Ben E. Douglas (1935-1941)
Ben Douglas was the first Mayor of Charlotte elected directly by voters. A new charter changed the process from appointment to election. Douglas served three terms as Charlotte's Mayor from 1935 to 1941.
An Iredell County native, Douglas was a World War I veteran. He owned Douglas Furs located at Independence and Elizabeth Avenue.
During his Administration:
- The Mint Museum was completed. Douglas sought and obtained Federal funding to complete the rebuild of the U.S. Mint. The museum opened October 22, 1936.
- The first public airport was built in Charlotte. It was named Douglas Municipal Airport in honor of Ben Douglas. Today's airport, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport still carries that designation.
- Eastern Airlines made its first flight into Charlotte on May 17, 1937.
- American Legion Memorial Stadium was completed as a memorial to veterans of World War I. The first Shrine Bowl Game was played in 1937 between high school athletes from North Carolina and South Carolina.
- The first public housing was built in Charlotte
- Old #85 trolley made its last run as buses replaced electric street cars in downtown Charlotte in 1938.
- Germany invades Poland on September 1, 1939 starting the second World War.
- In 1940 Charlotte's population topped 100,000 making it North Carolina's largest city.