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Kenneth R. Harris Papers

Filing title: 
Harris (Kenneth R.) Papers

Guide to the Kenneth R. Harris papers
MS0089

Summary Information

Repository
J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Creator
Harris, Ken (Kenneth Rhyne), 1935-
Title
Kenneth R. Harris papers
ID
MS0089
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1977-1979
Date [inclusive]
1952-1979
Extent
6.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
Official papers as mayor of Charlotte (1977-79). Includes subject files and correspondence relating to the administration of city government, with an emphasis on community development and the debate over a thoroughfare in southeast Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. [NOTE: Some material related to Harris's successor, John M. Belk, can be found in this collection; in addition, some of Harris's files may be found in the papers of his successor, Eddie Knox.].

Preferred Citation note

Kenneth R. Harris Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Kenneth Rhyne Harris was born on May 16, 1935, in Statesville, N.C. He was graduated from Charlotte College (1957) and UNC Chapel Hill, where he received a BA in Business Administration (1959). He received a graduate certificate, specializing in investments, from the American Institute of Banking in 1962. After 10 years working as a trust officer with North Carolina National Bank, Harris entered the life insurance business in 1969. He is General Agent of Harris Plans for New England Mutual Life Insurance Company in North Carolina. Harris served on the Charlotte City Council (1973-75) and in the North Carolina Senate (1982-84). He is a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and has been a member of the boards of trustees of the Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center and Johnson C. Smith University. He is an elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church. He retired as a major from the North Carolina Air National Guard in 1973. Harris and his wife Sally have nine children.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers are composed of Harris's subject files and his general correspondence. They reflect two years of city government with an emphasis on community development and the planning of a southeastern thoroughfare for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The files also contain some material created by John M. Belk during his last term (1975-77) of office and filed with Harris's papers. Similarly, some of Harris's papers are filed with those of his successor, Eddie Knox.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 1983, 1987

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

Permanent deposit by the North Carolina Division of Archives and History and the City of Charlotte, 1983 and 1987.

Processing Information note

Processed by Debbie McCachern, 1983; Johanna Mims, 1987

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

John M. Belk Papers (Mss 60). Eddie Knox Papers (Mss 135). T. J. Reddy Papers (Mss 79).

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Harris, Ken (Kenneth Rhyne), 1935-

Subject(s)

  • Community development--North Carolina
  • Mayors--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Municipal government--North Carolina--Charlotte

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1 Subject files 1952-1979 

Scope and Contents note

This series comprises the subject files of Mayor Ken Harris. The material primarily documents Harris's two years as mayor of Charlotte, but the series does include miscellaneous documents created by John Belk, his predecessor as mayor.

Box Folder

Airport 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Concerns expansion of Douglas Municipal Airport. Includes correspondence regarding airline routes and airport facilities, as well as environmental impact information. [See also box 1:3, Airport Bonds]

1 1-2

Airport bonds 1952, 1977-78 

Scope and Contents note

Relates specifically to bond campaign approved in 1978. Includes statistics related to airport use, publicity for the bond referendum, and clippings. Also includes a program for Charlotte Aviation Day and Groundbreaking Ceremony (1-13-52), which gives a brief historical sketch of Douglas Municipal Airport. [See also box 1:1-2, Airport]

1 3

Animal control 1976-1979 

1 4

Annexation 1978-1979 

1 5

Arts 1976-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the Mint Museum of Art, the Mint Museum of History, the Charlotte Opera, the Charlotte Symphony, and Spirit Square. [See also box 3:22, Mint Museum; and box 3:29, Opera Project]

1 6

Auditorium Coliseum Civic Center 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 1:10, Budget]

1 7

Balanced Growth Policy Board 1978-1979 

1 8

Bonds 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 3:5, Committees Appointed by Mayor Parks Bond Advisory Committee]

1 9

Budget 1975-1979 

1 10

Building 1978-1979 

1 11

"Celebrate Charlotte '79" 1978-1979 

1 12

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Subjects include proposal for uptown lake, transient occupancy tax, and sports events.

