Place:Greensboro, Guilford, North Carolina, United States

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NameGreensboro
TypeCity
Coordinates36.08°N 79.819°W
Located inGuilford, North Carolina, United States     (1808 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Greensboro (; formerly Greensborough) is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina.[1] It is the 3rd-most populous city in North Carolina, the 68th-most populous city in the United States, and the county seat and largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 269,666, and in 2015 the estimated population was 285,342. Three major interstate highways (Interstate 40, Interstate 85, and Interstate 73) in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina were built to intersect at this city.

In 1808, "Greensborough" (the spelling before 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to succeed Guilford Court House as the county seat. The county courts were thus placed closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached at the time by the majority of the county's citizens, who depended on horse and foot for travel.

In 2003, the previous Greensboro – Winston-SalemHigh Point metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was re-defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. This region was separated into the Greensboro–High Point MSA and the Winston-Salem MSA. The 2010 population for the Greensboro–High Point MSA was 723,801. The combined statistical area (CSA) of Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, popularly referred to as the Piedmont Triad, had a population of 1,599,477.

Among Greensboro's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe water park, the Greensboro Science Center, the International Civil Rights Museum, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Greensboro Symphony, the Greensboro Ballet, Triad Stage, the Wyndham Golf Championship, the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex which hosts various sporting events, concerts, and other events, the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic Baseball League, the Carolina Dynamo of the Premier Development Soccer League, the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League, the Greensboro Roller Derby, and the National Folk Festival.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Greensboro were a Siouan-speaking people called the Saura. Other indigenous cultures had occupied this area for thousands of years, typically settling along the waterways, as did the early settlers.

Quaker migrants from Pennsylvania, by way of Maryland, arrived at Capefair (now Greensboro) in about 1750. The new settlers began organized religious services affiliated with the Cane Creek Friends Meeting in Snow Camp in 1751. Three years later, 40 Quaker families were granted approval to establish New Garden Monthly Meeting.[2] (The action is recorded in the minutes of the Perquimans and Little River Quarterly Meeting on May 25, 1754: "To Friends at New Garden in Capefair", signed by Joseph Ratliff.) The settlement grew rapidly during the next three years, adding members from as far away as Nantucket in Massachusetts.[2] It soon became the most important Quaker community in North Carolina and mother of several other Quaker meetings that were established in the state and west of the Appalachians.[2]

After the Revolutionary War, the city of Greensboro was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the rebel American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781.[3] Although the Americans lost the battle, Greene's forces inflicted heavy casualties on the British Army of General Cornwallis. Following this battle, Cornwallis withdrew his troops to a British coastal base in Wilmington, North Carolina.


Greensboro was established near the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that was "an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit." Property for the future village was purchased from the Saura for $98. Three north-south streets (Greene, Elm, Davie) were laid out intersecting with three east-west streets (Gaston, Market, Sycamore).[3] The courthouse was built at the center of the intersection of Elm and Market streets. By 1821, the town was home to 369 residents.


In the early 1840s, Greensboro was designated by the state government as one of the stops on a new railroad line, at the request of Governor John Motley Morehead, whose plantation, Blandwood, was in Greensboro. Stimulated by rail traffic and improved access to markets, the city grew substantially, soon becoming known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the Piedmont. The railroads transported goods to and from the cotton textile mills. Many of the manufacturers developed workers' housing in mill villages near their facilities.

Textile companies and related businesses continued into the 21st century, when most went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies as textile manufacturing jobs moved offshore. Greensboro is still a major center of the textile industry, with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica). ITG Brands, maker of Kool, Winston and Salem brand cigarettes, is the third largest tobacco company in the United States and is headquartered in Greensboro. Rail traffic continues to be important for the city's economy, as Greensboro is a major regional freight hub. In addition, four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated in the 18th and 19th centuries from cotton trade and merchandising resulted in owners' constructing several notable buildings. The earliest, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, was built by a planter in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York City, made the house influential as America's earliest Tuscan-style villa. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Other significant plantation houses and estates were developed, including "Dunleith", designed by Samuel Sloan; Bellemeade; and the Bumpass-Troy House. Since the late 20th century, the latter has been adapted and operates as a private inn.

