Browse Exhibits (4 total)
A number of U.S. Presidents have visited Charlotte in years past. George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, and others at one point stopped by this New South City. Some came to campaign, hoping to engage Southern voters. Others came as part of a holiday honoring the history of the purported signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775. Whatever the event or occasion, each visit was unique and added to the rich history of Charlotte.
On May 20, 1909, President William Howard Taft visited Charlotte by invitation in order to partake in the celebration of the alleged signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. It was a big day in the Queen City filled with parades and speeches. It was also a day that feautured unusual circumstances evidenced by a torrential rain that fell just as soon as the parade concluded. The President spoke twice on this day: once to a white crowd at the City Auditorium and again at the historically black Biddle University. His speeches, and the celebratory mood of the city, ensured this to be another memorable Meck Dec Day.
"Your life and mine, though we work in the mill or in the office or in the store, can still be a life in green pastures and beside still waters..." -FDR 9/10/1936
On September 10, 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in Charlotte as the keynote speaker at the Green Pastures Rally. The rally took place at the newly constructed American Legion Memorial Stadium. H. Haywood Robbins organized the event as an opportunity for the South to collectively celebrate the President and his economic policy of the previous four years. Slowly, as the Depression continued on, improvements were noticeable in Charlotte and in the surrounding Southern states. The Green Pastures Rally was a celebration of these gains as the region looked forward to a promising future with President Roosevelt at the helm.
On May 18, 1954, a great celebration took place in Charlotte in commemoration of the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 179 years earlier. In order to make the event all the more special, prominent Charlotteans including A. Grant Whitney, Victor Shaw, and Mayor Philip Lance Van Every invited President Eisenhower to attend the day's festivities. He accepted, and the event he attended was an altogether special day for the city of Charlotte.