North Carolina, the Tar Heel state

LHJ Best Cities for Women 2002
With the unlikely name of "The New River" this North Carolina waterway is the oldest river in the nation and the second oldest in the world. You'll find it in the Appalachian Mountains of Ashe County. Five cities here made our list.
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#20: Big Cities - Charlotte

The largest city in the state, Charlotte is a major U.S. banking center as well as an air, transportation and distribution hub for the Carolina manufacturing belt. The huge Charlotte Coliseum and high-rise office buildings have transformed the city's skyline since the 1980s. The city, settled around 1750, was named for Queen Charlotte, wife of George III of England. Its citizens were among the most outspoken in opposition to the British government, and it was at Charlotte that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed in May of 1775. In his brief two-month occupation of the city in 1780, British General Cornwallis called it a "hornet's nest of rebellion." Racially diverse and liberal, Charlotte was the scene of the first major court-ordered busing program to eliminate school segregation in 1971.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #167
  • Educational attainment #45
  • Breast cancer #87
  • Divorce rate #45

#62: Small Cities - Durham

Once a major tobacco and textile center, Durham now thrives as a research and education center. Known as the "City of Medicine," Durham is part of the world-renowned Research Triangle Park and the home of Duke University and the Duke University Medical Center. Durham is also rich in arts and culture. Along with the lush Sarah P. Duke Memorial Gardens and the interactive Children's Nature Museum, each year an international festival, a blues festival and numerous other activities are sponsored by the city and draw thousands of visitors.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #184
  • Educational attainment #14
  • Breast cancer #36
  • Divorce rate #44

#76: Small Cities - Raleigh

Located just three hours from the mountains and two hours from the coast, Raleigh has a rich history and cultural sophistication evident throughout the city, especially in the numerous museums and galleries that populate the well-preserved downtown. It became the state capital in 1788. Raleigh is part of North Carolina's Research Triangle, an area and organization shared with nearby Chapel Hill and Durham that utilizes the scientific talent of the three cities' universities. There are also a wealth of libraries, museums, and several 18th-Century houses, including the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson, whose home is preserved as a historic site.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #186
  • Educational attainment #8
  • Breast cancer #89
  • Divorce rate #37

#108: Small Cities - Greensboro

Greensboro, a residential city with a small cluster of skyscrapers just north of the Durham/Raleigh Research Triangle, was settled in 1749. The nearby site of the Revolutionary War battle of Guilford Courthouse is a national military park. Dolly Madison, O. Henry, and Edward R. Murrow were born in Greensboro. The city's Walkway of History is a series of sidewalk markers that chronicle chapters in local African-American history ranging from the first fugitive slave on the Underground Railroad through the first African-American state Supreme Court Justice.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #140
  • Educational attainment #59
  • Breast cancer #52
  • Divorce rate #43

#112: Small Cities - Winston-Salem

One of North Carolina's largest cities and foremost industrial centers, Winston-Salem was historically a major tobacco manufacturer. The village of Bethabara, the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina, was established nearby in 1753. In 1766, the Moravians built their central town, Salem, a few miles away, and most of the industries and residents of Bethabara moved there. Winston was established in 1849 as the county seat. The two communities were united in 1913. Moravian culture has been sustained through long-range efforts to restore the 18th-Century village of Old Salem (some 40 buildings dating from 1767 to 1811 survive). Also of interest is historic Bethabara park.

Overall rankings for select categories:

  • Women professionals #64
  • Educational attainment #65
  • Breast cancer #15
  • Divorce rate #50

 

 

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