Civil War and last days of the Confederacy

In the mid-19th century, many of the residents of the Piedmont and western areas of the state were Unionist, and Guilford County did not vote for secession. But, once North Carolina joined the Confederacy, some citizens joined the Confederate cause, forming such infantry units as the Guilford Grays to fight in the Civil War. From 1861 to March 1865 the city was relatively untouched by the war, although residents had to deal with the regional shortages of clothing, medicines, and other items caused by the US naval blockade of the South.

In the final weeks of the war, Greensboro played a unique role in the last days of the Confederate government. In April 1865 General P. G. T. Beauregard was instructed by the commanding officer of the Army of Tennessee, General Joseph E. Johnston, to prepare for a defense of the city. During this time, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the remaining members of the Confederate cabinet had evacuated the Confederate Capital in Richmond, Virginia, and moved south to Danville, Virginia.

When Union cavalry threatened Danville, Davis and his cabinet managed to escape by train and reassembled in Greensboro on April 11, 1865. While in the city, Davis and his cabinet decided to try to escape overseas in order to avoid capture by the victorious Union forces; they left Greensboro and separated. Greensboro is notable as the last place where the entire Confederate government met as a group: it is considered by some the "final" capital city of the Confederacy.

At nearly the same time, Governor Zebulon B. Vance fled Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, before the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman swept the city. For a brief period beginning April 16, 1865, he and other officials maintained the state capital in Greensboro.[3] Governor Vance proclaimed the North Carolina Surrender Declaration on April 28, 1865.[4] Later, Vance surrendered to Union officials in the parlor of Blandwood Mansion. Historian Blackwell Robinson wrote, "Greensboro witnessed not only the demise of the Confederacy but also that of the old civil government of the state."[5]

Once surrender negotiations were completed at Bennett Place (in present-day Durham, North Carolina) between General Johnston and General Sherman on April 26, 1865, Confederate soldiers in Greensboro stacked their arms and received their paroles, and headed for home.

Industrialization and growth

After the war, investors worked to restore the textile mills and related industry. In the 1890s, the city continued to attract attention from northern industrialists, including Moses and Caesar Cone of Baltimore, Maryland.[3] The Cone brothers established large-scale textile plants, changing Greensboro from a village to a city within a decade. By 1900, Greensboro was considered a center of the Southern textile industry, with large-scale factories producing denim, flannel, and overalls.[6] The resulting prosperity was expressed in the construction of notable twentieth-century civic architecture, including the Guilford County Courthouse, West Market Street United Methodist Church by S. W. Faulk, several buildings designed by Frank A. Weston, and the Julius I. Foust Building of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, designed by Orlo Epps.

During the twentieth century, Greensboro continued to increase in population and wealth. Grand commercial and civic buildings, many of which still stand today, were designed by local architects Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton. Other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co. (famous for over-the-counter cold remedies such as VapoRub and NyQuil), Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works.[5] During the first three decades, Greensboro grew so rapidly that there was an acute worker housing shortage. Builders set a construction goal of 80 to 100 affordable housing units per year to provide homes for workers.[5] Greensboro's real estate was considered "the wonder of the state" during the 1920s. Growth continued even through the Great Depression, as Greensboro attracted an estimated 200 new families per year to its population.[5] The city earned a reputation as a well-planned community, with a strong emphasis on education, parks, and a profitable employment base.

It has two major public research universities, North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black college established in the late 19th century, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, students from A&T were the major force in protests to achieve racial justice, desegregation of public facilities, and fair employment, beginning with the Greensboro Four, who sat in at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworth's in 1960 to gain service. The largest civil rights protests in North Carolina history took place in Greensboro in May and June 1963. In the 21st century, the universities are leaders in new areas of research in high tech and science, on which the city hopes to build a new economy.

Wartime and postwar prosperity brought development, and designs commissioned from nationally and internationally known architects. For instance, Walter Gropius, a leader of the German Bauhaus movement in the United States, designed a factory building in the city in 1944. Greensboro-based Ed Loewenstein designed projects throughout the region. Eduardo Catalano and George Matsumoto were hired for projects whose designs have challenged North Carolinians with modernist architectural concepts and forms.

Civil rights movement

In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Greensboro's population as 74.0% white and 25.8% black. As in the rest of the state, most blacks were still disenfranchised under state laws, Jim Crow laws and customs were in effect, and public facilities, including schools, were racially segregated by law. This was after the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Facilities reserved for blacks were generally underfunded by the state and city governments, which were dominated by conservative white Democrats.

