Milestone 1955

Selected Milestones in Cumberland County's History

1754-1799 1800-1854 1855-1904 1905-1954 1955-2004


Eutaw Shopping Center opens in October.
Lyons Memorial Methodist Church is founded on November 20th.
James Walker Hood Branch Library relocates to its new quarters at 328 Gillespie Street and is renamed the Gillespie Street Library.
The Town of Spring Lake is incorporated.


Cape Fear Valley Hospital is built.
Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is founded.


The Stedman Branch Library opens on October 1st.


The Spring Lake Branch Library opens in November.
Cape Fear Industries, Inc. organized to acquire sites and buildings for prospective industries.


Cumberland County’s population 1960 is 148,418.
Methodist College opens.
Hope Mills Branch library opens with federal Library Services Act funding.
Students from Fayetteville State Teacher’s College challenge the laws and customs of racial segregation on February 10, 1960 by sitting at the lunch counters at Woolworth and McCrory’s stores.


Terry Sanford, local attorney and state legislator is elected Governor.
In February 1961, Fayetteville City Council approves the creation of Cumberland County’s first voting precinct composed almost entirely of Negro citizens.
Fayetteville Area Industrial Education Center opens. Name changed to Fayetteville Technical Institute in 1963.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sponsors basic education classes at the Gillespie Street Library for illiterate adults.


Fayetteville Little Theatre organized.
Bordeaux Shopping Center opens.


Luther Oliver and John Graves are the first Negroes hired by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.
Thirty-one Negroes are admitted to local white schools.


Saint Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church is built on Oakridge Avenue in Haymount.


City of Fayetteville and Cumberland County designated as Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Reverend Doctor C.R. Edwards is the first black person nominated to the Fayetteville City Board of Education.
Monroe Evans is first citizen of Jewish faith ever to be elected Mayor of the City of Fayetteville.
Old post office building at 301 Hay Street is donated for public library use.


Federal Building containing the Main Post Office completed.


Charles W. Chesnutt Library dedicated at Fayetteville State College.
Rohm & Haas polyester resin plant and Black & Decker power tool plant open.


Purolator filters plant opens.
Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium and Arena dedicated.


Kelly-Springfield tire plant opens.
The Airport Terminal is dedicated.
The Eutaw Branch Library opens on October 18th.
Attorney Marion George is elected to the Fayetteville City Council and serves five consecutive terms.


Cumberland County population is 212,042.
Dupont plastics plant opens.
Hay Street Library is renamed for Frances Brooks Stein.


Fayetteville Museum of Art is chartered.


Fayetteville State University becomes a “constituent institution” of the University of North Carolina.


Fayetteville Times begins publication.
The Wachovia Building opens.
Fayetteville Area Health Education Center organized.
Western Publishing Company plant opens.
East Fayetteville Branch library opens.


Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County founded.
Westwood Shopping Center opens.
Bordeaux Branch library opens. The Law Library is placed under the Public Library
The Cumberland County Association of Indian People is founded.


Cross Creek Mall opens.
New Hope Mills branch library opens in part of the Town Hall.
Stedman Branch library is relocated to restored railroad depot.


Ruby Murchison, an African American teacher with the Fayetteville City School System is chosen National Teacher of the Year.
Beth Finch, Fayetteville’s first woman mayor takes office in December.
Fayetteville /Cumberland County hold the Bicentennial Celebration.
Marvin Lucas, an African American educator is elected to the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen.


County courts move into new courthouse.
Fayetteville Publishing Company, publisher of the Fayetteville Observer and the Fayetteville Times moves to its new building in Massey Hill.


Cumberland County population is 247,160.
Jerry A. Thrasher is appointed Library Director.
Interstate 95 Bypass opens, routing traffic away from motels, restaurants, service stations, and other businesses along U.S. Highway 301.
Cumberland Community Foundation established by Dr. Lucille Hutaff and family.
Westinghouse motor controls plant opens.


John “Bill” Hurley is elected Mayor.
Virginia Thompson is appointed chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. She is the first woman to hold the position and the first woman elected as commissioner here.


