For Hotel Charlotte, a final moment of boom times

On this day in 1988: Taping a TV special, magician David Copperfield, handcuffed and locked in a safe, escapes from the old Hotel Charlotte moments before its implosion.

The 12-story hotel has been closed since 1973, but in its heyday it was Charlotte’s finest. Among its guests: Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon; Elvis Presley; Huey Long; Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth. Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff recorded in its 10th-floor studios, and Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo and Kay Kyser performed in its ballroom.