1984 NC US Senate Contest: The Campaign that changed Tar Heel State Politics Jun 18, 2020 15:43:04 GMT
Post by 49ersfootball on Jun 18, 2020 15:43:04 GMT
11:30 AM EST, Thursday, July 26th, 1984
Mayor's Office, Charlotte City Hall, Charlotte, NC
November 8th, 1983: Gantt celebrating victory at Gantt Campaign HQ
becoming the first African American Mayor of NC's largest city
It's been a worthwhile story for Harvey Bernard Gantt, who made his name as a civil rights pioneer when in 1963, he became the first African American student to gain admission into Clemson University in Clemson, SC: many of whom found him brave, courageous & articulate. Born on January 14th, 1943 in Charleston, SC to Wihelminia & Christopher C. Gantt, Gantt started to participate in civil rights activism at a young age during his time in high school & graduated from Burke High School, he then furthered his education at Iowa State University from 1961 to 1962, then in 1963, as mentioned earlier, became the first African American to gain admission into Clemson University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture & later earned a Master's degree in City Planning from MIT in 1970. During his time at Clemson, he married Lucinda Bradley & would have 4 kids.
Following graduating from Clemson University, Gantt worked for Odell Associates in Charlotte, NC. In 1971, upon graduating from MIT, he returned to Charlotte & co-founded the award-winning firm Gantt Huberman Architects with Jeff Huberman. Some of the firm's projects included the Charlotte Transportation Center, Transamerica Square & First Ward Recreation Center. Before too long, Gantt became attracted to politics. In 1974, he was chosen to fill the vacant seat of Fred Alexander (who made history in 1965 with his election as the first African American elected to the Charlotte City Council), who resigned after being elected to the NC State Senate that year. Gantt was then elected to full 2-year terms in 1975, 1977, 1979 & again in 1981 & during his time on the Charlotte City Council, Gantt encouraged voter participation of African Americans & other minorities plus reforming the process of electing City Councilmembers. In 1983, Gantt made the decision to run for the Mayoralty, nominated by the Dems as their candidate for the general election, he emerged victorious in November of that year, winning with 52% of the citywide vote & garnering 36% of Anglos, becoming the first African American Mayor of the Tar Heel State's largest city.