5.20.2011 … A little local history for you … and now a “Charlotte Liberty Walk” is planned. Maybe next year …

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The anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775 has been celebrated locally, state wide, and even nationally through the years.  In Charlotte, 49 anniversary celebrations have been documented, including every year since 1995.  In times past children were let out of school for Meck Dec day and sometimes for the entire week.  Four sitting US Presidents and countless Governors, Senators and US Representatives have appeared at these celebrations.  The centennial celebration in 1875 brought 40,000 people on special trains to this town of 6,000 souls.

For more detail on the Meck Dec celebrations, see The Charlotte Mecklenburg Story at the Charlotte Library web site http://www.cmstory.org/meckdec

via The Celebrations | MeckDec.org.

At noon on May 20, 1775, Thomas Polk stood at the Mecklenburg Courthouse and read aloud the declaration to the public: “… the citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British Crown…” By this act, Mecklenburg declared itself “a free and independent people,” more than a year prior to the Declaration of Independence.

Original copies of the Mecklenburg Declaration were lost in a fire in 1800, causing some historians to question the validity of the document, even while many point to sources such as newspaper articles to prove its existence. As a proud descendant of Thomas Polk, I don’t need a document to prove the “Meck Dec” existed. The independent spirit of our local forefathers proves its existence.

It is this spirit and our fierce determination for freedom that caused English General Cornwallis to call Charlotte a “hornet’s nest” during the Revolutionary War. It is this same spirit that led us to name our streets “Independence Boulevard” and “Freedom Drive,” and a school “Independence High.” It is this spirit that moved state leaders to put May 20, 1775, on our state flag, and why it remains there today.

We should be proud of our history and independent spirit, teaching it to our children and to newcomers. Only by knowing where we come from can we know who we are and the great things we are capable of accomplishing as a community.

via The spirit of ‘Meck Dec’ still lives on | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

On the eve of today’s Meck Dec Day observance, a Charlotte history group unveiled plans for the Charlotte Liberty Walk, an interactive tour that celebrates the city’s role in the Revolutionary War.

The one-mile uptown tour, which begins and ends at Trade and Tryon streets, would consist of 18 sites that commemorate Charlotte’s role in the war for independence, said Scott Syfert, a Charlotte lawyer and vice chairman of The May 20th Society.

via High-tech tour would tout city’s Revolution role | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

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5.18.2011 … Coming on Friday, 5.20, Meck Dec Day …

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This Friday, May 20th marks the 236 anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, known locally as the Meck Dec. Check out the public library’s page for some history and background.

Davidson, town and college, did not exist until the 62nd anniversary in 1837, but students and townspeople were soon joining the celebrations, either by traveling to Charlotte or hosting events on campus.

via The Davidson College Archives & Special Collections blog — Around the D.