Birmingham is a city located in the north central region of the U. S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county; as of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South and Appalachian regions of the nation. Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton; the new city was named for Birmingham, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry.
The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor, along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast. From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States, its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were steel production. Major components of the railroad industry and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta; the economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.
S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast. In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. In 1969 it gained the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System, it is home to three private institutions: Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College. The Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, optometry, physical therapy, law and nursing; the city has three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Miles Law School. Birmingham is the headquarters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U. S. collegiate athletic conferences. Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by the Elyton Land Company, whose investors included cotton planters and railroad entrepreneurs, it sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads, including land, a part of the Benjamin P. Worthington plantation.
The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store operated by Marre and Allen. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for its proximity to nearby deposits of iron ore and limestone – the three main raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a center of industry; the city's founders, organized as the Elyton Land Company, named it in honor of Birmingham, one of the world's premier industrial cities, to emphasize that point. The growth of the planned city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. Soon afterward, however, it began to develop at an explosive rate; the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company became the leading steel producer in the South by 1892. In 1907 U. S. Steel became the most important political and economic force in Birmingham, it resisted new industry, however. In 1911, the town of Elyton and several other surrounding towns were absorbed into Birmingham.
From the early 20th century, the city grew so it earned the sobriquet "The Magic City". The downtown was redeveloped from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid- and high-rise buildings crisscrossed by streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912, four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north-south spine of the city, 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities along the east-west railroad corridor; this early group of skyscrapers was nicknamed the "Heaviest Corner on Earth". Birmingham was hit by the 1916 Irondale earthquake. A few buildings in the area were damaged; the earthquake was felt as far as Atlanta and neighboring states. While excluded from the best-paying industrial jobs, African Americans joined the migration of residents from rural areas to the city, drawn by economic opportunity; the Great Depression of the 1930s struck Birmingham hard, as the sources of capital fueling the city's growth dried up at the same time farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work.
Hundreds poured into many riding in empty boxcars. "Hobo jungles" were established in Boyles, the Twenty-fourth Street Viaduct, G
Belk, Inc. is an American department store chain founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, North Carolina, with 300 locations in 16 states. Belk stores and Belk.com offer apparel, accessories, home furnishings and wedding registry. Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in North Carolina, outside Charlotte; the store was first called "New York Racket" and "Belk Brothers", after Belk made his brother, physician Dr. John Belk, his partner. Belk bought in volume to pass savings on and sold at fixed prices a unusual practice. By 1909, the company had moved its headquarters to Charlotte and built a huge flagship store on Trade and Tryon Streets in downtown Charlotte, which would remain the company's headquarters until it was closed in 1988 to make way for the construction of what is now Bank of America Corporate Center; the business grew relying on "bargain sales" and advertising to grow the business and increase its influence throughout the South. Beginning in 1921 with the Leggett Bros. stores of South Boston, the Belk company grew by investing in various partnerships with local merchandisers in nearby markets.
Belk's growth out of the Southeast was pushed by Earl Jones Sr and the Belk-Jones brand that opened the first Belk west of the Mississippi in 1947. The Jones family and the Belk-Jones brand continued to grow Belk's westward expansion; this complex story is chronicled in a book published by Belk – Belk, Inc.: The Company and the Family That Built It – about the evolution of the company. This structure allowed Belk to expand and permitted local variation, but resulted in a diluted brand identity since most stores were co-branded. By the 1990s, the system had become untenable: stores were held by over 350 separate legal entities, Belk family members disagreed about whether to maintain or sweep away the structure, some local partners threatened stability by selling their stakes. For example, the heirs of John G. Parks, majority owners of the Parks-Belk chain, sold their interests to Proffitt's, a competitor; the Belks sold their stake as well, although Belk would purchase the stores back as part of its acquisition of the entire Proffitt's chain.
When Proffitt's made an offer for the Leggett family's stake, which included 42 stores comprising about 20 percent of Belk's revenue and Tom Belk were forced to respond by forming a new company in 1996 that bought the Leggetts out. This move accelerated the slow trend of consolidating the store's ownership under the Belks. In 1998, the company formed a new entity that merged the 112 remaining Belk companies, swapping the existing partners' local interests for shares in the combined entity. Belk eliminated the dual brands, completing the process with a chain-wide Belk rebranding in the fall of 2010. On July 5, 2005, Belk completed the purchase of 47 Proffitt's and McRae's department stores from Saks Incorporated in Tennessee and Mississippi. Belk converted the 39 Proffitt's and McRae's stores to the Belk nameplate on March 8, 2006. Just over a year Belk purchased 38 Parisian department stores from Saks on October 2, 2006. Although most Parisian stores were converted to the Belk nameplate since September 12, 2007, some duplicate Parisian stores were closed, as at The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo, Richland Mall, Columbiana Centre in Columbia, South Carolina, Citadel Mall in Charleston, South Carolina.