1 13

Charlotte Transit System 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Relates to mass transit, especially the bus strike of 1978-79; retention of Amtrak service for Charlotte; special bus routes; and proposed transit center.

1 14-15

Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education 1978-1979 

1 16

Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library 1978-1979 

1 17

Charlotte Mecklenburg Urban League 1978-1979 

1 18

City Attorney 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and other exchanges with city attorney Henry Underhill. Topics include code of ethics for city employees (1978); obscenity ordinance (1979); racial discrimination within the Charlotte Police Department (11-30, 12-14-77); and the investigation of the Charlotte Police Department by the federal government on charges that the department used evidence obtained by wiretapping to convict certain criminals (1978) [see also box 4:4-6, Police Department].

1 19-20

City Council 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (1-19-78) from councilmember Don Carroll about the Charlotte Three and the Wilmington 10 cases and urging council members to write North Carolina governor James B. Hunt concerning the commutation of their sentences; related letter (11-7-78) from Harris to Hunt urges him to be lenient in the commutation of the sentences of the Charlotte Three and the Wilmington 10.

1 21

City Council 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (1-19-78) from council member Don Carroll about the Charlotte Three and the Wilmington 10 cases and urging council members to write North Carolina governor James B. Hunt concerning the commutation of their sentences; related letter (11-7-78) from Harris to Hunt urges him to be lenient in the commutation of the sentences of the Charlotte Three and the Wilmington 10.

2 1

City Manager 1977-1979 

2 2

Community Development 1977-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Relates to formation, funding, and implementation of community development plans for Grier Heights, Irwin Park, West Morehead, Southside Park, Five Points, Third Ward, First Ward, and Cherry.

2 3

Community Development 1979 

2 4

Congratulations 1976-1979 

2 5

Consolidation 1976-1979 

2 6

County Commission 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Topics include waste disposal, Intergovernmental Liaison Committee, employee benefits, annexation, county animal center, proposed governmental center, and other administrative matters.

2 7

Committees Appointed by Mayor Advisory Committee for Planned Development 1979 

2 8

Committees Appointed by Mayor Appointments and Related Business 1977-1978 

2 9

Committees Appointed by Mayor Boxing and Wrestling Commission 1977-1979 

2 10

Committees Appointed by Mayor Charity Solicitation Commission 1978-1979 

2 11

Committees Appointed by Mayor Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee 1975-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes recommendations (11-23-77) of the housing subcommittee, concerning the expansion of housing opportunities for low income families outside of the standard community development areas.

2 12

Committees Appointed by Mayor Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission 1977-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the impact of growth on neighborhoods, the outer belt, consolidation of the city and county planning commissions, and a central area plan.

2 13-15

Committees Appointed by Mayor Charter Review Commission 1979 

2 16

Committees Appointed by Mayor Citizens' Steering Committee for Professional Sports 1979 

2 17

Committees Appointed by Mayor Clean City Committee 1976-1979 

2 18

Committees Appointed by Mayor Community Facilities Committee 1978-1979 

2 19

Committees Appointed by Mayor Committee on Employment of the Handicapped 1977-1979 

2 20

Committees Appointed by Mayor Council on Aging 1976-1979 

2 21

Committees Appointed by Mayor Housing Authority 1976-1978 June 

Scope and Contents note

Includes report (2/1978), "Housing Opportunities for Lower Income Families A Review of Housing Programs and Key Issues Relating to the Development of a Comprehensive Housing Plan, Charlotte NC"

2 22-24

Committees Appointed by Mayor Housing Authority 1978-1979 July 

Scope and Contents note

Includes material on the acquisition of the Barringer Inn as housing for the elderly; information on the policy of scattered sites for public housing projects; and proposals for locations of new projects.

