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Modern Era Begins 1946-1959

1949 - Television

July 15, 1949 - Charlotte's WBTV takes to the airwaves and becomes the first television station in the Carolinas. By 1967, there will be four other television stations: WSOC, WCCB, WTVI, and WCNC. 

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1950 - Korean Conflict

June 25, 1950 - At the end of World War II, Korea was divided in two. Now, Communist North Korea invades South Korea. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops help defend South Korea. Neither side will win the war. But after three years, a truce is declared although no peace treaty will be signed. Nearly 50 years later, U.S. troops will still patrol the border between North and South Korea.

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1954 - Changing Times

May 17, 1954 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules in a case called Brown vs. The Board of Education that segregating, or separating students and schools according to race is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. But it will take more than the court's ruling to achieve equality in our schools. Years of anger, frustration and violence will follow. 

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1954 - Ike Visits Charlotte

May 18, 1954 - More than 60,000 people crowd into Charlotte's Freedom Park to hear President Dwight Eisenhower speak. His visit is part of the annual Meck Dec Day commemoration. Choirs sing as citizens celebrate Mecklenburg's 1775 declaration of independence from British rule. President Eisenhower at Freedom Park

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1955 - Ovens Auditorium

September 11, 1955 - Named for outspoken civic leader David Ovens, the auditorium honoring him opens. Ovens once convinced Enrico Caruso, the world-renowned opera singer, to perform in the Queen City. Caruso claimed he had never sung anywhere smaller than Charlotte! The 2,600-seat auditorium adjoins the Charlotte Coliseum, the world's largest unsupported concrete dome. In later years, the coliseum will be known as Independence Arena. 

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1955 - Strength of One

December 1, 1955 - A black seamstress is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks has refused to give up her bus seat to a white person. To bring attention to the unfairness of racial separation, called segregation, other black citizens refuse to ride the buses unless they are granted the same rights as white citizens. This refusal is called a boycott. It lasts more than a year. 

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1956 - Early integration

January 5, 1956 - Federal law desegregates interstate buses, meaning it will be illegal for these buses to have separate sections for black and white riders. But the law only applies to buses that travel between states. Buses that run within one state can still be segregated. Even in Charlotte, there are separate waiting rooms for white people and black people, called colored. Desegregation of buses and trains

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The 1957 Saint Patrick's Day Parade

'Twas a Great Day for The Irish of All Nationalities

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