These days Winston-Salem is a charming small city set in the gently rolling countryside of Forsyth County in North Carolina, but throughout the early and mid-twentieth century the city was an industrial powerhouse, its name synonymous with the tobacco industry worldwide. The City’s flagship enterprise for generations was the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, whose world-famous Camel cigarettes gave the town its nick-name “Camel City”.

But hard times hit the city in the 1980’s. R.J. Reynolds was bought out by Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts for the then, jaw-dropping sum of twenty-five million dollars, and its headquarters was moved to Atlanta from the iconic building it had occupied at the corner of 4th and Main since 1929.Other companies relocated, down-sized or re-structured, and the city’s workforce plummeted from its heyday of eighteen thousand to approximately five thousand workers; thousands of well-paying jobs disappeared.

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