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Oral History Interview with Stanford Raynold Brookshire, August 18, 1975. Interview B-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Stanford Raynold Brookshire was born on July 22, 1905, in Troutman, North Carolina. He became a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in 1960, and later served as the city's mayor from 1961 to 1969. Brookshire held distinction as Charlotte's first four-term mayor. Throughout his political tenure, Brookshire espoused a moderate stance on racial conflicts. As a businessman, his political moderation developed in large part due to his interest in attracting businesses to the area. In this interview, Brookshire discusses his role and attitude toward the consolidation of the city of Charlotte with Mecklenburg County's public services. Although Charlotte and Mecklenburg consolidated their school systems in 1959, the merger of city and county services did not emerge until the late 1960s and early 1970s. Brookshire explains the objections to consolidation, including fears of overly broad representation, gerrymandering, increased county taxes, and rapid political change. To Brookshire, a broadened representation produced limitations on the administration of city services. He discusses how Charlotte differed sharply from the city-county consolidation of Jacksonville, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee. He maintains that unlike Jacksonville and Nashville, Charlotte exhibited efficient government that did not require a dramatic change in local governmental affairs. Because of these varied factors, public services in Charlotte and Mecklenburg did not consolidate. Brookshire also briefly talks about the benefits of North Carolina's statewide statute to annex heavily populated areas.
  • Evaluating the failure of the consolidation effort
  • Complications of pure democracy
  • Citizens feared blacks acquired too much power with gerrymandered districts
  • Objections to Charlotte's consolidation efforts
  • Differences in local government between Charlotte, Nashville, and Jacksonville
  • Local identity and increased taxes threatened Charlotte's consolidation
  • Idea of a conspiracy surrounding the consolidation effort dismissed
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • North Carolina--Economic conditions
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Politics and government
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.