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About Charlotte
​Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city and the seat of Mecklenburg County.  It is located in the southern part of the state, bordered by Iredell, Cabarrus, Union, Lancaster (SC), York (SC), Gaston, and Lincoln counties.   In 2013, the estimated population of Charlotte according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 792,862 making it the 16th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 23rd largest in the US and had a 2013 population of 2,335,358.   Charlotte is a thriving, progressive metropolis with much to offer.  It’s described by many as a “big town with a small town feel and charm.”
Charlotte became known as the Queen City, named after Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III of England.  At the time of Charlotte's founding, 1768, there was a large group of colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown.  In an attempt to stay in King George III's good graces, they named this town after his wife. British General Cornwallis is credited with giving Charlotte the nickname "Hornet's nest" when he was met with fierce rebellion as his forces marched on Charlotte in late 1780. He said he had found a hornet's nest of rebellion.  From 1800 to 1848, Charlotte was the center of U.S. gold production.   A branch of the U.S. mint operated there from 1837 to 1913. Charlotte was a leading Confederate city during the Civil War and was the last meeting place of the full Confederate cabinet.
Today, Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the United States, with two of the nation's top banks, Bank of America and Well Fargo’s East Coast operations, being headquartered there. Charlotte has eight Fortune 500 companies in its metropolitan area, listed in order of their rank: Bank of America, Lowe's in suburban Mooresville, Nucor (steel producer), Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive, Family Dollar, SPX Corporation (industrial technology), and Domtar (in suburban Fort Mill). Other major companies headquartered or with corporate operations in Metro Charlotte include: Chiquita Brands International, Extended Stay Hotels, Babcock and Wilcox, RSC Brands, TIAA-CREF, Time Warner Cable, Muzak, Belk, Cato Corporation, Harris Teeter, Meineke Car Care Center, Lance, Inc, Carolina Foods Inc, Bojangles', Carlisle Companies, National Gypsum, Electrolux, LendingTree, Compass Group USA, Food Lion, and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (the nation's second largest Coca-Cola bottler).
Charlotte is the major center in the U.S. motorsports industry, housing multiple offices of NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. Approximately 75% of the NASCAR industry's race teams, employees and drivers are based nearby. The large presence of the racing technology industry along with the newly built NHRA dragstrip, zMAX Dragway at Concord, is influencing other top professional drag racers to move their shops to Charlotte as well. The Metrolina Speedway is expected to bring more local racing along with a skate park, shops, restaurants, and an upscale hotel.
Charlotte is home of the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), and the Charlotte Knights (MiLB).  Located in the western part of Mecklenburg County is the U.S. National Whitewater Center, which consists of man-made rapids of various degrees and is open to the public year round.  Carowinds Amusement Park, owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is also located in Charlotte.  Other attractions include: the Billy Graham library, Discovery Place, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts, Charlotte Museum of History, Charlotte Symphony, and NC Music Factory.
From preschool to postgraduate, excellence in education is a priority for the Queen City. Charlotte boasts a wealth of K-12 educational choices. The city includes Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS, one of the nation’s best urban school districts), as well as a wide variety of private schools and charter facilities.  Among institutions of higher learning in Charlotte are: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte School of Law, Strayer University, ECPI University, Pfeiffer University-Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College.
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