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Industrial South 1879-1913

1903 - First Free Library

<p>January 31, 1903 - Since 1891, Charlotte&#39;s library has charged a subscription fee of 50 cents per month. Today, the city&#39;s first free library opens. Northern steel executive Andrew Carnegie has given Charlotte $25,000 to start the library. The city must promise to provide $2,500 each year to operate it. Carnegie also donates money for a separate library designated for black patrons. When a tax dispute arises in 1939, the Charlotte Public Library will be forced to close for one year.

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1913 - The Mint Closes

Charlotte's Mint closes. It never again manufactured money after the Confederate soldiers left. Since 1867, is had been used to measure and analyze, or assay, gold. Now the building will be used by the Red Cross and by the Charlotte's Women's Club.

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1888 - First Black Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital is aptly named. It is reported to be the first hospital in the U.S. for black patients. Mrs. Jane Wilkes, a nurse whose husband, Captain John Wilkes ran Mecklenburg Iron Works, heads the hospital's fund-raising efforts. Hundreds of miles away in New York, Mrs. Wilkes' relatives donate money to the Charlotte facility. They, too, are Good Samaritans.Good Samaritan Hospital

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1913 - Railroad Expansion

The network of railroad lines serving Charlotte grows as the Norfolk and Southern Railroad reaches from Virginia to the Queen City by way of Raleigh and Albemarle. Like spokes of a wheel, rail lines expand in eight directions from Charlotte. Passengers, freight and goods travel farther than ever before.

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1890 - Edison meets Latta

February 22, 1890 - Inventor Thomas Edison dines at the home of Edward Dilworth Latta, for whom the new Dilworth neighborhood is named. Soon, Latta will hire Edison's company, General Electric, to develop Charlotte's electric trolley line.

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1903 - Flight in Kitty Hawk

December 17, 1903 - On a windy bluff on North Carolina's outerbanks, Orville Wright takes flight in a powered airplane. He is the first person to accomplish this feat. His 100-foot trip lasts 12 seconds. Orville and his brother, Wilbur, traveled here from their Ohio bicycle shop to take advantage of the coastal winds at Kill Devil Hills.

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1882 - D. A. Tompkins

D.A. Tompkins arrives in Charlotte, armed with a prestigious engineering degree from New York. He believes the New South can and will emerge as the nation's industrial and textile leader. Tompkins will design and build more than 100 cotton mills throughout the country, and will write books that record this impressive period in Charlotte's growth.

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1911 - An Artist is Born

Critically acclaimed artist, Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was born in Charlotte on September 1911 in the house of his great-grandfather, Henry B. Kennedy, at 401 South Graham Street. His family later move to New York City and Bearden grew up midst the Harlem Renaissance. After studying in both New York and Paris, he launched a successful career as an artist. Bearden is most noted for reinventing the collage as an art form. His works are filled with scenes that capture Bearden’s memories of Charlotte and his love for music.

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1898 - Presbyterian Hospital

A private hospital begun by a group of Charlotte doctors becomes Presbyterian Hospital when its founders give the facility to the church in 1903. A nursing school will be part of the hospital as well. It will evolve into the Presbyterian Healthcare System and the Belk Heart Center.Presbyterian Hospital

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1885 - Myers Street School

Most people come to call it the Jacob's Ladder School, nick-named for the outside stairways that criss-crossed the wooden building. Its official name is the Myers Street School, Charlotte's first graded school for black children.

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