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John M. (John Montgomery) Belk Papers

Filing title: 
Belk (John M.) Papers

John M. (John Montgomery) Belk papers
MS0060

Summary Information

Repository
J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Creator
Belk, John M., 1921-2007
Title
John M. (John Montgomery) Belk papers
ID
MS0060
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1975-1977
Date [inclusive]
1970-1977
Extent
3.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
Official papers as mayor of Charlotte (1969-77), dating primarily from his last term. Includes correspondence, reports, and speeches relating to the administration of city government, especially community development, roads, and mass transit.

Preferred Citation note

John M. Belk Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

This collection documents exclusively Belk's tenure as mayor of Charlotte (1969-77). The bulk of the collection dates from his last term (1975-77). [NOTE: papers from his previous terms were apparently discarded by City Hall personnel.] The John M. Belk Papers are divided into the following series:John Montgomery Belk was born in Charlotte in 1920. His father, William Henry Belk, founded Belk Stores Services, Inc., a chain of department stores headquartered in Charlotte. Belk joined the company in 1941 after receiving a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College and became president of the company in 1955. In 1971 he married Claudia Watkins of Charlotte. Belk has served in many civic groups. He was president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and has participated on the boards of directors in such organizations as the Friends of UNC Charlotte and Wachovia Bank and Trust. He succeeded Stanford R. Brookshire as mayor in 1969. [For additional information about Belk and Belk stores, see Belk: A Century of Retail Leadership (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988).] (Information from FA word doc and online version differ from above: "John Montgomery Belk was born in Charlotte in 1920. His father, William Henry Belk, founded Belk Stores Services, Inc., a chain of department stores headquartered in Charlotte. Belk joined the company in 1941 after receiving a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College and became president of the company in 1955. In 1971 he married Claudia Watkins of Charlotte. Belk has served in many civic groups. He was president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and has participated on the boards of directors in such organizations as the Friends of UNC Charlotte and Wachovia Bank and Trust. He succeeded Stanford R. Brookshire as mayor in 1969. [For additional information about Belk and Belk stores, see Belk: A Century of Retail Leadership (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988).]" )

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents exclusively Belk's tenure as mayor of Charlotte (1969-77). The bulk of the collection dates from his last term (1975-77). [NOTE: papers from his previous terms were apparently discarded by City Hall personnel.]

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Arrangement note

The John M. Belk Papers are divided into the following series: Series 1, SUBJECT FILES (1970-77), organized by headings designated by the mayor, consists primarily of correspondence between the mayor and the administrative units such as city departments, City Council, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, and mayor appointed committees; and citizens. Also included is correspondence and other information concerning Belk's participation in state and national municipal organizations. Issues of particular concern are thoroughfares within and around the city, mass transit, preservation of aesthetic character, and zoning. The files contain no information on civil rights or desegregation. Series 2, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE (1974-77), consists almost exclusively of the mayor's Reading File, a chronological file of his outgoing correspondence. (Copies of most of these letters are also included in the Subject Files). Includes welcome and thank you letters and other routine correspondence. Series 3, SPEECHES (1971-77). Series 4, PHOTOGRAPHS (1975).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223
704-687-1170
spec-coll@uncc.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

On permanent deposit by the North Carolina Division of Archives and History and the City of Charlotte, 1980 and 1988.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Fred D. Alexander Papers (Mss 91) ; Stanford R.Brookshire Papers (Mss 41) ; Kenneth R. Harris Papers (Mss 21).

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Politics and government

Personal Name(s)

  • Belk, John M., 1921-2007

Subject(s)

  • Businessmen--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Mayors--North Carolina--Charlotte

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: SUBJECT FILES 1970-1977

Scope and Contents note

This series is comprised of Belk's subject files kept primarily, but not exclusively, during his last term of office (1975-77). Files are organized alphabetically according to the headings designated by the mayor's office. They contain correspondence and related material on the functions of the Charlotte Mecklenburg government with which he was most directly involved and on his national, state, and local activities as mayor of Charlotte. Included are files on committees appointed by the mayor, on various departments of the city government, on issues brought before the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, on special civic events and projects, and on national organizations of city government officials. Material reflects a shift of emphasis during the 1970s from the extensive federal funding of urban renewal and community development programs undertaken during the 1960s to smaller scale citizen initiated neighborhood preservation and improvement plans. Areas of particular concern are the First and Fourth Wards, Dilworth, and Myers Park/Queens Road. Other issues focused on are mass transit, the inner and outer belt loops and other thoroughfare proposals, and routine concerns such as rezoning. Much of the correspondence consists of citizen complaints, responses to issues, and requests for service. There is no material relating to civil rights or desegregation.

Box Folder

AIRPORT 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence primarily concerning expansion of Douglas Municipal Airport and related topics, such as funding and noise regulation.

