Curious Choice For Democratic Convention
Curious Choice For Democratic Convention, Charlotte has a high unemployment rate and a Democratic governor who is unpopular. DNC host Charlotte is city founded in controversy, When all is said and done, perhaps it was destiny that Charlotte host the Democratic National Convention – and that its choice be controversial.
After all, the city and surrounding county of Mecklenburg are the main players in one of North Carolina’s great historic controversies: whether a document known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed here more than a year before that other Declaration of Independence (the one drafted by Thomas Jefferson) showed up in 1776.
The Mecklenburg declaration wasn’t published until 1819, but the date of its supposed signing, May 20, 1775, is printed on the North Carolina state flag, even though most historians no longer believe the document ever existed.
“Although it’s a point of pride in Charlotte, most North Carolina historians follow the line that it was not an authentic document,” says Mike Hill, research branch supervisor at the N.C. Office of Archives History. “The last copies are said to have burned in a fire in the early 19th century. Its mentions in history books are based on the memories of aging men.” (Historians don’t, however, question the legitimacy of a different document called the Mecklenburg Resolves, signed 11 days after the “Meck Dec.”)
Controversy aside, delegates in town for the convention, which begins Sept. 3, will find several places in and around Charlotte where they can soak up a little political history. Whether or not you believe the Mecklenburg lore, most out-of-towners do make a stop in the place named for the declaration: Independence Square, now the center of the city’s financial district, at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets. The square is home to four sculptures representing transportation, labor, business and the future, and a look up at the surrounding skyscrapers shows “the significance of Charlotte as a banking and business center,” says Robert Anthony, curator of the North Carolina collection at the University of North Carolina. Charlotte is the nation’s second-largest banking center after New York.
Republicans have enjoyed watching Democrats squirm over the choice of Charlotte, the largest city in a state with high unemployment and an unpopular Democratic governor who’s not seeking a second term. Even some typical Democratic supporters, including unions, weren’t happy with the selection of a city in a right-to-work state.