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African American Album Volume 2

1997 - Beatties Ford Road Library Opens

April 20, 1997 - The Beatties Ford Road Branch of the Public Library is opened.

Expressing its commitment to the west side, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County opens this branch bringing state-of-the-art library service to the Beatties Ford Road community. The new branch replaces the North Branch Library, which opened in 1956.

Date of Event:
April 20, 1997

1997- Panthers Upset Cowboys

January 5, 1997 - The Panthers beat Dallas in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

  • In this incredible upset, Charlotte's Carolina Panthers stun the crowd with a 29-6 victory at Ericsson Stadium. 
  • A week later, they will lose the Championship game to the Green Bay Packers but come home to grateful fans. 
  • Photo shows Panthers #38, Tyrone Poole, and #40, Pat Terrell, intercepting a Troy Aikman pass.
Date of Event:
January 5, 1997

1996 - Shooting of James Willie Cooper

Late 1996 - Protests erupt over the shooting of James Willie Cooper.

  • On November 19, black motorist James Willie Cooper is shot by a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. 
  • While demonstrations are held in November, protest grows within the black community when the district attorney decides not to prosecute the officer. 
  • Ben Chavis calls for "Black Monday," a boycott and march to be held on January 27. 
  • Photo: A member of the community speaks out.
Date of Event:

1996 - Toni Morrison Speaks at Library

November 20, 1996 - Toni Morrison, the first African American to win the Nobel Prize, speaks at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s NOVELLO Festival.

Date of Event:
November 20, 1996

1996 - Henrietta Marie Project, Spirit Square

November 8, 1996 - The Henrietta Marie Project opens at Spirit Square.

  • 50,000 people come to see this exhibit of the Henrietta Marie slave ship found off the coast of Jamaica. 
  • Reaching beyond words to a living history, the reproduction of the ship's cargo hold where slaves were held has a lasting impact on the audience.
Date of Event:
November 8, 1996

1996 - Helms Defeats Gantt

November 5, 1996 - Helms defeats Gantt.

  • Winning a rare fifth term, conservative senator Jessie Helms defeats Harvey Gantt for the second time in six years. 
  • Gantt, Charlotte’s former mayor, declares that he will “find a way to serve. We are going to work for change.”
Date of Event:
November 5, 1996

1996 - NAACP National Conference in Charlotte

July 5-11, 1996 - The National NAACP conference is held in Charlotte. Photo shows President Clinton and NAACP Chairwoman Myrlie Evers-Williams singing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Rev. J. R. Williams directs the singing convention-goers.

Date of Event:
July, 1996

1996 - West Boulevard Library Dedicated

June 29, 1996 - The new West Boulevard branch of the Public Library is dedicated.

  • Long ranked the least-used of the 22 branches, 1,372 new library cards are issued during the first eight months after the branch opens. This figure compares with the 295 new cards issued the year before. 
  • Photo shows the Gospel Christian Singers performing at the opening.
Date of Event:
June 29, 1996

1996 - Olympic Torch in Charlotte

June 24, 1996 - The Olympic Torch comes through Charlotte. Vietnam veteran Kater Cornwell will carry it as a “community hero.”

Date of Event:
June 24, 1996

1996 - Ground Breaking for Beatties Ford Library

May 30, 1996 - Ground breaking for Beatties Ford Road Library.

  • With 14,000 square feet of space, Beatties Ford Road Branch Library and Learning Resource Center will be more than three times the size of North Branch Library, which it replaces. 
  • This library is being built with part of $3.1 million in bond money approved by voters in 1993.
Date of Event:
May 30, 1996