December 7, 2023News
Fun Facts About our Next Meeting Location: Charlotte, NC
NANOG 90 Will Occur 12 - 14 Feb. 2024
by Elizabeth Drolet
A Southern Belle
This Carolina city has been called a "crown jewel of the South." Charlotte, nicknamed the Queen City, is just a few hours from North Carolina's mesmerizing beaches and the stunning Appalachian Mountains. The history and welcoming and diverse culture "where creativity meets innovation" are just some reasons it has become royalty.
It was named one of the "Best Places to Live" by the U.S. News & World Report and is ranked as one of the cleanest cities in America. Charlotte is a mecca for the U.S.'s financial industry, pro sports teams, and stadiums. Visitors additionally enjoy the mild winters and numerous beautifully landscaped parks and neighborhoods.
NANOG 90 will take place in Charlotte, NC 12 - 14 February 2024. Register here.
Uptown is Downtown
You may notice something unique if you look at a Charlotte's City Center map.
According to a blog written by Tom Hanchett who Charlotte Magazine calls “Charlotte’s Dr. History” and was named a 2015 Charlottean of the Year, like many Colonial towns, "Tryon, the city's main street, doesn't align to the compass. Instead of running strictly north-south, it follows a natural ridgeline. That's because it predates European settlement. Tyron Street follows the Nations Path, the great trading route of the Catawba and other Native American tribes."
Downtown Charlotte is known as "Uptown" because of this distinct ridgeline. The direction you approach the city's heart, Independence Square, does not matter; you will always go upward.
Known as the Queen City
Charlotte is a historic city that predates the American Revolution. Charlotte officially became a city in 1768. At the time, King George III still ruled the Colonies when European settlers explored the city. It was named after Queen Charlotte, King George's wife.
Queen Charlotte was born in Mecklenburg, Germany. She was notable for her profound higher education and ability to read and write. At the time, this was rare for women, as they did not have access to tutors. Some genealogists also consider Queen Charlotte the second biracial queen of England.
Charlotte is a “Hornets’ Nest of Rebellion”
According to the Charlotte Museum of History,"the Battle of Charlotte marked the beginning of a turning point in the southern campaign of the American Revolution." During the end of the American Revolution, British General Cornwallis made his way into Charlotte. A decision he would live to regret—the 1780 Battle of Charlotte and the Battle of Kings Mountain left his army beaten without mercy.
After fleeing, General Cornwallis wrote in his diary that Charlotte was a "Hornet's Nest of Rebellion." The hornet and hornet's nest are commonly seen symbols around the city to honor this spirit of rebellion. They are also depicted on Police officers' and NBA Charlotte Hornets' uniforms.
Historic Location of “Mecklenburg Resolves”
Charlotte was revolutionary before it was cool — the city made its statement of defiance against Britain more than a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775, stated the "authority of the King or Parliament" as "null and void."
First Piece of Gold in North America
A twist of fate would put Chalotte on the map in Gold Rush history. Many are unaware that before there was a Californian Gold Rush there was an NC Gold Rush. In 1799, a young kid named Conrad Reed found what he thought was a glittery 17-pound rock. It was used as a doorstop until a savvy merchant offered $3.50, around $85 today. The "rock" would make history, becoming the first piece of gold found in North America.
By 1837, Charlotte + the surrounding area became an abundant gold mine. A U.S. Mint was even built due to the massive amount of gold flowing out of Charlotte. Old mine shafts still exist beneath Uptown. Reed Gold Mine allows guests to explore the Reed family's mineshafts and offers opportunities to pan for gold.
Charlotte is Extremely Diverse
The running joke in Charlotte is that no one is actually from Charlotte. A city rich in diversity of thought and culture creates a welcoming and inviting attitude toward newcomers. Mecklenburg County's population doubled between 1990 and 2015. Transplants came not only from across the country but also from around the world. Until this point, earlier immigration had missed this part of the South.
According to a Brookings Institution report, Charlotte was named a Latino "hyper-growth" city in the 1990s, ranking it fourth in the nation. Neilsen later rated Charlotte "the fastest-growing major Latino metropolis in the entire U.S. from 2000 to 2013." The immigrants were not only Latino. Many Vietnamese, Arabic, and Spanish immigrants also opened businesses in the Queen City. Unlike other cities, immigrants did not cluster together or create a "Chinatown" or "Little Italy" but made a community in every neighborhood.
"At the edge of suburban Matthews, North Carolina, for instance, you could find Grand Asia Market, Lucy's Colombian Bakery, Enzo's Italian Market, and a Mexican buffet in a single shopping center, with a Russian-Turkish grocery and a Greek pizza/Iranian kabob restaurant nearby," Hanchett said.
Symbolic Statues found in the Heart of Uptown
Four statues symbolize the pillars (transportation, industry, commerce, the future) of Charlotte and are found in the city's heart.
- Industry: A woman and child in textile mill worker clothes represent manufacturing and distribution and their role in the modern economy.
- Commerce: A 19th-century gold prospector symbolizes commerce and represents the modern-day headquarters of the nation's banking industry.
- Transportation: An African American railroad worker embodies the significant role of transportation. This includes railroads, interstate highways, and one of the U.S.'s top-10 busiest airports.
- The Future: A mother holding a baby symbolizes the future. All the statues face this statue to emphasize Charlotte always looking toward the future. The statue additionally has Dogwood flowers (the state's flower).
We look forward to seeing you in Charlotte, NC for NANOG 90! Find more information or registration here.
Elizabeth Drolet is NANOG's Multimedia Story Producer
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