The week-long Southeast Championship Rodeo and World’s Greatest Wildwest Show was held at Charlotte Memorial Stadium in April 1948. Curiously, the autographs printed on the program cover belong not to the visiting rodeo stars but to the sponsoring Jaycees.
Among events: a donkey-riding contest for kids. “Center donkey is for the girls,” the program explains. “End donkey is for little white boys, and the donkey in front of the colored section is for the little colored boys….”
“Charlton Heston told more than 5,000 National Rifle Association members [at their convention in Charlotte] that he wants to serve an unprecedented third term as their president to complete a mission: ensuring Al Gore’s defeat in November…
“As Heston concluded his speech, he was handed a vintage musket, then gave an encore of his performance at his first NRA convention in 1990 in St. Louis, when he intoned the Second Amendment.
“‘So as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take our freedom away, I want to say those words again for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore.’
“Lifting the musket over his head, Heston grumbled: ‘From my cold dead hands!'”
— From the Associated Press (May 20, 2000)
In 1991, while visiting Charlotte with fiance Larry Fortensky to promote her new perfume, Elizabeth Taylor apparently went unrecognized when she stopped her limo and entered Bojangles’ to order a takeout bucket of chicken.
Whatever your opinion of the long-disputed Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, this bronze-clad sculpture of deliveryman Captain James Jack is quite a piece of advocacy art.
I can think of two other examples of equestrian statues in North Carolina: Gen. Nathanael Greene in Greensboro and R. J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem. Are there more?