Charlotte’s earliest establishment as a finance center began as the site of the nation’s first Gold Rush at the turn of the 19th century, which helped drive its selection as a branch of the U.S. Mint in 1835.
In what would become a significant date in CLT250 history, President Andrew Jackson appointed leadership to the Charlotte Mint on Jan. 19, 1837, making it the first official branch of the U.S. Mint in the country outside of Philadelphia. When the Charlotte Mint opened later that year, the superintendent’s salary was $2,000 per year. The chief coiner earned $1,500 per year, while the men who melted, refined and analyzed, the gold made $1,000 per year.
Second only to agriculture, gold prospecting became the chief source of employment in the state during that time. Those early beginnings as a center for commerce 184 years ago have influenced Charlotte’s present day. The region now boasts more than 70 financial institutions with more than 70,000 employees and serves as an emerging FinTech hub with a growing entrepreneurial scene. Accounting for approximately 9 percent of area jobs, but nearly 17 percent of all wages, finance is fundamental to the Charlotte economy.
WAYS TO EXPERIENCE CLT250
Explore these CLT250 themed events and activities in January.
- 2019 Atrium Health Charlotte-Mecklenburg Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Celebrations: The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County honor the legacy of Dr. King through activities and events that promote his spirit of love, understanding and service to one another; all shared ideals rooted in the promotion of the CLT250 anniversary this year. The 2019 Atrium Health Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19 with more than 100 community organizations, marching bands and step and drill teams set to participate. Explore the full list of community events surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
- Arts & Science Council Connect with Culture Day: Back again for its fifth year, residents benefit from free access to arts, science and history experiences across Charlotte Jan. 25 – 26. From story times with a Charlotte Ballet ballerina in Pineville to Afro-Brazilian dance classes in University City, engaging programs and events can be found in every corner of Charlotte during Connect with Culture Day that showcase the community’s wide-ranging depth and range of cultural assets.
- Levine Museum of the New South: StoryMining 250: This “StoryCorps” inspired series seeks to document and share the lives of Charlotteans at this moment in time, through oral histories, exhibits, and special programs, 250 years since the city was founded. Submit your story or nominate a storyteller to share your piece of Charlotte history.
- Call for Legacy Projects: Join organizations, neighborhoods and resident groups across the community who are looking to leave their CLT250 mark through legacy projects. Whether it’s planting 250 trees like TreesCharlotte, cleaning 250 miles of city streets with the City’s Adopt-a-Street program or creating something uniquely your own, CLT250 and Share Charlotte are on hand to help support community-building initiatives that will create hope and promise for the next 250 years. Interested groups and residents should submit at com.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Throughout the year, you can get involved in CLT250 by volunteering sponsoring or creating an event. Visit CLT250.com to explore how you can mark the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding in your own unique ways. Together, these events will add to Charlotte’s commitment to become a friendlier, healthier, more equitable and more accessible city.
CLT250 is a community-led engagement, presented by Atrium Health, in partnership with the City of Charlotte, the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte Center City Partners, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, CMS Foundation, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Foundation for the Carolinas and other corporate partners including Albemarle, Ally Bank, Bank of America, Barings, Compass Group, Duke Energy-Piedmont Natural Gas, Lowe’s, Moore & Van Allen, Novant Health, Townsquare Interactive, Wells Fargo and Wray Ward.
For more information about the yearlong celebration of Charlotte’s 250th anniversary, visit CLT250.com.