3 1-2

Committees Appointed by Mayor Miscellaneous 1976-1979 

3 3

Committees Appointed by Mayor Parks and Recreation Department 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence concerning the possibility of the location of a women's professional basketball franchise in Charlotte and that concerning proposed parks and complaints about concerts at Memorial Stadium.

3 4

Committees Appointed by Mayor Parks Bond Advisory Committee 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 1:9, Bonds]

3 5

Committees Appointed by Mayor Traffic Safety Committee 1978-1979 

3 6

Committees Appointed by Mayor Tree Commission 1977-1979 

3 7

Committees Appointed by Mayor Youth Advisory Board 1976-1979 

3 8

Emergency Medical Service 1976-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the county's ambulance service and the controversy surrounding its effectiveness and cost.

3 9

Employment and Training 1975-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Contains primarily correspondence with federal agencies, particularly the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, about the funding of employment training programs such as CETA. Also includes information on youth summer employment programs.

3 10

Energy 1979 

3 11

Engineering Department 1979 

3 12

Federal Projects 1974-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and related information with federal administrators concerning funding of federal projects in Charlotte, including Sugar Creek project (1977) and low income and elderly housing developments (1977). Other topics include the Hatch Act (forbidding government employees to engage actively in partisan politics) and the amendment of the National Bank Act. Includes letters to and from Jim Martin, Congressmember from North Carolina, and a letter (11-21-78) to Harris from President Jimmy Carter discussing the latter's measures to control inflation.

3 13

Fire Department 1975-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes publicity on Fire Chief John E. "Jack" Lee (spring, 1978) and proposal for adapting the Fireman's Training Hall for recreational use (August and October, 1978).

3 14

Health and Hospitals 1978-1979 

3 15

Historic Districts and Sites 1977-1979 

3 16

Investor's Conference 1978 

3 17

Jesse Jackson Breakfast 1978 

3 18

King, Martin Luther, Jr. Memorial 1976-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Primarily correspondence and other information on the city's efforts to choose a sculptor for a King statue in Marshall Park [see Series 3: Photographs].

3 19

Manpower 1977-1978 

2 20

Mayor/City Council Retreat, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. 1978 

3 21

Mint Museum 1978 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 1:6, Arts]

3 22

Municipal Information Advisory Board 1977-1979 

3 23

National League of Cities 1976-1979 

3 24

Newsclippings 1978-1979 

3 25

News Releases 1978-1979 

3 26

North Carolina League of Municipalities 1977-1979 

3 27

North Carolina Legislature 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information on the city's 1979 legislative program and bills being considered by the legislature.

3 28

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Documents Charlotte's efforts to be chosen as site for school.

3 29

Opera Project 1978 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 1:6, Arts]

3 30

Operations Department 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 4:20, Roll Out Garbage]

3 31

People's Day 1978 February 24 - April 28 

Scope and Contents note

Contains information on People's Day, a time set aside each month when the mayor held open office hours to discuss matters of concern with Charlotte citizens.

4 1

People's Day 1978 May 26 - 1979 March 23 

4 2

Personnel and Payroll 1977-1978 

4 3

Photographs 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Photocopies

4 4

Police Department 1976-1977 

4 5

Police Department 1978 

Scope and Contents note

Primarily routine complaints and praise about the Department. Includes press release (1-16-78) by district attorney Peter Gilchrist stating that no evidence obtained by the department's illegal wiretapping was used in conviction of criminals [see also box 1:19-20, City Attorney); also includes information on crime in Charlotte and reactions (1978) from the public to PTL spokesperson Jim Bakker's broadcast commenting on increasing vandalism and harassment of PTL property and employees [see also box 4:13, PTL]. also includes information (7-3-78) on alleged wiretapping by the department.

