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African American Album 2 - Events Timeline

1957 - Black Golfer at Bonnie Brae

James Otis Williams became the first black golfer to play at the Bonnie Brae municipal golf course on January 10, 1957.

Date of Event:
January 10, 1956

1956 - New Main Library

November 19, 1956 - Charlotte opens its new main library building.

  • Members of the library staff, like former Library Director Hoyt Galvin, accommodate the African American community privately.
  • However, by law the black community could only use the Brevard St. branch.
  • The Brevard St. branch will close in 1961 and be torn down as part of urban renewal.
  • Charlotte's main library building is opened at 310 North Tryon St. on the site where the old Carnegie Library stood, side by side with the First Baptist Church (later Spirit Square).
Date of Event:
November 19, 1956

1956 - Independence Boulevard Completed

August 27, 1956 - The final link of Independence Blvd. is completed. 

  • In downtown Charlotte, the highway replaces parts of Stonewall St. that are not yet paved. 
  • The government builds the boulevard right through the front yards of many African American home owners.
Date of Event:
August 27, 1956

1956 - Interstate Buses Desegregated

Interstate buses desegregated: January 5, 1956.

  • Wilbert Martin, a bus porter, holds old signs and looks at the new sign at the Charlotte bus station.
  • Although buses that travel between states are now desegregated, segregation is still the law for in-state travel.
Date of Event:
January 5, 1956

1955 - Charlotte Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium

September 11, 1955. The new Ovens Auditorium and Charlotte Coliseum (later called Independence Arena) open.

Date of Event:
September 11, 1955

1954 - West Charlotte Wins

Fall 1954

  • West Charlotte High School football team wins its first state championship, defeating Kinston in the 3A Conference.
  • Coach Jack Martin celebrates with his players after the game.
Date of Event:

1950s - Residential Segregation

According to the 1950 Census figures, Charlotte becomes one of the most residentially segregated cities in the US.

Date of Event:

1954 - West Charlotte Moves

West Charlotte moves: 1954

  • West Charlotte High School moves to from Beatties Ford Road to Senior Drive.
  • Band Director John Holloway conducts the Marching Lions in front of the new school.
Date of Event:

1954 - Douglas Municipal Airport Opens

Douglas Municipal Airport opens: July 10, 1954.

At the new Douglas Municipal Airport, Pastors Calhoun, Wertz, Hawkins, Givens, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kelly Alexander, Sr., Pastors Kerry, Humphrey, Shipman, and an unknown person are departing for the National Baptist Convention.

Date of Event:

1954 - President Eisenhower Visits Charlotte

Ike visits Charlotte: May 18, 1954

  1. President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits Charlotte.
  2. A crowd gathers to see the president.  
  3. President Eisenhower addresses Charlotte's residents.
Date of Event:
May 18, 1954