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Signs of the Times

Houses for Sale, c. 1961

The mood of the people as expressed in handmade signs, 1960-1993

Signs of Segregation and Desegregation

  • Photo c. 1960-1961 - Article: unknown. Picture of man posting 'For Sale' sign in front yard of house
  • Photo c. 1960-1961 - Article: unknown. Built in 1920 and rebuilt in 1932 following a fire, the Imperial Theater was the object of civil rights picketers. Although seating capacity was 950, it was not available to everyone. The advent of neighborhood theaters contributed to the demise of this Charlotte landmark with its moorish temple decor. The doors closed in May 1964.
  • Photo: 2/5/70 - Article: 2/6/70. Following the landmark Swann v. Charlotte Board of Education decision, parents and children marched in front of the home of Judge James McMillan, protesting busing. Current school board members continue to work for fair and equal pupil assignment.      

Signs for Other Causes

  • Photo: 2/25/82 (Mark Sluder) - Article: 2/26/82 Charlotte’s primary source of electrical energy is McGuire Nuclear Station on Lake Norman. Two nuclear reactors continue to operate around the clock despite protests during the construction of unit #2.
  • Photo: 5/20/75 - Article: 5/21/75. Thousands gathered on Mecklenburg Independence Day to “greet” President Gerald Ford and exercise their freedom of speech.

City Workers

  • Photo: 2/5/70 - Articles: 2/ 6, 7, 8 /70. City garbage workers vied with busing protesters for public and government attention in 1970. Efforts to unionize the workers closed city hall and one death was associated with the strike. 
  • Photo: 5/26/93 (Bob Leverone) - Article: 5/27/93. Balancing the budget always challenges the city manager and council. Taxpayers do not want higher rates, but they demand quality city services.
  • Photo: 7/6/85 (Diedra Laird) - Article: 7/8/85 Jim Black leads the charge to keep baseball in Charlotte. Crockett Stadium, the home of the minor-league Charlotte Orioles, had been destroyed by fire earlier that year, and the team relocated after the 1985 season.


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