4 6

Police Department 1979 

4 7

Prayer Breakfast 1978 

4 8

Private Industry Council 1978-1979 

4 9

Proclamations 1975-1980 

4 10-12

Productivity Study 1978 

4 13

PTL 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter from PTL president Jim Bakker enclosing an audit of the Heritage Village Church & Missionary Fellowship, Inc. (PTL Club); general information on the ministry; and letters of support. [See also box 4:4-6, Police Department]

4 14

Public Works Department 1975-1978 June 

4 15

Public Works Department 1978-1979 July 

4 16

Recommendations 1973-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Routine endorsements and personal recommendations by Belk and Harris. Correspondents include North Carolina's U.S. Senators, Jesse Helms and Robert Morgan.

4 17

Roads 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence with NC Department of Transportation regarding highway improvement projects, most notably widening of Independence Boulevard, and concerns of neighborhood groups. [See also box 5:8, Transit Planning; box 5:9, Transit Planning Milton Short; and box 5:10, Transportation Advisory Committee]

4 18-19

Roads Colony Road Extension 1979 

Scope and Contents note

Letters from residents of the Mountainbrook neighborhood opposing the extension.

4 20

Roll Out Garbage 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

[See also box 3:30, Operations Department]

4 21

Sister Cities 1978-1979 

5 1

Sister Cities Arequipa, Peru 1977   

Scope and Contents note

[See also Series 3, Photographs]

5 2

Speeches 1974-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes four speeches by Belk, with a copy of his farewell speech (12-2-77), as well as speeches by Harris. Also includes facts about Charlotte and about bonds. Topics include taxes, health and hospitals, city planning and growth.

5 3

Sports 1978-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Includes material on a proposed sports complex.

5 4

Taxes 1977-1979 

5 5

Traffic Engineering Department 1976-1978 

5 6

Traffic Engineering Department 1979 

5 7

Transit Planning 1977-1978 

Scope and Contents note

Includes public reaction to three controversial proposals under consideration for a belt loop in southeast Charlotte: a new route north of N.C. 51, a new route south of N.C. 51, and a widening of the existing highway. Also includes reports from the North Carolina Highway Improvement Program on the status of Charlotte projects as of August and September, 1977.

5 8

Transit Planning Milton Short 1974-1977 

Scope and Contents note

Contains material relating to councilmember Milton Short's involvement with the Crestran Piedmont Crescent Project, concerned with transportation planning for the Piedmont area.

5 9

Transportation Advisory Committee 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

Material documenting the work of the group charged with primary responsibility for coordinating city, county, and state planning for roads in Mecklenburg County. Includes information on Colony Road extension and the Southern beltway. [See also box 4:17-18, Roads; and box 4:19, Roads Colony Road Extension]

5 10

United States Conference of Mayors 1976-1978 May 

5 11

United States Conference of Mayors 1978-79 June 

5 12

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development 1977-1979 

5 13

Uptown Development Corporation 1978 

5 14

Utility Department 1976-78 June 

5 15

Utility Department July 1978-79 

5 16

Voter Card Project 1979 

5 17

Welcome and Greeting Letters 1976-1978 

5 18

Youth 1978-1979 

5 19

Zoning 1977-1978 

5 20

Zoning 1979 

5 21

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 Series 2 Mayor's correspondence 1976-1979 

Scope and Contents note

This series contains the mayor's routine correspondence not filed under a specific subject. Materials primarily concern administrative details of city government and responses to complaints or inquiries from citizens.

Box Folder

Correspondence 1976-1977 

Scope and Contents note

Includes a letter (2-4-76) from Harris to President Ford commenting on Ford's stand on abortion and his prospects for reelection.

6 1

Correspondence 1978 January 

6 2

Correspondence 1978 February 

6 3

Correspondence 1978 March 

6 4

Correspondence 1978 Apr 

6 5

Correspondence 1978 May 

6 6

Correspondence 1978 June 

6 7

Correspondence 1978 July 

6 8

Correspondence 1978 August 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letters (August 15, 30) from Senator Jesse Helms.

