North Carolina
Overview
 
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 to the south, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to the west and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

, and its largest city is Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from heavy reliance upon tobacco and furniture making to a more diversified economy with engineering, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, and finance sectors.

North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6684 feet (2,037.3 m) at Mt.
Timeline

1584    Sir Walter Raleigh establishes the first English colony on Roanoke Island, old Virginia (now North Carolina).

1587    Colony of Roanoke: a second group of English settlers arrives on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

1718    Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach (best known as "Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

1784    Western North Carolina (now eastern Tennessee) declares itself an independent state under the name of Franklin; it wasn’t accepted into the United States, and only lasted for four years.

1789    North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state.

1857    The SS Central America sinks about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13–15 tons of gold from the San Francisco Gold Rush.

1859    The current Cape Lookout, North Carolina, lighthouse is lit for the first time. Its first-order Fresnel lens can be seen for about 19 miles (30 kilometers), in good conditions.

1861    Union forces attack Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

1861    American Civil War: US Navy squadron captures forts at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

1871    In North Carolina, William Woods Holden becomes the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.

Encyclopedia
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 to the south, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to the west and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

, and its largest city is Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from heavy reliance upon tobacco and furniture making to a more diversified economy with engineering, biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, and finance sectors.

North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6684 feet (2,037.3 m) at Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern US. The climate of the coastal plains is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 zone. More than 300 miles (482.8 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.

From 2008 North Carolina has been the fastest growing state in the United States.

Geography

North Carolina borders South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 on the south, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 on the southwest, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 on the west, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 classifies North Carolina as a southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 state in the subcategory of being one of the South Atlantic States
South Atlantic States
The South Atlantic United States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions within the United States that are recognized by the United States Census Bureau....

.

North Carolina consists of three main geographic sections: the coastal plain
Atlantic Coastal Plain
The Atlantic coastal plain has both low elevation and low relief, but it is also a relatively flat landform extending from the New York Bight southward to a Georgia/Florida section of the Eastern Continental Divide, which demarcates the plain from the ACF River Basin in the Gulf Coastal Plain to...

, which occupies the eastern 45% of the state; the Piedmont
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

 region, which contains the middle 35%; and the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 and foothills. The extreme eastern section of the state contains the Outer Banks, a string of sandy, narrow islands which form a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and two inland waterways or "sounds": Albemarle Sound
Albemarle Sound
Albemarle Sound is a large estuary on the coast of North Carolina in the United States located at the confluence of a group of rivers, including the Chowan and Roanoke. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a long barrier peninsula upon which the town of Kitty Hawk is located,...

 in the north and Pamlico Sound
Pamlico Sound
Pamlico Sound in North Carolina, is the largest lagoon along the U.S. East Coast, being long and 24 to 48 km wide. It is a body of water separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a row of low, sandy barrier islands, including Cape Hatteras. The Neuse and Pamlico rivers flow in...

 in the south. They are the two largest landlocked sounds in the United States. So many ships have been lost off Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast of North America...

 that the area is known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic
Graveyard of the Atlantic
Graveyard of the Atlantic is a nickname of two locations known for numerous shipwrecks: the treacherous waters in the Atlantic Ocean along the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Virginia coastline south of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Henry; and around Sable Island, off the coast...

". More than 1,000 ships have sunk in these waters since records began in 1526.
Immediately inland, the coastal plain is relatively flat, with rich soil ideal for growing tobacco, soybeans, melons, and cotton. The coastal plain is North Carolina's most rural section, with few large towns or cities. Agriculture remains an important industry. The major rivers of the coastal plain: the Neuse
Neuse River
The Neuse River is a river rising in the Piedmont of North Carolina and emptying into Pamlico Sound below New Bern. Its total length is approximately , making it the longest river entirely contained in North Carolina. The Trent River joins it at New Bern. Its drainage basin, measuring in area,...