1 1

ANIMAL CONTROL 1965-1976

1 2

ANNEXATION 1976-1977

1 3

AUDITORIUM COLISEUM CIVIC CENTER 1975-1977

1 4

BICENTENNIAL 1974-1976

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence relating to Charlotte's plans for the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial.

1 5

BUDGET 1976-77

Scope and Contents note

Includes assorted budget requests from various city agencies, particularly the Arts and Science Council concerning methods of funding for its affiliates.

1 6

BUILDING INSPECTION 1977

1 7

CHARLOTTE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 1974-77 includes publication, Population Estimate, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (1974); draft (1-20-75) of study concerning the feasibility of major stadium development for Charlotte; reports (12-23-75, 3-26-76) on the feasibility of a Visitor's Bureau in Charlotte; assorted correspondence (11-7-75 to 6-30-76) relating to the City's interest in having Miller Brewing Company's plant located here, with a letter (11-18-75) to Chamber vice president W. J. Veeder from J. E. Sebell describing how Raleigh vetoed plant location there because of plant unionization; a 3 page chronology (n.d.) of Charlotte's development from 1748 to 1971; and a 9 page statement (n.d.) in support of downtown development.

1 8

CITY ATTORNEY 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Contains material relating to suits brought against the city and on court decisions and laws effecting administrative policies of the city. Subjects include use of federal funds in the Sugar Creek construction project; monetary relocation benefits to persons and businesses displaced by housing and zoning code enforcement; campaign reporting requirements; residence requirements for city employees; the granting of union dues check off to city employees in labor unions; and condemnation of property in the Fourth Ward redevelopment program. Also includes report (11- 21-75) by the Office of Transit Planning analyzing transit transfer location alternatives and a draft (4-24-75) of a gun control bill introduced into the state senate by Fred D. Alexander of the 22nd (Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties) district.

1 9

CITY MANAGER 1976-1977

1 10

CITY COUNCIL 1974-1976

Scope and Contents note

Material includes correspondence with council members; information on procedural matters and elections; and committee appointments. Also includes information (1976-77) on district representation and Making it Happen, a Chamber publication, providing platforms of 1975 mayoral and council candidates.

1 11

CITY COUNCIL 1977

1 12

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR APPOINTMENTS AND RELATED BUSINESS, MISCELLANEOUS COMMITTEES 1974-1977

1 13

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR CHARLOTTE CLEAN CITY COMMITTEE 1975-1977

1 14

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMITTEE 1975-1977

1 15

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG HISTORIC PROPERTIES COMMISSION 1975-1977

1 16

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG PLANNING COMMISSION 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Includes documentation of community reaction to the Comprehensive Plan for 1995, in particular, the Major Thoroughfare Plan that affected several neighborhoods. Material is comprised of written presentations to the commission by organized neighborhood groups arguing for or against various thoroughfare proposals. Also includes vote counts of and analyses by commission members on the proposals; information on rezoning proposals set forth by the commission (see also box 3:11, Zoning) and requests for rezoning; and environmental and transit planning documents (11-14 and 11-19-76) considered by the city and county. Correspondence includes community reactions to the proposed name change of Beattie's Ford Road to Martin Luther King Boulevard, with letters of disapproval from LeGette Blythe (6-11-76) and Chalmers Davidson (7-6-76), and reactions to issues such as the southern belt loop and Fourth Ward revitalization

1 17-19

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR MUNICIPAL INFORMATION REVIEW BOARD 1970-1977

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and other material relating to the committee charged with the responsibility for "approving the collection, storage, usage, and dissemination of information used or disseminated by the City of Charlotte." This committee was established in response to the city's acquisition of a computerized Municipal Information System; the committee's role was in part to establish policies protecting individuals from invasion of privacy

1 20

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR TREE COMMISSION 1975-1977

1 21

COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY MAYOR YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD 1976-1977

1 22

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT 1975-1976

Scope and Contents note

The agency responsible for securing, coordinating, and implementing federal neighborhood redevelopment and assistance programs. Folders contain information on the redevelopment of the Dilworth/Wilmont neighborhoods, First and Fourth Wards, Grier Heights and north Charlotte areas, and West Boulevard community. Includes 2 letters to Belk from President Gerald R. Ford, one (4-25-75) discussing Ford's proposed federal revenue sharing programs and one (6-19-75) discussing the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Also includes "Recommendations in Reference to the Charlotte Community Development Plan" (6-18-75) prepared by the Charlotte NAACP.

1 23-24

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT 1977

1 25

CONSOLIDATION 1974-1976

1 26

EDUCATION, BOARD OF 1975-1976

1 27

EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING 1975-1976

1 28

FIRE DEPARTMENT 1975-1977

1 29

HEALTH HOSPITALS 1969, 1975-77

1 30

HOUSING AUTHORITY 1976, undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes Revised Relocation Plan and Reference Index.