Four Parisian stores in Indiana and Ohio, plus a store under construction at the time in Michigan, were sold by Belk to The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. Integrating the larger, more upscale Parisian stores proved a challenge for Belk, spurred the creation of the company's flagship strategy. During the fourth quarter of 2005, Belk completed the sale of its private-label credit card division, Belk National Bank, to GE MoneyBank. Consumers were issued new Belk credit cards replacing the old ones issued by BNB. All new Belk cards are now issued by GE MoneyBank, now known as Synchrony Bank. On October 3, 2010, the News & Observer reported. On October 12 at SouthPark Mall, Belk introduced the new logo, its first since 1967; the chain embarked on a $70 million marketing campaign that replaced the old slogan "All for You!" with a new slogan, "Modern. Southern. Style." Sixty stores got new signs in the first phase, with the remainder getting new signs throughout 2011. Advertisements for Belk & Co. jewelry continue to use a variation of the old logo.
On April 3, 2015, news reports revealed that Belk was exploring "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale of the company. On August 24, 2015, Belk announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners; the acquisition was completed on December 10, 2015. On June 29, 2016, Belk announced that effective as of July 5, Lisa Harper, CEO of Hot Topic, would replace Tim Belk as CEO of Belk; this would be the first time since the founding of the company that a non-Belk family member would head the company. The chain operates 293 stores in 16 states, generating $4 billion in sales in 2014, its typical store covers 100,000 to 180,000 square feet. 50% of its stores are in regional malls, another 40% in open-air community or retail parks, 10% in open-air lifestyle centers. As Belk has made its recent acquisitions, the chain has operated limited electronic commerce on its website, those websites acquired and redirected to Belk.com.
Home furnishings such as bedding, small kitchen appliances, crystal and china have be
Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U. S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state. Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State"; the state tree is the longleaf pine, the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery; the largest city by population is Birmingham. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana. From the American Civil War until World War II, like many states in the southern U. S. suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Similar to other former slave states, Alabamian legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and otherwise discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until at least the 1970s.
Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one based on agriculture to one with diversified interests; the state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, finance, aerospace, mineral extraction, education and technology. The European-American naming of the Alabama River and state was derived from the Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers on the upper reaches of the river. In the Alabama language, the word for a person of Alabama lineage is Albaamo; the suggestion that "Alabama" was borrowed from the Choctaw language is unlikely. The word's spelling varies among historical sources; the first usage appears in three accounts of the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540: Garcilaso de la Vega used Alibamo, while the Knight of Elvas and Rodrigo Ranjel wrote Alibamu and Limamu in transliterations of the term.
As early as 1702, the French called the tribe the Alibamon, with French maps identifying the river as Rivière des Alibamons. Other spellings of the name have included Alibamu, Albama, Alibama, Alabamu, Allibamou. Sources disagree on the word's meaning; some scholars suggest the word comes from amo. The meaning may have been "clearers of the thicket" or "herb gatherers", referring to clearing land for cultivation or collecting medicinal plants; the state has numerous place names of Native American origin. However, there are no correspondingly similar words in the Alabama language. An 1842 article in the Jacksonville Republican proposed it meant "Here We Rest." This notion was popularized in the 1850s through the writings of Alexander Beaufort Meek. Experts in the Muskogean languages have not found any evidence to support such a translation. Indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area for thousands of years before the advent of European colonization. Trade with the northeastern tribes by the Ohio River began during the Burial Mound Period and continued until European contact.
The agrarian Mississippian culture covered most of the state from 1000 to 1600 AD, with one of its major centers built at what is now the Moundville Archaeological Site in Moundville, Alabama. This is the second-largest complex of the classic Middle Mississippian era, after Cahokia in present-day Illinois, the center of the culture. Analysis of artifacts from archaeological excavations at Moundville were the basis of scholars' formulating the characteristics of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Contrary to popular belief, the SECC appears to have no direct links to Mesoamerican culture, but developed independently; the Ceremonial Complex represents a major component of the religion of the Mississippian peoples. Among the historical tribes of Native American people living in present-day Alabama at the time of European contact were the Cherokee, an Iroquoian language people. While part of the same large language family, the Muskogee tribes developed distinct cultures and languages. With exploration in the 16th century, the Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Alabama.
