H. Milton Short, Jr.
Mr. H. Milton Short, Jr. served six terms on Charlotte’s City Council (1965-1979), and was the appointed chairman of a committee to research and lobby the state legislature to change a provision that required the city council to sell property in the Brooklyn neighborhood at public auction. Mr. Short expressed his approval of the Urban Redevelopment Plan of the 1960s as a “Win-Win” situation, and explained that this plan had the overwhelming approval of Charlotte’s general public and those who inhabited the Brooklyn neighborhood. He was born on January 5, 1919, in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Harold M. and Ina Short. Mr. Short is the father of one son, Harold M. Short, III, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and one daughter, Gay S. Patterson, of San Mateo, California. He moved to Charlotte with his family during the 1930s. He graduated from law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1943, and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After his service in the military, Mr. Short practiced law with Whitlock and Dockery for four years, before entering the family furniture business, Mecklenburg Furniture Company
Tape Log: Oral History Interview with H. Milton Short, Jr.
Interviewed on Monday, March 22, 2004
Interviewed by Jason L. Harpe
Interviewed for the Urban Renewal and the Brooklyn Neighborhood Oral History Project
|Time||Description of Interview Contents|
|0.0||Beginning of Interview. Opinion of Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan. Eminent Domain Law as a “Win-Win” situation in combating “Urban Degeneration or Scawler.” Implications and effects of redevelopment plan on other nations. Approval of program by general public and the inhabitants of the Brooklyn neighborhood. Election to five consecutive terms on Charlotte’s City Council (1965-1979).|
|5.3||Explanation of how “run-down” real estate affected the appearance of Charlotte, and how real estate in Brooklyn (40 to 50 foot lots) was not sought until the council exercised the power of Eminent Domain. Discussion of property owners, their taxes, and benefits of selling property to interested businesses without being required to sell property at public auction. Mention of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and their support of urban redevelopment. Problems with Urban Redevelopment program.|
|10.0||Establishment of committee by Charlotte’s City Council to encourage state legislature to change provision that required the council to sell Brooklyn property at public auction. Personal background, discussion of father, father’s occupation (Ivey’s Department Store, Mecklenburg Furniture), and narrator’s education.|
|15.0||Conception of Charlotte in comparison to his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Discussion of law career and participation in World War II. Discussion of entrance into the law profession with Whitlock and Dockery, education, involvement in family business (starting in 1950), and motivation to run for city council. Brief comments on Sam and Liz Hair.|
|25.0||Charlotte City Council election and ideas behind running for office. Urban Redevelopment upon entering city council (1965), and urban redevelopment as the biggest movement in Charlotte during the 1960s. Sufficiency of zoning and zoning laws in dealing with urban degeneration. Federal funding for urban redevelopment as essential to deal with the situation in Brooklyn.|
|30.0||Need for statement or paper to address the return on the investment of urban redevelopment in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Discussion of Eminent Domain process, government funds, and taxes to deal with “Urban Sqawler.” Support from all parties (those living in Brooklyn and those who moved into the neighborhood) on the issue of urban redevelopment. Mention of appointment as chairman of committee to change legislation in Raleigh to enable the Charlotte City Council to sell Brooklyn property to businesses without going through public auction.|
|35.0||Discussion of Vernon Sawyer as head of Urban Redevelopment Commission. Tape One, Side Two|
|0.0||Ray King as head of Citizens Committee to advise the Charlotte City Council on urban redevelopment planning.|
|10.0||Ray King’s domination of Charlotte’s Democratic Party.|