, Tar
Tar River
The Tar River is a river that is approximately long, of northeast North Carolina flowing generally southeast to an estuary of Pamlico Sound. The Tar River becomes the tidal Pamlico River once it underpasses the U.S...

, Pamlico
Pamlico River
The Pamlico River is a tidal river that flows into Pamlico Sound, in North Carolina in the United States of America. It is formed by the confluence of the Tar River and Tranters Creek....

, and Cape Fear
Cape Fear River
The Cape Fear River is a long blackwater river in east central North Carolina in the United States. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Fear, from which it takes its name. The overall water quality of the river is continuously measured and monitored by and conducted by the , , and the...

, tend to be slow-moving and wide.

The coastal plain transitions to the Piedmont region along the "fall line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

", a line which marks the elevation at which waterfalls first appear on streams and rivers. The Piedmont region of central North Carolina is the state's most urbanized and densely populated section. It consists of gently rolling countryside frequently broken by hills or low mountain ridges. Small, isolated, and deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located in the Piedmont, including the Sauratown Mountains
Sauratown Mountains
The Sauratown Mountains, which are sometimes called "the mountains away from the mountains", are an isolated mountain range located within Stokes and Surry counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina...

, Pilot Mountain
Pilot Mountain (North Carolina)
Pilot Mountain, a metamorphic quartzite monadnock rising to a peak above sea level, is one of the most distinctive natural features in the state of North Carolina. It is a remnant of the ancient chain of Sauratown Mountains. The Saura were the earliest known inhabitants of the region...

, the Uwharrie Mountains
Uwharrie Mountains
The Uwharrie Mountains are a mountain range in North Carolina. The range lies in the counties of Randolph, Montgomery, Stanly, and Davidson, although its foothills stretch into Cabarrus, Anson, Union counties and terminate in the hills of Person. Formed approximately 500 million years ago by...

, Crowder's Mountain
Crowder's Mountain
Crowders Mountain is one of two main peaks within Crowders Mountain State Park, the other peak being King's Pinnacle. The park is located in the western Piedmont of North Carolina between the cities of King's Mountain and Gastonia or about west of Charlotte...

, King's Pinnacle
King's Pinnacle
King's Pinnacle is one of the two main peaks located within Crowder's Mountain State Park. The other peak is Crowder's Mountain. The park is located in the western Piedmont of North Carolina between the cities of Kings Mountain and Gastonia....

, the Brushy Mountains
Brushy Mountains (North Carolina)
The Brushy Mountains are a mountain range located in northwestern North Carolina. They are an isolated "spur" of the much larger Blue Ridge Mountains, separated from them by the Yadkin River valley...

, and the South Mountains
South Mountains (North Carolina)
The South Mountains are an ancient and deeply eroded mountain range in western North Carolina. They are an isolated remnant of the much larger Appalachian Mountains to the west, and are separated from the Appalachians by the Catawba River valley. The range covers approximately 100,000 acres in...

. The Piedmont ranges from about 300–400 feet (90–120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west. Due to the rapid population growth in the Piedmont, a significant part of the rural area in this region is being transformed into suburbs with shopping centers, housing, and corporate offices. Agriculture is steadily declining in its importance. The major rivers of the Piedmont, such as the Yadkin
Yadkin River
The Yadkin River is one of the longest rivers in North Carolina, flowing . It rises in the northwestern portion of the state near the Blue Ridge Parkway's Thunder Hill Overlook. Several parts of the river are impounded by dams for water, power, and flood control. The river becomes the Pee Dee...

 and Catawba
Catawba River
The Catawba River is a tributary of the Wateree River in the U.S. states of North Carolina and South Carolina. The river is approximately 220 miles long...

, tend to be fast-flowing, shallow, and narrow.

The western section
Western North Carolina
Western North Carolina is the region of North Carolina which includes the Appalachian Mountains, thus it is often known geographically as the state's Mountain Region. It is sometimes included with upstate South Carolina as the "Western Carolinas", which is also counted as a single media market...

 of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Among the subranges of the Appalachians located in the state are the Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains or the...

, Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

, Great Balsam Mountains
Great Balsam Mountains
The Great Balsam Mountains, or Balsam Mountains, are in the mountain region of western North Carolina, United States. The Great Balsams are a subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which in turn are a part of the Appalachian Mountains...

, and the Black Mountains
Black Mountains (North Carolina)
The Black Mountains are a mountain range in western North Carolina, in the southeastern United States. They are part of the Blue Ridge Province of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The Blacks are the highest mountains in the Eastern United States...

. The Black Mountains are the highest in the Eastern United States, and culminate in Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell (North Carolina)
Mount Mitchell is the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in the eastern United States. It was the highest point in any state of the United States until Texas joined the union in 1845. The nearest higher point east of the Rocky Mountains is Harney Peak in the Black Hills...

 at 6,684 feet (2,037 m). It is the highest point east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. Although agriculture still remains important, tourism has become a dominant industry in the mountains. Growing Christmas trees has recently been an important industry. Due to the higher altitude, the climate in the mountains often differs markedly from the rest of the state. Winter in western North Carolina typically features high snowfall and subfreezing temperature more akin to those of a midwestern state than of a southern state.

North Carolina has 17 major river basins. The basins west of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

 flow to the Gulf of Mexico (via the Ohio and then the Mississippi River). All the others flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 17 basins, 11 originate within the state of North Carolina, but only four are contained entirely within the state's border – the Cape Fear, Neuse, White Oak and Tar-Pamlico.

Climate

The geographical divisions of North Carolina are useful when discussing the climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 of the state.

The climate of the coastal plain is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, which keeps temperature mild in winter and moderate in summer. The highest temperature in the daytime average less than 89 °F (31.6 °C) on the coast in the summer. The coast has mild temperature in winter, with daytime temperature rarely dropping below 40 °F (4.4 °C). The average daytime temperature in the coastal plain is usually in the mid-60's in winter. Temperature in the coastal plain rarely drops below the freezing point at night. The coastal plain usually receives only one inch (2.5 cm) of snow or ice annually, and in some years, there may be no snow or ice at all.
The Atlantic Ocean has less influence on the climate of the Piedmont region, which has hotter summer and colder winter than in the coast. Daytime highs in the Piedmont often average over 90 °F (32.2 °C) in the summer. While it is not common for temperature to reach over 100 °F (37.8 °C) in the state, such temperature, if it occurs, is found in the lower areas of the Piedmont. The weaker influence of the Atlantic Ocean also means that temperature in the Piedmont often fluctuates more widely than in the coast.

In winter, the Piedmont is colder than the coast, with daytime temperature in that usually in the 40s, and temperature that often drops below the freezing point at night. The region averages from 3–5 inches of snowfall annually in the Charlotte area, to 6–8 inches in the Raleigh–Durham area. The Piedmont is especially notorious for sleet
Rain and snow mixed
Rain and snow mixed is precipitation composed of rain and partially melted snow. This precipitation can occur where the temperature in the lower part of the atmosphere is slightly above the freezing point...

 and freezing rain
Freezing rain
Freezing rain is the name given to rain that falls when surface temperatures are below freezing. The raindrops become supercooled while passing through a sub-freezing layer of air, many hundred feet , just above the surface, and then freeze upon impact with any object they encounter. The resulting...

. Freezing rain can be heavy enough to slow town traffic and break down trees and power lines. Annual precipitation and humidity are lower in the Piedmont than in the mountains or the coast, but even at its lowest, the precipitation is 40 in (102 cm) per year.

The Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 are the coolest area of the state, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 40s and upper 30s for highs in the winter and often falling into the teens (−9 °C) or lower on winter nights. Relatively cool summers have temperatures rarely rising above 80 °F (26.7 °C). Snowfall in the mountains is usually 14–30 in (36–51 cm) per year, but it is often greater in the higher elevations. For example, during the Blizzard of 1993 more than 60 inches (152.4 cm) of snow fell on Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell can refer to:* Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the eastern United States* Mount Mitchell , in Jasper National Park of Canada* Mount Mitchell * Mount Mitchell , in Queensland...

 over a period of three days. Additionally, Mount Mitchell has received snow in every month of the year.

