North Carolina Cities
Greensboro, North Carolina, is a city located in Guilford County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the largest city in the Piedmont Triad region.
As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 223,891, making it the third most populous city in North Carolina. Its estimated population in 2004 was 231,543.
It is located at the intersection of two interstate highways (I-85 and I-40) in the Piedmont ("foot of the mountains") region in central North Carolina.
In 1808, Greensborough (as it was spelled then) was a planned town to replace Guilford Court House as the county seat. This act moved the county courts to near the geographical center of the county, easily reached by the more of county's citizens.
The town is home to several universities and colleges. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T), Guilford College, Bennett College, and Greensboro College all call Greensboro home. In addition, the state community college system has several campuses for Guilford Technical Community College.
The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. The Americans lost that battle but slowed Cornwallis' British forces enough to allow the Americans to prepare to defeat them at the Battle of Yorktown, where the British were forced to surrender on October 19, 1781, after a 20-day siege, thus ending the American Revolution.
In the 1800's, Greensboro was selected by the state government to become a railroad hub and substantally grew in size. It soon became known as the Gateway City. The railroads transported goods to and from the textile industries, which grew up around Greensboro due to its location. Many of these businesses remained in the city until the 21st century, when many of them went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies. Greensboro remains as a major textile headquarters city with main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, North Face, Vanity Fair). Rail traffic continues as a major North Carolina freight hub and four passenger trains per day (Amtrack)on the main Norfolk Western line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.
Greensboro has been known for being on the forefront of racial equality issues, sometimes resulting in nationally known events. During the 19th century, with its large concentration of anti-slavery Quakers near Guilford College (now part of Greensboro), the town was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The Railroad helped to smuggle runaway slaves to freedom in the North. In the 1861 Secession Convention Vote, Guilford County voted against secession from the Union.
Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated from cotton trade and merchandising led to the construction of several notable buildings. The earliest building, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, built in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846 designed by A. J. Davis of New York City made the house an influential landmark in the nation as America's earliest Tuscan Villa.
During the twentieth century, Greensboro expanded in wealth and population due to profitable textile and tobacco interests. Rapid growth led to construction of grand commercial and civic buildings many of which remain standing today.
On February 1, 1960, four black college students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat down at an all-white Woolworths lunch counter, and refused to leave when they were denied service. Hundreds of others soon joined in this first sit-in, which lasted for several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of Woolworths and other chains.
On November 3, 1979, gunfire was exchanged between Communist Workers Party members holding an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally, and a group of KKK and neo-Nazi counter-protesters. Five CWP members were killed and seven were wounded and television footage of the event was shown across the nation. This event is known as the Greensboro massacre.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 283.0 km² (109.2 mi²)
Greensboro enjoys gently rolling hills and is midway between the mountains of North Carolina and its beaches to the east. A view of the city from its highest building—the Jefferson-Pilot tower—reveals that the town is populated with large numbers of green trees, giving perhaps another dimension to its name. The town is well-situated in terms of travel, with Interstates 40, 85, and the soon-to-be-built I-73 passing through its borders.
Greensboro is served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, which also serves High Point, North Carolina and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Amtrak's Crescent and Carolinian and Piedmont trains connect Greensboro with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. Amtrak trains, taxis, local and long distance buses arrive and depart from the Depot located at 236-C East Washington Street, originally constructed during the early 1920's with interior modernization completed 2004.
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