Bond issue for new Central Library defeated.


The Cumberland Community Foundation pledges $250,000 for the new central library project.
The Junior League of Fayetteville pledges $30,000. for the new central library.


City Councilman Aaron Johnson is appointed Secretary of the Department of Correction.
Patricia Ann Timmons is the first black woman to serve as a judge in the newly created 12th Judicial District for Cumberland and Hoke Counties.


Cumberland County Schools and Fayetteville City Schools systems merge.
In March, Fayetteville is named All American City.


The new Bordeaux Branch Library is dedicated on January 5th.
The new Headquarters Library located at 300 Maiden Lane opens on June 1.
Terry Sanford, a former Fayetteville attorney and Governor of North Carolina (1961 -1965) is sworn in as a U.S. Senator.
Fayetteville City Council has three black members, Ida Ross, Thelbert Torrey, and Joseph Pillow.


J.L. Dawkins elected Mayor of Fayetteville.
In December, Mary McAllister is named chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commis-sioners, the first black woman to serve in that post.


Opened Gates Book Club, a discussion group dedicated to reading the works of African Americans is organized at the Headquarters Library.
The General Assembly and other state officials gather at the Market House for the 200th birthday celebration of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.


Billy King, Juanita Gonzalez and Thomas Bacote are new members of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
The Cumberland County Veterans Monument is dedicated in Freedom Park, located on Morganton Road in the Cross Creek Mall area on April 13th.
The Capital Department Store closes after operating for 77 years.


The Town of Hope Mills celebrates its year long centennial celebration.
Cliffdale Branch Library is dedicated on March 16th.


New (11,200 square feet) Hope Mills Branch Library located on Golfview Drive opens on June 6.
Fayetteville City Council votes to spend $5 million to improve parks and $4 million to build a new police station on Hay Street.


John Griffin becomes Cumberland County’s first African American Superintendent of Schools.
Cumberland County Commissioners approve a 1% meal tax to pay for the new arena.


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners agrees to pay $2.5 million to purchase 15 -20 acres of land for the new coliseum.
In June, the Fayetteville City Council agrees to make offer to buy Rick’s Lounge and other buildings in the 400 block of Hay Street to make way for the new police station.


Don Clayton, founder of Putt-Putt Golf Courses retires from the $100 million business.
Fort Bragg sniper (Sgt. William Kreutzer) kills one and injures 18 soldiers as they prepare for a four-mile run.


On July 27th, City leaders (black and white) cut a ribbon to officially rename the city’s Central Business District Loop for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fayetteville City Council fires city manager, John Smith.
Two lawmen (Highway Patrol Sgt. Ed Lowery and Cpl. David Hathcock of the County’s Sheriff Department) are slain on Interstate 95.
Crown Coliseum opens on October 23.
Cumberland County voters approve a $98 million bond issue for public school construction.


The new North Regional Branch Library opens on February 21st.
Douglas Byrd High School is named the Governor’s Entrepreneurial School.
Talmage Baggett and Breeden Blackwell are elected to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
The groundbreaking for the $16 million Airborne & Special Operations Museum is held in June.


The new East Regional Branch Library opens on February 13th, replacing the East Fayetteville and Stedman branches.
The new Spring Lake Branch Library opens on June 19th.


Mayor J.L. Dawkins dies on May 30, 2000.
The Airborne & Special Operations Museum opens.
Library director, Jerry Thrasher, receives the Library Journal’s “Librarian of the Year – 1999” Award.


Marshall Pitts, a local attorney, is elected as Fayetteville’s first African American mayor.
In June, Fayetteville is one of ten American cities named an ALL -AMERICAN CITY.
Karen Musgrave McDonald is hired as the City Attorney. She is the first African American to hold a top city position.
Fire destroys the USO building on Ray Avenue. The building, which opened in 1942, was used for dances and dinners during World War II.


From May 16-25th, the city celebrates the Festival of Flight, a celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of aviation history that followed the Wright Brother’s flight.


Jeanette Council becomes the Chair of Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
In March, Cumberland County celebrates the 250th anniversary of its founding.