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Charlotte Remembers 1963 Desegregation ‘Eat-In’

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte is observing the 50th anniversary of a lunch that helped end segregation in the city’s restaurants and hotels.

African-American and white community leaders will eat lunch Wednesday at Mert’s Heart and Soul restaurant where they will discuss race relations.

The city’s community relations board also is urging residents to invite someone of a different race to lunch the same day.

On May 29, 1963, civil rights and white business leaders ate lunch together in the segregated restaurants.

The lunch was a turning point in Charlotte’s emergence as a leading New South city.

It contrasted sharply with the massive resistance seen in other Southern cities, such as Birmingham, Ala., where the police chief that same month turned fire hoses and police dogs on young civil rights protesters.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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