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1935: James Grubbs Martin is born in Savannah, Georgia, to Rev. Arthur Martin and his wife, Mary.
1938: The Martin family moves to Winnsboro, South Carolina, where Rev. Martin becomes pastor of church there.
1953: James Martin graduates from Mt. Zion High School in Winnsboro, SC.
1957: Mr. Martin receives his bachelor's degree from Davidson College, and, in the same year, marries Dorothy Ann McAulay.
1959: The Martins' first child, James Grubbs Martin Jr., is born.
1960: Martin receives a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University and joins the faculty of Davidson College, where he will stay until1970.
1961: Mr. Martin is asked by Davidson students to help organize a conservative club and a Republican club to bring in speakers. In the same year, Dr. Martin himself registers as a Republican.
1962: The Martins' second child, Emily Wood Martin, is born.
1963: Dr. Martin runs for city council in Davidson. Advised not to campaign since it is a nonpartisan election, he doesn’t--and loses, for the only time in his political career.
1966: Dr. Martin is recruited by Mecklenburg Republicans to run for Board of County Commissioners and wins. As leading Republican on board, he serves as chairman. He runs again in 1970, and is reelected.
1968: Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Commissioner Martin takes a political risk by addressing racial conciliation rally at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, NC. The same year, he serves as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
1972: The Martins' third child, Arthur Benson Martin, is born. The same year, Dr. Martin is elected as a Republican Representative to the 93rd U.S. Congress, where he will serve six, two-year terms.
1984: Dr. Martin is elected governor of North Carolina in an upset victory over Attorney General Rufus Edmisten. During the campaign, he refrains from appealing to racism and promises to retain Democratic appointees.
1985: At Governor Martin's gubernatorial inauguration, he proposes $300 million in merit pay for teachers, appoints three democrats, including one African American and one woman, to his 10-person cabinet, and proposes tax cuts to attract more business to North Carolina. The same year, the N.C. General Assembly votes to call for a statewide vote on a referendum that would repeal the right of the North Carolina governor to serve for more than one term.
1986: Gov. Martin returns from a trip to Hollywood, announcing seven movies will be made in North Carolina. The same year, he calls for full funding of the state’s eight-year Basic Education Program (BEP). But in an address to the N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry, the Republican governor also says the BEP should be changed to give local school boards more say about how they spend their money.
1987: Gov. Martin takes a vacation at sea with his family in the final days of the legislative session. Lieutenant Governor Robert Jordan, who is also the Democratic nominee to oppose Gov. Martin in the 1988 gubernatorial election, openly criticizes him for taking a vacation while the legislature is still in session. Gov. Martin later says his decision to go on the vacation was one of his most satisfying. That same year, the General Assembly votes to approve the Martin Luther King, Jr. state holiday. While Gov. Martin opposes the decision, he cannot veto the plan, since the North Carolina governor does not yet have that privilege.
1988: Gov. Martin announces bid for re-election and unveils his anti-dropout program, calling for up to $200 million to target disadvantaged preschoolers likely to drop out when they get older. Gov. Martin also supports the creation of a new judicial post in racially-troubled Robeson county and promises to appoint a member of a minority group. Later in the year, Martin is re-elected as governor of North Carolina and calls on Democrats to join in a bipartisan effort to improve the state's schools, roads, jobs and environment.
1989: Gov. Martin becomes the first Republican NC governor in history to take the oath of office for a second four-year term. Gov. Martin joins four former governors to persuade a legislative panel that North Carolina should join 49 other states in giving the governor veto power. Gov. Martin also submits a plan to give teachers raises higher than 4.5 percent and recommends increasing the state sales tax by 1% to fund state employee & teachers' salaries. The legislature also passes Martin's Highway Trust Fund, which the governor calls "a big investment in the future." Additionally, Gov. Martin appoints a 32-member commission on reduction of infant mortality, after learning that North Carolina's rate is nation's worst. That same year, in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, President George H.W. Bush declares 13 North Carolina counties as disaster areas. The General Assembly meets for a special session to discuss hazardous waste. At issue is whether North Carolina should build a regional contaminated waste facility. The North Carolina Legislature later approves a chemical waste pact and agrees to pick a facility for waste burning, to begin in 1991.
1990: The Charlotte Observer reports that the Gov. Martin's political appointees and former President Richard Nixon raise $263,053 for Gov. Martin's political action committee, leading some to speculate that Martin might be vying for Terry Sanford’s Senate seat in 1992. The State Auditor Ed Renfrow submits a report stating that Gov. Martin's research office used public funds to produce a 31-page dossier on former Lt. Gov . Bob Jordan. After reading reports that Attorney General Thornburg might order a state investigation of his office in wake of Renfrow’s report, Gov. Martin holds 90-minute news conference, in which he announces that he has no plans to run for office after his term ends in 1993. That same year, Gov. Martin and Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner unveil a $50 million plan to combat North Carolina's drug and alcohol problems. Gov. Martin also campaigns for a prison bond package, a $200 million proposal, which is later passed by the voters. By year's end, a special panel picks Granville as the site for a waste-burning facility. Gov. Martin warns that if Council of State turns Granville down and North Carolina does not name a site for an incinerator by Dec. 31, the state could be thrown out of the Southeastern regional compact it had formed with five other states. The Council of State, a body of statewide elected officials, eventually votes down the Granville County plan.
1991: Gov. Martin says his proposed 1/2 cent sales tax raise won't be enough to offset the state's budget deficit, which is now at $729 million. Child advocates praise Gov. Martin's plan for the North Carolina Division of Social Services to exert more control over the state's 100 county social services departments. Gov. Martin also unveils a budget crisis proposal and announces he will seek tax cuts for businesses to stimulate economy. The same year, Jim Hunt announces he's running for an unprecedented 3rd term as North Carolina's governor.
1992: Gov. Martin embraces President George H.W. Bush's goals for education, tells state to aim for 90% graduation rate by 2000. Gov. Martin also proposes new air cargo airport in North Carolina, to bring in 100,000 new jobs. Gov. Martin’s industrial recruitment garners two major successes: MCI Communications, which will expand in Research Triangle Park, and TJ Maxx, which will build a distribution center in Charlotte, NC. The same year, Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner, running for governor on the Republican ticket, urges people to elect him so he can “continue the policies of Gov. Martin." Despite this, Jim Hunt wins the North Carolina gubernatorial election.
1993: Gov. Martin leaves office and moves to Charlotte, NC, to head a research center at Carolinas Medical Center.
1994: Gov. Martin's brother Joe is diagnosed with ALS. The Martin brothers team up to build an ALS center at Carolinas Medical Center.
1997: Gov. Martin becomes vice president for research at the Carolinas Medical Center.
2005: Gov. Martin is successfully treated for prostate cancer, and, later that year, agrees to chair a citizens committee that would design a school construction package for Charlotte-Mecklenburg voters.
2006: Joe Martin, Jim Martin's brother, dies of complications from ALS. Two weeks after his death, Mecklenburg commissioners reject the school construction package Gov. Martin had helped design and school and county leaders agree on a $123 million plan.
2008: Martin joins the consulting group McGuireWoods Consulting.