In the postwar period, blacks pushed in North Carolina and across the South to regain the ability to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens. College students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College (A&T), a historically black college, made Greensboro a center of protests and change. On February 1, 1960, four black college students sat down at an "all-white" Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. They had already purchased items in other parts of the store and kept their receipts. After being denied lunch service, they brought out the receipts, asking why their money was good everywhere else in the store but not at the lunch counter. Hundreds of supporters soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of lunch counters and other facilities at Woolworth's and other chains.

Woolworth's went out of business due to changes in 20th-century retail practices, but the original Woolworth's lunch counter and stools are still in their original location. The former Woolworth's building has been adapted as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which opened on February 1, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the sit-ins. (A section of the counter is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to mark the courage of the civil rights protesters.)


The white business community acceded to the desegregation of Woolworth's and made other minor concessions, but the civil rights movement had additional goals, holding protests in 1962 and 1963. In May and June 1963, the largest civil rights protest in North Carolina history took place in Greensboro. Protesters sought desegregation of public accommodations, and economic and social justice, such as hiring policies based on merit rather than race. They also worked for the overdue integration of public schools, as the US Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. Each night more than 2,000 protesters marched through Greensboro's segregated central business district. William Thomas and A. Knighton Stanley, coordinators of Greensboro's local CORE chapter, invited Jesse Jackson, then an activist student at A&T, to join the protests. Jackson quickly rose to prominence as a student leader, becoming the public spokesman of the non-violent protest movement. Seeking to overwhelm city jails, as was done in protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama, the protesters invited arrest by violating segregation rules of local businesses; they were charged with trespassing and other non-violent actions. College and high school students constituted most of the protesters, and at one point approximately 1,400 blacks were jailed in the city of Greensboro. The scale of protests disrupted the business community and challenged the leadership of the mayor and Governor Terry Sanford.

Finally the city and business community responded with further desegregation of public facilities, reformed hiring policies in city government, and commitments to progress by both Greensboro's mayor and Governor Sanford. Sanford declared, "Anyone who hasn't received this message doesn't understand human nature." Significant changes in race relations still came at a painfully slow pace, and the verbal commitments from white leadership in 1963 were not implemented in substantial ways.

Dudley High School/A&T protests

In May 1969, students of James B. Dudley High School were outraged when the administration refused to let a popular candidate run for student union class president, allegedly due to his membership in Youth for the Unity of Black Society. After their appeals to the school were rejected, the students asked activists at North Carolina A& T State University for support in a protest. Protests escalated and after students at A&T had thrown rocks at police, they returned on May 21 armed with tear gas canisters, using this against the crowds. The uprising grew larger, and the governor ordered the National Guard to back up local police. After there were exchanges of gunfire, the governor ordered the National Guard into the A&T campus, in what was described at the time as "the most massive armed assault ever made against an American university." The National Guard swept the college dormitories, taking hundreds of students into "protective custody". The demonstrations were suppressed. The disturbances were investigated by the North Carolina State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights; its 1970 report concluded that the National Guard invasion was a reckless action as it was disproportionate to the danger posed by student protests. It criticized local community leaders for failing to respond adequately to the Dudley High School students when the issues first arose. They declared it "a sad commentary that the only group in the community who would take the Dudley students seriously were the students at A&T State University."[7]

Greensboro Massacre

While making progress, African Americans in Greensboro continued to suffer acts of prejudice. On November 3, 1979, members of the Communist Workers Party (CWP) held an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in the black Morningside Heights neighborhood. It was covered by four local TV news stations. During the protest, two cars containing KKK supporters arrived. After a confrontation, the KKK and CWP groups exchanged gunfire. Five CWP members were killed and eleven CWP members and one Klansman were injured. Television footage of the actions was shown nationwide and around the world, and the event became known as the Greensboro Massacre. In November 1980, six KKK defendants were each acquitted in a state criminal trial by an all-white jury after a week of deliberations. Families of those killed and injured in the attack filed a civil suit against the city and police department for failure to protect the black citizens. In 1985, a jury in this case found five police officers and two other individuals liable for $350,000 in damages; the monies were to be paid to the Greensboro Justice Fund, established to prosecute such cases to advance civil rights.

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