The expedition of Hernando de Soto passed through Mabila and other parts of the state in 1540. More than 160 years the French founded the region's first European settlement at Old Mobile in 1702; the city was moved to the current site of Mobile in 1711. This area was claimed by the French from 1702 to 1763 as part of La Louisiane. After the French lost to the British in the Seven Years' War, it became part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1783. After the United States victory in the American Revolutionary War, the territory was divided between the United States and Spain; the latter retained control of this western territory from 1783 until the surrender of the Spanish garrison at Mobile to U. S. forces on April 13, 1813. Thomas Bassett, a loyalist to the British monarchy during the Revolutionary era, was one of the earliest white settlers in the state
A department store is a retail establishment offering a wide range of consumer goods in different product categories known as "departments". In modern major cities, the department store made a dramatic appearance in the middle of the 19th century, permanently reshaped shopping habits, the definition of service and luxury. Similar developments were under way in Paris and in New York. Today, departments include the following: clothing, home appliances, cosmetics, gardening, sporting goods, do it yourself and hardware. Additionally, other lines of products such as food, jewelry, stationery, photographic equipment, baby products, products for pets are sometimes included. Customers check out near the front of the store, although some stores include sales counters within each department; some stores are one of many within a larger retail chain retailers. In the 1970s, they came under heavy pressure from discounters, have come under heavier pressure from e-commerce sites since 2010. Big-box stores and discount stores are comparable to historical department stores.
The origins of the departmental store lay in the growth of the conspicuous consumer society at the turn of the 19th century. As the Industrial Revolution accelerated economy expansion, the affluent middle-class grew in size and wealth. Urbanized social groups, sharing a culture of consumption and changing fashions, were the catalyst for the retail revolution; as rising prosperity and social mobility increased the number of people women, with disposable income in the late Georgian period, window shopping was transformed into a leisure activity and entrepreneurs, like the potter Josiah Wedgwood, pioneered the use of marketing techniques to influence the prevailing tastes and preferences of society. Department stores often featured post services, childcare services and other services that appealed to female shoppers. One of the first department stores may have been Bennett's in Derby, first established as an ironmonger in 1734, it still stands to trading in the same building. However, the first reliably dated department store to be established, was Harding, Howell & Co, which opened in 1796 on Pall Mall, London.
An observer writing in Ackermann's Repository, a British periodical on contemporary taste and fashion, described the enterprise in 1809 as follows: The house is one hundred and fifty feet in length from front to back, of proportionate width. It is fitted up with great taste, is divided by glazed partitions into four departments, for the various branches of the extensive business, there carried on. At the entrance is the first department, appropriated to the sale of furs and fans; the second contains articles of haberdashery of every description, muslins, gloves, &etc. In the third shop, on the right, you meet with a rich assortment of jewelry, ornamental articles in ormolu, french clocks, &etc.. The fourth is set apart for millinery and dresses; this concern has been conducted for the last twelve years by the present proprietors who have spared neither trouble nor expense to ensure the establishment of a superiority over every other in Europe, to render it unique in its kind. This venture is described as having all of the basic characteristics of the department store.
This pioneering shop was closed down in 1820. All the major British cities had flourishing department stores by the mid-or late nineteenth century. Women became the main customers. Kendals in Manchester lays claim to being one of the first department stores and is still known to many of its customers as Kendal's, despite its 2005 name change to House of Fraser; the Manchester institution dates back to 1836 but had been trading as Watts Bazaar since 1796. At its zenith the store had buildings on both sides of Deansgate linked by a subterranean passage "Kendals Arcade" and an art nouveau tiled food hall; the store was known for its emphasis on quality and style over low prices giving it the nickname "the Harrods of the North", although this was due in part to Harrods acquiring the store in 1919. Other large Manchester stores included Lewis's. In London, department stores were established in Oxford Street and Regent Street in the mid 19th-century; these were distinctly modern stores with lavish displays of imported goods Oriental shawls and furniture and served a wealthy clientele.
Harrods of London can be traced back to 1834, while the current store on Brompton Road on a site they acquired in 1849, was constructed between 1894 and 1905. Liberty & Co. gained popularity in thre 1870s for selling Oriental goods. Gamages was founded in London's High Holborn by Arthur Walter Gamage in 1878. In Bayswater, the draper, William Whiteley established a department store with more of a mass market appeal. Bainbridge's dates back to 1838, when Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge went into partnership with William Alder Dunn and opened a drapers and fashion shop in Newcastle's Market Street. In 1849 there were 23 separate departm
Huntsville is a city located in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County; the city extends south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871; the Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014, it grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list; the first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people.
