President of the United States: Rutherford B. Hayes
Vice President of the United States: William Wheeler
By the year 1880, the South was continuing to rebuild after the destruction of the Civil War. In particular, the historical and cultural identity of Kings Mountain was rapidly transforming. The city of Kings Mountain was incorporated in 1874, changing its name from White Plains to Kings Mountain as an homage to the Revolutionary War battle that shaped the region. A number of the founding fathers of the new community devised the idea for a centennial celebration, and reached out to influential men locally, regionally, and nationally to get a celebration organize. On October 7, 1880, they held the official celebration for the 100th anniversary.
As a turning point in the Revolutionary War, the battle of Kings Mountain deserved recognition. Thus, the centennial celebration included the unveiling of the Kings Mountain Monument on the battleground, now the second-oldest marker in any National Park. One of the inscriptions on the monument reads, “Here the tide of the battle turned in favor of the American Colonies.” The celebration aimed to show the gratitude and respect for what was lost and what had been gained that day one hundred years prior. In an original souvenir program, the event is described as the “Grandest celebration ever known in the Southern States!” The 1880 Centennial Celebration was the first of its kind and paved the way for larger, grander celebrations in the future.