Charlotte is a liberal city, and the largest, in the state of North Carolina, with a population of 687,456  in 2008. It is the 18th largest city in the United States. Since 2009 its mayor has been a Democrat, most recently Democrat Patrick Cannon who resigned in March 2014 after he was arrested on federal charges of corruption.
Charlotte was founded in 1755, and is nicknamed the "Queen City," a nickname name it shares with Buffalo, New York and Cincinnati, Ohio, after the wife of King George III. This did not mean there was a love of empire in the city as during the Revolutionary War, the British Army was driven out of Charlotte. The British General Cornwallis wrote of Charlotte "There's a rebel behind every bush, it's a veritable nest of hornets", leading to the city's other nickname: The Hornets' Nest.
The Charlotte Hornets played in the NBA in the city from 1988 - 2004 until an unpopular owner drove the residents away from the team. The Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002. Immediately afterwards Charlotte was granted another basketball franchise, originally named the Bobcats but later renamed to the Charlotte Hornets after the New Orleans team changed its name to the Pelicans.
The notoriously liberal University of North Carolina at Charlotte is the largest university in the state system with 20,000 students. The private Presbyterian university Queens University of Charlotte is also located in the city.
Charlotte was the long-time home of evangelist Billy Graham.