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80s Charlotte 1980-1989

1986 - Shalom Park

May 18, 1986 - Shalom Park, the new center of Charlotte's Jewish community, is dedicated. The city has two Jewish houses of worship: Temple Israel and Temple Beth El. Since one follows beliefs that are more traditional and the other is more modern, the congregations must decide if they want to join together and move to the park. Although both will relocate and build new facilities at Shalom Park, the congregations will choose to remain separate. 

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1987 - Down becomes up

February 14, 1987 - No longer will the Charlotte Observer refer in print to the center city as downtown. From now on, the largest daily newspaper in the Carolinas will use the term uptown as a way to help civic leaders promote the upbeat, positive attitude of the Queen City. 

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1987 - Habitat for Humanity

In July, President Jimmy Carter arrives in Charlotte. He and his team of volunteers are determined. They plan to construct 14 houses in five days for Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds affordable housing for low-income families around the world. The work is back-breaking, but when it is done, the Optimist Park neighborhood has an entire block of new homes. The attention the project draws to Charlotte inspires donors to contribute $1.5 million to build more houses.Jimmy Carter works on Habitat

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1987 - Myrick defeats Gantt

November 4, 1987  - Democratic Mayor Harvey Gantt is defeated by Republican opponent Sue Myrick. He will run for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and 1996, but will be unable to beat the incumbent Senator, Jesse Helms. Mayor Gantt defeated by Sue Myrick

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1988 - Bearden Dies

March 12, 1988  - Famed artist Romare Bearden dies in New York City. Recently, the public library commissioned Bearden for an original collage from which a mosaic will be based. Nanette Bearden, the artist’s widow, selects one of his murals, Before Dawn and the project proceeds as planned. Before Dawn

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1989 - Third Library on Tryon St.

June 18, 1989 - After almost two years of renovations, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County reopens its doors to new and expanded building. The state-of-the-art facility features expanded services and a larger staff.. As part of the city’s public art programs, a mosaic based on a collage of the late Romare Bearden, hangs in the new library. In the years to come, the library will receive numerous awards, including Library of the Year in 1996. Before DawnNew Main Library

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1988 - Observer Wins Pulitzer

March 31, 1988 - The Charlotte Observer wins journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize. Reporters have written over 600 stories about Reverend Jim Bakker and the scandal surrounding his ministry, PTL. The newspaper's investigation has led to Bakker's conviction for cheating people who donated money, called fraud. This is the newspaper's second Pulitzer Prize. The first was in 1981, for stories about a disease called Brown Lung.

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1989 - The Seventh Mecklenburg County Courthouse

The Seventh Mecklenburg County Courthouse was dedicated on April 10, 1989. . . . An official public art project was located adjacent to the Courthouse Building. It featured the depiction of a courtroom scene using trees, shrubs, a fountain, and boulders to represent the judge, jury, defendant, attorneys, and spectators. from Courthouses of Mecklenburg County, 1766-2007 (Mecklenburg County, 2007)

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1988 - Native Son Returns

August 1988 - A crowd of 20,000 has to celebrate the opening of Charlotte's new $52 million coliseum on Tyvola Road. The fans are welcomed by Rev. Billy Graham, who also spoke nearly 33 years ago at the dedication of Charlotte's first coliseum on Independence Boulevard. Coliseum OpeningBilly Graham

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1980 - Phenomenal Growth

During the next 10 years, Mecklenburg County's employment rate will grow by more than 100,000 jobs. Civic pride and a strong local economy help attract businesses and new residents to the area.

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