The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, pressures from the United States government had depopulated the area prior to 1805; that year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government; the area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope. Twickenham was planned, with streets laid out on the northeast to southwest direction based on the flow of Big Spring. However, due to anti-British sentiment during this period, the name was changed to "Huntsville" to honor John Hunt, forced to move to other land south of the new city. Both John Hunt and LeRoy Pope were Freemasons and charter members of Helion Lodge #1, the oldest Lodge in Alabama.
In 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated town in Alabama. However, the recognized "founding" year of the city is the year of John Hunt's arrival; the city's sesquicentennial anniversary was held in 1955, the bicentennial was celebrated in 2005. David Wade arrived in Huntsville in 1817, he built the David Wade House on the north side of what is now Bob Wade Lane just east of Mt. Lebanon Road, it had six rough Doric columns on the portico. During the Great Depression, the house was measured as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey to be included in the government's Archive and was photographed by Frances Benjamin Johnston for the project; this project put architects and photographers to work to create an inventory of documentation and photographs of significant properties across the country. The house had been abandoned for years and was deteriorated, it was torn down in 1952. Today an imposing structure itself, survives at the property. Huntsville's quick growth was from wealth generated by the railroad industries.
Many wealthy planters moved into the area from Virginia and the Carolinas. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen's large cabinetmaking shop; the 44 delegates meeting there wrote a constitution for the new state of Alabama. In accordance with the new state constitution, Huntsville became Alabama's first capital when the state was admitted to the Union; this was a temporary designation for one legislative session only. The capital was moved to more central cities: to Cahawba to Tuscaloosa, to Montgomery. In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was constructed through Huntsville, becoming the first railway to link the Atlantic seacoast with the lower Mississippi River. Huntsville opposed secession from the Union in 1861, but provided many men for the Confederacy's efforts; the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, led by Col. Egbert J. Jones of Huntsville, distinguished itself at the Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, the first major encounter of the American Civil War; the Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war and were present when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
Eight generals of the war were born near Huntsville, evenly split with four on each side. On the morning of April 11, 1862, Union troops led by General Ormsby M. Mitchel seized Huntsville in order to sever the Confederacy's rail communications and gain access to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Huntsville was the control point for the Western Division of the Memphis & Charleston, by controlling this railroad the Union had a direct connection to Charleston, South Carolina. During the first occupation, the Union officers occupied many of the larger homes in the city while the other men camped on the outskirts. In the initial occupation, the Union troops searched for both Confederate troops hiding in the town and weapons. After they had established themselves, the occupying federals did not burn or pillage the city of Huntsville, though towns around it were sometimes targeted. Treatment toward the town was civil; the Union troops were forced to retreat some months but returned to Huntsville in the fall of 1863 and thereafter used the city as a base of operations for the remainder of the war.
While many homes and villages in the surrounding countryside were burned in retaliation for the active guerrilla warfare in the area, Huntsville itself was spared because it housed elements of the Union Army. After the Civil War, H
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the most populous city in the U. S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2017, the U. S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 859,035, making it the 17th-most populous city in the United States; the Charlotte metropolitan area's population ranks 22nd in the U. S. and had a 2016 population of 2,474,314. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2016 census-estimated population of 2,632,249. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U. S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, it tops the 50 largest U. S. cities as the millennial hub. It is the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Florida, it is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. It is listed as a "gamma" global city by World Cities Research Network. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States since 1995. Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Charlotte Independence of the USL, the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse, two NASCAR Cup Series races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, the U. S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate, it is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city; the Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records.
By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from smallpox, endemic among Europeans, because the Catawba had no acquired immunity to the new disease. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, but by 1826 their total population had dropped to 110; the European-American city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding European population in the backcountry. German immigrants settled the area before the American Revolutionary War, but in much smaller numbers, they still contributed to the early foundations of the region. Mecklenburg County was part of Bath County of New Hanover Precinct, which became New Hanover County in 1729; the western portion of New Hanover split into Bladen County in 1734, its western portion splitting into Anson County in 1750. Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762.
Further apportionment was made in 1792, after the American Revolutionary War, with Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg. In 1842, Union County formed from Mecklenburg's southeastern portion and a western portion of Anson County; these areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the Salisbury District. The area, now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood. Thomas Polk, who married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path was part of the Great Wagon Road. Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents.
He wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest". Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become "Charlotte Town", incorporating in 1768; the crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of Uptown Charlotte. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development; the east–west trading path became Trade Street, the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon," or "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square". While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte Town, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs". Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that led to the American Revolution.
May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's state flag and state seal bea