Monroe, North Carolina
|Monroe, North Carolina|
Union County Courthouse in Downtown.
|Motto: "a heritage of progress"|
Location of Monroe, North Carolina
|• Total||24.9 sq mi (64.4 km2)|
|• Land||24.6 sq mi (63.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)|
|Elevation||591 ft (180 m)|
|• Density||1,067.5/sq mi (412.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0990144|
Monroe is a fast-growing city and the county seat in Union County, North Carolina, United States. The population jumped from 26,228 in 2000 to 36,397 in 2010. It is the seat of government of Union County  and is also part of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC Metropolitan area. Monroe uses a council-manager form of government.
Monroe is located at  Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport (EQY) is located five miles to the northwest of Monroe.(34.988760, -80.549792).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.9 square miles (64 km2), of which, 24.6 square miles (64 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (1.13%) is water.
In 1843, the first Board of County Commissioners, appointed by the General Assembly selected an area in the center of the county as the county seat and Monroe was incorporated that year. It was named for James Monroe, the country’s fifth president. It became a trading center for the agricultural areas of the region, which cultivated tobacco.
Ludwig drums and timpani are manufactured in Monroe, North Carolina. The Ludwig brothers developed a hydraulic action timpani and in 1916 invented a spring mechanism—the basis for the current Balanced Action Pedal Timpani.
Monroe was a center of activities in the late 1950s and early 1960s related to the Civil Rights Movement because of its pervasive segregation. At this time, the city had a population estimated at about 12,000, with an estimated 7500 members of the Ku Klux Klan, according to press reports. Local NAACP chapter President Robert F. Williams, returned from service with the Marines in 1946, began to work to integrate public facilities, starting with the library and then the city's swimming pool, built with federal funds during the 1930s.
In 1958 Williams obtained Conrad Lynn, a civil rights attorney from New York City to aid in defending nine-year-old and seven-year-old African-American boys convicted of molestation and sentenced to a reformatory until age 21 for kissing a white girl their age on the cheek, in what became known as the Kissing Case. The former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, talked to the governor to urge restraint, and the case became internationally embarrassing for the United States. After three months, the governor pardoned the boys.
With rising Ku Klux Klan white violence against the black community of Monroe during the civil rights years, Williams began to advocate black armed resistance. The NAACP and black community in Monroe provided a base for some of the Freedom Riders in 1961, who were trying to integrate interstate bus travel, under federal constitutional provisions governing interstate commerce. Mobs attacked pickets marching for the Freedom Riders at the courthouse. That year, Williams was accused of kidnapping an elderly white couple, when he sheltered them in his house during an explosive situation of high racial tensions. Williams and his wife fled that year to avoid prosecution for kidnapping. They went into exile for years in Cuba and in the People's Republic of China before returning to the United States. After his return and trial in 1975, the charges were quickly dropped.
The Jesse Helms family was prominent among the white community in the town during these years. Jesse Helms Sr. served as Police and Fire Chief of Monroe for many years. Jesse Helms, Jr. was born and grew up in the town. He became a politician and was elected five terms (1973–2003) as the US Senator from North Carolina. He mustered support for played a key role in helping Ronald Reagan's campaign to be elected as President of the United States. Through that period, he was also a prominent (and often controversial) national leader of the Religious Right wing of the Republican Party. The Jesse Helms Center is in neighboring Wingate, North Carolina.
Monroe was home to the Starlite Speedway in the 1960s to 70's. On May 13, 1966 the 1/2 mile dirt track hosted NASCAR's Independent 250. Darel Dieringer won the race.
As of the census of 2010, there were 36,397 people, 9,029 households, and 6,392 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,067.5 people per square mile (412.2/km²). There were 9,621 housing units at an average density of 391.6 per square mile (151.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.12% White, 27.78% African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.37% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.39% of the population.
There were 9,029 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,457, and the median income for a family was $44,953. Males had a median income of $30,265 versus $22,889 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,970. About 11.7% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.7% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.
The local radio station is WIXE 1190 AM radio, known as "The Mighty 1190".
- Thomas Walter Bickett, 54th Governor of North Carolina (1917-1921)
- Walter P. Carter, civil rights activist
- David L. Cook, 7 Time Emmy Award winning recording artist
- Grover Covington, Canadian Football Hall of Famer
- Theodore L. Futch, Brigadier general in the United States Army during World War II
- JoJo Hailey, R&B and soul singer-songwriter
- K-ci Hailey, R&B and soul singer-songwriter
- Jesse Helms, United States Senator
- Richard Huntley, Former professional American football running back in the National Football League
- Jeff McNeely, Major League Baseball player
- John J. Parker, U.S. judge who failed confirmation to the Supreme Court by one vote
- Calvin Richardson, R&B and soul singer-songwriter
- Speedy Thompson, former NASCAR driver
- Robert F. Williams, civil rights activist
- Paul Waggoner, guitarist for Between the Buried and Me
- Andy Tomberlin, Major League Baseball Player
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Williams, Robert F. "1957: Swimming Pool Showdown", Southern Exposure, c. Summer 1980; the article appeared in a special issue devoted to the Ku Klux Klan, accessed 17 November 2013
- "About Us". The Enquirer Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Monroe, N. C..|