The cable network C-SPAN will be featuring the history and literature of Charlotte this weekend. One of their Local Content Vehicles was in Charlotte a few weeks ago, and seems to have made the rounds, visiting libraries, bookstores, historic sites, and talking to local authors. Get a sneak preview online at http://www.c-span.org/LocalContent/Charlotte/.
Among many other features, there’s a great tour of the Special Collections department at UNC-Charlotte, and a nice capsule history of the Mecklenburg Declaration from Tony Zeiss of Central Piedmont Community College.
“Gov. Jonathan Worth, elected in 1865, had earlier in his career steered to passage the bill establishing public education in North Carolina, but he now persuaded the legislature to abolish the state school system altogether…. The governor feared that if white children were educated at public expense, ‘we will be required to educate the negroes in like manner.’
“To avoid having to expend public monies on black education, Worth and his legislature authorized localities to establish tax-supported private academies, risking, as one ally warned, ‘the entire alienation of the poorer class’ of whites, and destroying the South’s only extensive system of public education.”
— From “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (1988)