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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.