1 31-33

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, DEPARTMENT OF 1973-1977

2 1

LEGISLATION 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Primarily correspondence among members of the city county government and of the Mecklenburg delegation to the NC General Assembly concerning matters to be brought before the General Assembly. Includes documents (11-16-76, 2-1-77) prepared by the City outlining legislative issues for 1977 and a letter (1-20-77) from state senator Jim McDuffie to the editor of The Charlotte Observer concerning district representation as a basis for council member election. Other topics include property taxation of the elderly, taxation of automobiles, and local option for liquor by the drink.

2 2

LIBRARY 1976

2 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Includes information (1977) on federal aid to and regulations concerning urban transportation systems.

2 4-5

Newsclippings

2 6

News Articles

2 7

NORTH CAROLINA LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES 1973-1976

Scope and Contents note

Includes information (1975-76) on the League's transportation policy.

2 8

PARK AND RECREATION 1975-1976

2 9

Photographs

2 10

POLICE DEPARTMENT 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Among correspondence, includes clippings (1977) concerning an FBI probe into charges that police chief J. C. Goodman had illegally ordered the destruction of tapes of unlawful wiretaps made during 1972-73 narcotics investigations. Also includes information prepared by the city on police evaluation, crime in Charlotte, and procedures for the investigation of complaints involving police officers.

2 11

PROCLAMATIONS 1972-1976

2 12-14

PROCLAMATIONS 1976-1977

2 15

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Primarily correspondence between department representatives and citizens concerning routine city maintenance activities, such as garbage collection, placement of sidewalks, street lighting, median upkeep, road debris, street repair, and pedestrian and vehicle safety. Includes letter (9-24-76) to Belk from Herbert Hechenbleikner of the Charlotte Tree Commission recommending removal of the trees on Wendover due to its widening. This issue was volatile in the planning of a major thoroughfare through Charlotte in the mid 1970s. (See also box 2:20-21, Traffic Engineering Department; and box 2:22-3:3, Transportation)

2 16-18

SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL 1974-1977

2 19

TRAFFIC ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Routine correspondence between department representatives and citizens. Considerable correspondence (1977) is citizen reaction to the proposed permanent closing of the Queens Road median at Sherwood Avenue. (See also box 2:16-18, Public Works Department; and box 2:22-3:3, Transportation)

2 20-21

TRANSPORTATION 1972 June, 1976

Scope and Contents note

Material about neighborhood traffic problems; inner and outer belt loop; state highways; bonds; and Charlotte bus system; and letters to Belk about federal transit funds from U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) (10-21-76) and presidential assistant James M. Cannon (10-26-76).

2 22

TRANSPORTATION July, 1976-77

3 1-3

UNITED COMMUNITY SERVICES/UNITED WAY 1975

Scope and Contents note

Includes "Report of Task Force on Public Assistance, Employment, and Job Training" and "Report on Group Work, Recreation, and Leisure Time" (11-18-75), prepared by the Citizens Committee on Family and Child Care Study.

3 4

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF MAYORS 1975-1977

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and other information on programs and legislation supported by USCM. Topics include revenue sharing, housing, and urban and community development.

3 5-9

UTILITY DEPARTMENT 1975-1977

3 10

ZONING 1975-1976

3 11

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Series 2: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE 1974-1977

Scope and Contents note

This series consists almost exclusively of the mayor's Reading File, a chronological file of all letters sent out by the mayor. Most of the letters duplicate the outgoing correspondence in the Subject Files. Also included in the General Correspondence Series are Belk's routine thank you and welcome letters, and letters of invitation to and from the mayor. (These latter materials are not duplicated in the subject files.)

Box Folder

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE 1974-February, 1976

3 12-15

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE March, 1976-June, 1977, undated

3 16-18

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Series 3: SPEECHES 1970-1977

Scope and Contents note

This series contains typescript copies of speeches and other public presentations given by Belk.

Box Folder

SPEECHES 1970-1977

3 19

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Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS 1975

Scope and Contents note

This series is composed of 10 color prints featuring Belk, Elisabeth Hair (then chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners), and Jerry Linker. Linker, a Charlotte native, reenacted the journey of Captain James Jack, carrier of the alleged Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775.

Box Folder item

PHOTOGRAPHS--PRINTS 1975

Scope and Contents note

Ten color prints

P7 6 (P60/1-10)
Box Folder Photographs-Prints

JOHN M. BELK PAPERS (Mss 60)

Scope and Contents note

Belk with Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners chair Elisabeth Hair and Jerry Linker (1975) [Linker reenacted the journey of Captain James Jack, carrier of the legendary Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775.]

P7 6 P60/1-10

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