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Creative Loafing turns 25! 

Telling the story of CL's relationship with Charlotte over the past quarter-century.

Welcome to Creative Loafing's 25th Anniversary Edition. Woo-hoo! To celebrate, we offer you, dear loyal readers, the 25 most important stories in CL's history. How did we come up with these choices? A lot of arguing among the editorial staff. Are we right? Well, what's right when you're talking about literally thousands of stories? The important thing is: we agreed on them.

We wanted this issue to tell a bigger story — the story of CL's relationship with Charlotte over the past quarter-century. Plenty of great pieces didn't make the cut, but the ones here — whether because of the quality of journalism or the magnitude of the actual issues — are stories that say something about this particular alternative media outlet and the city it loves. And CL does love Charlotte. We love the city enough to not just rah-rah its successes, but also criticize and lampoon its blunders.

These 25 stories trace Charlotte's dramatic journey since 1987. Not only that, but each piece has made a difference in the city's transformation. CL has been at the forefront of issues ranging from First Amendment protection to race and immigration to gay civil rights. And that's why the top three big stories in this special edition revolve around those very issues — beginning with Perry Tannenbaum's exhaustive reporting on the Angels in America controversy. Following that are stories on the Latinization of our area during the '90s and '00s and CL's more recent coverage of Amendment One.

We all can be proud of CL's accomplishments over the past 25 years — every staffer, freelancer, and reader. Thank you for being a part of our history.

Plus:
R.I.P. to Creative Loafing photographers Don Swan and Chris Radok
Our very first issue

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