Billy Brown Olive Papers, 1950-2001

Creator: Olive, Billy Brown, 1921-
Collection number: 5453
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Abstract: Billy Brown Olive of Durham, N.C., is a North Carolina attorney who specializes in patent and intellectual property law. In 1957, he established Olive & Olive, the first patent law firm to serve the Research Triangle Park area, and taught proprietary and engineering law classes at the Duke School of Engineering and the School of Product Design at North Carolina State University. For more than 40 years, Olive was involved in civic affairs, specifically those relating to the environment and environmental racism. Locally, he was involved in the opposition to specific routes of Interstate 40 in Orange County, N.C., serving as coordinator with Opposition to I-40 in Orange County. He also opposed the Eubanks Road landfill site in Orange County, N.C. and the East/West Expressway route through the historically African American Crest Street community in Durham, N.C. The collection includes materials on environmental and social issues of interest to Billy Brown Olive, specifically his opposition to the Interstate 40 construction through Orange County, N.C.; the proposed landfill site near Eubanks Road in Orange County; and the proposed extension of the East/West Expressway (North Carolina Highway 147) through the historically African American Crest Street community in Durham, N.C. Interstate 40 papers consist of Olive’s office files related to Interstate 40 construction through North Carolina, including correspondence, meeting minutes of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, newspaper clippings, maps of routes, and petitions. Landfill site materials relate to the proposed placement of an Orange County landfill near Eubanks Road in Orange County, and include court documents, letters of opposition written by Olive, newspaper clippings, landfill drawings, and publications and reports. Crest Street papers include correspondence; court documents, specifically those related to the Save Our Church and Community Committee of Durham; maps of Duke Forest; publications and reports; and additional correspondence relating to I-40 construction in Durham. Also included is material related to the Orange County Municipal Waste Project, chiefly consisting of correspondence of Olive with state and local officials, newspaper staff, educators, and the Landfill Owners Group, but also including studies and reports on waste management. There are a few related photographs scattered throughout the collection.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: A number of the communities Mr. Olive worked with are African American, including the community on Crest Street. Series 3 contains correspondence, maps, and court proceedings relating to stopping the expansion of Interstate 40 through the Crest Street neighborhood.