Charlotte Mayoral Collections

An Airport for Charlotte?

April 29, 2010
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As early as the 1920’s, the city of Charlotte was aware of its growing need for an airport. However, the city’s population and industrial growth far exceeded its pace of annexation of neighboring towns. However, it is obvious by this clipping from the Charlotte News that Mayor Redd was involved in stretching the limits of his financial responsibility in order to help Charlotte begin to construct its much needed airport.


Source: UNC Charlotte Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 12

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No Loafers Allowed

April 29, 2010
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Keeping citizens of Charlotte feeling safe and comfortable was Mayor Redd’s primary objective when he issued this statement to the Charlotte News in 1928. Loafers had o been hanging about the square making patrons and business owners uncomfortable and causing business to decline.

Mayor Redd declared of the loafers “who hang around the drug store and make remarks about ladies as they ass ought to be put in jail if they refuse to get away.”

Clearly, the elimination of loafers in Charlotte was a matter of public welfare in the late ’20s.

Source: UNC Charlotte Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 12


Is Your Daughter Safe?

April 29, 2010
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In April of 1928, a scandal regarding a film called “Is Your Daughter Safe?” playing at the Strand Theatre in Charlotte shook the city. The scandal surrounding th film, which depicted sexually graphic material for the time, led to all films being shown after 9 pm to be banned in the city. Mayor Redd declared that the late showing of films of any kind were “not conducive to the good morals of the community.”

Police were placed on duty to prevent theatre owners and operators from showing  films to patrons. Theatre managers eventually banded together to combat these new blue laws instated by Mayor Redd which would affect their revenues.

Source: UNC Charlotte Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 20


Traffic and Mayor Redd

April 28, 2010
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In the late 1920’s, as cars became more prevalent on the streets of Charlotte, it became clear that traffic laws to govern their movement were going to be necessary. In order to deal with some of the issues regarding traffic problems, Mayor Redd chose to institute a drivers’ examination. The Charlotte News explained in a February 24, 1928 issue, “The new scheme will supplant the present method of having the application for a driver’s permit signed by two automobile drivers. This method was characterized by the mayor as worthless from a standpoint of learning the fitness of a person to drive a car.” Redd developed his plan by studying the ways in which other large and growing cities dealt with the influx of automobiles onto their streets.

Licensing was not the only issue that faced Mayor Redd and Charlotte auto drivers. Traffic congestion and parking issues also became an issue during Mayor Redd’s term, causing several new laws to be instated, especially regarding the length of time that cars could be parked uptown, and the prohibition of double parking anywhere in the city as a courtesy to other drivers.

Mayor Redd declared, “We are going to enforce these new regulations and every time the law is violated, the violator will be haled [sic] into court. Everybody, rich or poor, or whatever station may just as well realize that the law will be enforced and govern themselves accordingly.”

He went on, perhaps less politically correctly, “The same strict enforcements will be directed toward women drivers as well as men. We aren’t going to have women trying to ‘cry out of it’ when they are caught violating the law.”

Source: UNC Charlotte Manuscript Colleection #249; Box 1, Folder 12


Mayor Redd and a Healthy Charlotte

April 28, 2010
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One of the main issues mayors face is the public health of the city’s inhabitants. The Charlotte News reported that “at a meeting of the Charlotte Corporate Nursing Association yesterday, Mayor Redd declared that he would “strain the coffers of the city” further for the health department than for any other department after an appraisal was made by a staff associate from the American Child Health Association. The associate rated Charlotte only 616.5 points out of a possible 1000, indicating an obvious need for improvement in public health, which Mayor Redd was responsible for coming up with a plan to finance.

Source: UNC Charlotte Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 12


Mayor Redd’s Special Census, 1928

April 28, 2010
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While Marion Redd was in office, there was a concern among Charlotteans about rapid city growth and the lack of an inaccurate population count. To combat these concerns, Redd initiated a special census in January of 1928. This census surprised Charlotte immensely as it showed population figures “22,000 greater than the 55,000 estimate recently announced by the Bureau of Census as Charlotte’s 1927 population,” according to the January 18, 1928 issue of the Charlotte News.

After the special census was complete, the final population count was 80,500 making Charlotte the largest city in the state in regards to population, surpassing Winston-Salem for the first time.

This editorial cartoon from the Charlotte News reveals Charlotte’s feelings about the Census results and their new position in relation to Winston-Salem.

Source: UNCC Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 8


F. Marion Redd’s Address to the League of Women Voters

April 28, 2010
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This image is an excerpt from a speech Marion Redd planned to give to the League of Women Voters during his candidacy for mayor of Charlotte. Here you can clearly see the notes he made to himself as he worked on the speech and tried to discover the best way to address this group of voters. Though women were largely still confined to the private sphere in 1927, they could vote, and they could also be a very persuasive force in the community. Redd states in  his speech, “The heart of woman will always remain wrapped up in her home, but questions of morality and clean government and efficient public servants will be much benefitted [sic] by the interest and thought of women.”

It is clear in this speech that the Charlotte community was largely concerned with issues of extending the city limits, as well as “schools, paved streets, water, sewerage, fire and police protection…” and taxation.

After Redd was elected mayor in 1927, he indeed focused on each of these issues in depth.

Source: UNCC Manuscript Collection #249; Box 1, Folder 5.


F. Marion Redd, 1927-1929

April 28, 2010
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Portrait of F. Marion Redd

F. Marion Redd was the mayor of Charlotte from 1927 to 1929 and his is the first set of manuscripts available in the Charlotte Mayoral Collections.

Here is a biographical note from UNC Charlotte’s Special Collections’ description of the collection:

“Francis Marion Redd was born in Onslow County, N.C., on August 11, 1879 to Sigley and Camilla Morton Redd. After attending Richlands Academy and Thompson’s School and Business College, Redd graduated L.L.B. in 1905 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 1927, Redd was elected mayor of Charlotte and served one two-year term. During his administration (1927-29), Redd worked to improve the city through various means, such as paving roads and the collection of back taxes. Redd was instrumental in bringing to Charlotte and planning the 39th United Confederate Veteran’s Reunion, which was held in June, 1929. From July, 1935 until his retirement in June, 1949, Redd was judge of the combined Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts of the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Organizations in which he held membership included the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges, National Probation and Parole Association, North Carolina and Mecklenburg County bar associations (he served as president of the latter), and BPOE. Redd married Bessie Lee Flowe (1899-1962) on November 1, 1919. He died in Charlotte on November 14, 1956; she died on December 21, 1962.”