Whether you’re new to the Charlotte area and looking to learn about your new home or you’re a tried-and-true Queen City native headed to a fundraiser trivia night, the truth is: knowledge is power. Here are some facts about Charlotte to file away. You never know when they’ll come in handy!
- Charlotte isn’t only a Queen City because the top of the Bank of America building looks like a crown… but because she was named in 1768 for Queen Charlotte, the wife of England’s King George III. Queen Charlotte’s birthplace, Mecklenburg-Sterlitz in Germany, inspired the county name.
- The Charlotte Hornets NBA team name was inspired by the Revolutionary War. It’s true! When Charlotte was awarded an NBA team in 1987, a list of possible names was presented to the community for a vote. We landed on ‘Hornets’. Reason being that in 1780, British Commander Lord Cornwallis was traveling throughout the ‘Southern Theater’ looking to win over Loyalists for the crown. He encountered heavy resistance from the people of Charlotte and referred to the people a “veritable hornet’s nest of rebellion.” The reference has made various appearances in Charlotte culture ever since.
- The Charlotte-metro is home to the nation’s first REAL Gold Rush. In 1799, a 12-year old boy named Conrad Reed discovered a uniquely shaped 17-pound rock in a creek in Cabarrus County. He brought it home where it was used as… a doorstop. Reed’s father had the rock evaluated a few years later and when the news broke that it was gold, the Carolina Gold Rush kicked off a full 45 years ahead of the gold rush in California. The rush even brought President Andrew Jackson to sign into law in 1835 the creation of the Charlotte Mint which would go on to produce $5 million in gold coins in its lifetime. In 1936, the building housing the Charlotte mint was dedicated as the Mint Museum of Art, the first art museum in North Carolina.
Facts like this barely scratch the surface of Charlotte’s long and storied history. What’s your favorite bit of Queen City trivia?