6 9

Correspondence 1978 September 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter (September 19) from Senator Jesse Helms.

6 10

Correspondence 1978 October 

6 11

Correspondence 1978 November 

6 12

Correspondence 1978 December 

6 13

Correspondence 1979 January 

6 14

Correspondence 1979 February 

6 14

Correspondence 1979 March 

Scope and Contents note

Includes a proposal (March 29) for Charlotte to host the Miss Black America Pageant.

6 15

Correspondence 1979 April 

6 17

Correspondence 1979 May 

6 18

Correspondence 1979 June 

6 19

Correspondence 1979 July 

Scope and Contents note

Includes information (July 10) on the Family Matters Survey conducted by the Charlotte Junior League.

6 20

Correspondence 1979 August 

6 21

Correspondence 1979 September 

6 22

Correspondence 1979 October 

6 23

Correspondence 1979 November, undated 

6 24

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 Series 3 Photographs 1977-1979 

Scope and Contents note

27 photographic prints which include photographs of Harris, Park Charlotte in Arequipa, Peru (Charlotte's "sister city" in South America), and of a clay model of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Box Folder Photographs-Prints

Kenneth R. Harris attending Charlotte Transit System Rodeo, Charlotte 1978 

P12 11 P89/1-3

Convention Center during a snow storm (barely visible behind snow plow), Charlotte 1979 

P12 11 P89/4

Park Charlotte, Arequipa, Peru undated 

P12 11 P89/5-8

Statue model (clay) of Martin Luther King Jr. and sculptor, Barbara Harbage, Charlotte undated 

P12 11 P89/9

Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte undated 

P12 11 P89/10

Mint Museum of History, Charlotte. Opened July 1976. 1976 

P12 11 P89/11

Kenneth R. Harris at an unidentified outdoor event undated 

P12 11 P89/12

Portrait photo of Kenneth R. Harris undated 

P12 11 P89/13

Newspaper clipping depicting Harris riding a camel undated 

P12 11 P89/14

Kenneth R. Harris speaking at an unidentified event, standing at a podium undated 

P12 11 P89/15

Kenneth R. Harris speaking at an unidentified event, standing at a podium. The sign behind the speakers stand says "Salute to Private Enterprise." undated 

P12 11 P89/16

Kenneth R. Harris with an Air Force officer undated 

P12 11 P89/17

Kenneth R. Harris with two unidentified men, holding dolls with the faces of these three men undated 

Related Archival Materials note

See also P89/3 and P89/20.

P12 11 P89/18

Kenneth R. Harris standing at a speaker's podium at an unidentified event undated 

P12 11 P89/19

Kenneth R. Harris holding a doll with a face that looks like Harris's undated 

P12 11 P89/20

The Charlotte City Council, including Harris undated 

P12 11 P89/21

The Charlotte City Council, with three children in the foreground undated 

P12 11 P89/22

Kenneth R. Harris and an unidentified woman unveiling a sign for Clinton Square. 

P12 11 P89/23

Mayor Ken Harris proclaims National Transportation Week, May 14th through May 20th, 1978. 

Scope and Contents note

In photo, left to right: Leon Thompson, President, Delta Nu Alpha; Herb Cheely, President – The Charlotte Traffic & Transportation Club, Inc.; Mayor Ken Harris; Tom Lynch, State Chairman National Transportation Week; Ms. Lee Stickley, President of the Women’s Traffic Club of Charlotte; Jerry Hubler, Program Chairman, National Transportation Week of the Charlotte Traffic Club.

P12 11 P89/24

Mayor Ken Harris seated at his desk, with five men at his side, during an unidentified event  1979 July 30 

P12 11 P89/25

Mayor Ken Harris in his office with four men for an unidentified event undated 

P12 11 P89/26

Portrait of President Jimmy Carter undated 

P12 11 P89/27

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