as soon as WSOC snagged the ABC affiliation, they aired every episode in late Saturday night marathons so Charlotte viewers who'd missed it could catch up.

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Are you sure that 42 didn't exist in 1978? I have distinct memories of watching Electric Company and Sesame Street in the mid-70's on PBS, which was 42 wasn't it?. We were watching it in school at least as early as 1976. According to their website, WTVI's been around since 1965. But what they don't say is whether they have been channel 42 the entire time.

http://www.wtvi.org/about.asp#history

I DO remember the great TV shuffle, though. All my cartoons jumped from 36 to 18, and I remember the panic that set in when at first I couldn't find them! :shok:

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Are you sure that 42 didn't exist in 1978?

Sorry that was a typo on my part. I meant to say 46 which showed up around 1987. 42 was the other TV station in the city which did exist at the time.

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Speaking of Charlotte's history, I remember reading somewhere that in the mid 1900's Charlotte and Atlanta were not that far apart with regards to population, business, etc. and that Charlotte was actually poised to become the main business center in the South (probably what Atlanta is today). But with Atlanta being the capital city of Georgia combined with Charlotte having to count on the stubborness of Raleigh (which still exists today), they were able to move ahead much, much faster and basically leave us way behind. Basically, what I read stated that if not for Charlotte having the disadvantage of not being the capital of NC, or if Raleigh had let it happen, a lot of what has happened in Atlanta over the past 50 years would have happened here.

I can't remember for anything where I read and/or heard that, but I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about that or where we could find out.

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1982, Piedmont Airlines makes Charlotte a hub.

1984, New Charlotte Airport terminal opens

1987, Piedmont begins CLT-LGW service.

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1982, Piedmont Airlines makes Charlotte a hub.

1984, New Charlotte Airport terminal opens

1987, Piedmont begins CLT-LGW service.

I could have sworn the new terminal opened in 1982 along with the opening of Billy Graham Parkway. In fact I took one of my first trips out of the new terminal in november 1983 from the new terminal so it had to have been open before 1984. It also seems to me that Piedmont announced that CLT will be its new hub in the late 70s.

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^I was off on both. Terminal opened in May 1982. Piedmont began connecting passengers through Charlotte in 1981 at the old terminal. I went to work for Piedmont in 1986.

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^I was off on both. Terminal opened in May 1982. Piedmont began connecting passengers through Charlotte in 1981 at the old terminal. I went to work for Piedmont in 1986.

You forgot to mention: 1989 - USAir merges with Piedmont, turning Piedmont into...well...into the USAir we all know and love.

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You forgot to mention: 1989 - USAir merges with Piedmont, turning Piedmont into...well...into the USAir we all know and love.

I am not sure that was a Charlotte event, but I do remember it well. I was flying weekly when that was going on and I remember the employees being frustrated in that they did not know when to use the USAir procedure book or the Piedmont procedure book. Many people that I traveled with, felt that it should have been Piedmont that took over USAir as service levels definately went down after the merger was complete. Flying on Piedmont was nice, under USAir it became mostly an ordeal.

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I am not sure that was a Charlotte event, but I do remember it well. I was flying weekly when that was going on and I remember the employees being frustrated in that they did not know when to use the USAir procedure book or the Piedmont procedure book. Many people that I traveled with, felt that it should have been Piedmont that took over USAir as service levels definately went down after the merger was complete. Flying on Piedmont was nice, under USAir it became mostly an ordeal.

I hated to see Piedmont go. I remember picking our aunts flying in from NJ on Piedmont. Back then Fayetteville regional was in its heyday. Before RDU started becoming the cheaper option. I also remember seeing the Piedmont headquarters in Winston. I think there were two or three midrise buildings with Piedmont on them. I say bring it back. Born in the Carolinas and should have stayed that way.

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post-4857-1158092442_thumb.jpg

post-4857-1158092632_thumb.jpg

R.I.P. wish you were still around...

You hit a soft spot with this one metro...it may not be all Charlotte history but anyone who can remember back long enough and was from the Carolinas should be able to appreciate it. I googled piedmont and got the pics.

post-4857-1158092442_thumb.jpg

post-4857-1158092632_thumb.jpg

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^Y'all are bringing tears to my eyes! I will always consider myself a Piedmonster. And cybear, I left that date out on purpose. August 5, 1989. I have to go...I feel ill.

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You hit a soft spot with this one metro...it may not be all Charlotte history but anyone who can remember back long enough and was from the Carolinas should be able to appreciate it. I googled piedmont and got the pics.

I know, same here. I saved the last a copy of the last issue of the Piedmont magazine they used to put in the backs of the seats for people to read. I still have it around here somewhere.

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The first time I ever flew on an airplane was on Piedmont Airlines in 1985. It was a 727 nonstop from Charlotte to Houston. Back then they served full meals and also had the hot towel service. Now if you fly from Charlotte to Houston you get pretzels and a drink and you fly on a regional jet.

Well at least the new US Airways has the Piedmont heritage plane.

Piedmont_heritage.jpg

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