Severe weather occurs regularly in North Carolina. On average, a hurricane hits the state once a decade. Destructive hurricanes that hit the state include Hurricane Hazel
Hurricane Hazel
Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane...

, Hurricane Fran
Hurricane Fran
Hurricane Fran was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season that made landfall near Cape Fear in North Carolina at Category 3 strength. Throughout the eastern United States, early statistics on Fran reported 27 deaths and $3.2 billion in damage...

, and Hurricane Floyd
Hurricane Floyd
Hurricane Floyd was the sixth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Floyd triggered the third largest evacuation in US history when 2.6 million coastal residents of five states were ordered from their homes as it approached...

. Hurricane Isabel
Hurricane Isabel
Hurricane Isabel was the costliest and deadliest hurricane in the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season. The ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, Isabel formed near the Cape Verde Islands from a tropical wave on September 6 in the tropical Atlantic Ocean...

 stands out as the most damaging of the 21st century. Tropical storms arrive every 3 or 4 years. In addition, many hurricanes and tropical storms graze the state. In some years, several hurricanes or tropical storms can directly strike the state or brush across the coastal areas. Only Florida and Louisiana are hit by hurricanes more often. Although many people believe that hurricanes menace only coastal areas, the rare hurricane which moves inland quickly enough can cause severe damage. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo
Hurricane Hugo
Hurricane Hugo was a classical, destructive and rare Cape Verde-type hurricane which struck the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Croix, Puerto Rico and the USA mainland in South Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane during September of the 1989 Atlantic hurricane season...

 caused heavy damage in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE
- CHARLOTTE :CHARLOTTE is an American blues-based hard rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1986. Currently, they are signed to indie label, Eonian Records, under which they released their debut cd, Medusa Groove, in 2010. Notable Charlotte songs include 'Siren', 'Little Devils',...

 and even as far inland as the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

 in the northwestern part of the state. On average, North Carolina has 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year, with some storms becoming severe enough to produce hail, flash flood
Flash flood
A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas—washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a storm, hurricane, or tropical storm or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields...

s, and damaging winds.

North Carolina averages fewer than 20 tornadoes per year. Many of these are produced by hurricanes or tropical storms along the coastal plain. Tornadoes from thunderstorms are a risk, especially in the eastern part of the state. The western Piedmont is often protected by the mountains breaking storms up as they try to cross over them. The storms will often reform farther east. Also a weather feature known as "cold air damming
Cold air damming
Cold air damming, or CAD, is a meteorological phenomenon that involves a high pressure system interacting with local geographic features. A cold-air damming situation typically involves a high pressure system located poleward of a mountain range...

" occurs in the western part of the state. This can also weaken storms but can also lead to major ice events in winter."

In April of 2011, one of the worst tornado outbreaks in North Carolina's history occurred. 25 confirmed tornadoes touched down, mainly in the Eastern Piedmont, killing at least 24 people. Damages in the capital of Raleigh alone were over $115 million.

Monthly normal high and low temperatures (Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

) for various North Carolina cities.
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Asheville 46/26 50/28 58/35 66/42 74/51 80/58 83/63 82/62 76/55 67/43 57/35 49/29
Boone 39/20 43/22 50/29 59/38 67/47 73/55 77/59 75/57 70/50 62/38 52/30 44/22
Cape Hatteras 54/39 55/39 60/44 68/52 75/60 82/68 85/73 85/72 81/68 73/59 65/50 57/43
Charlotte 51/32 56/34 64/42 73/49 80/58 87/66 90/71 88/69 82/63 73/51 63/42 54/35
Fayetteville 52/31 56/33 64/39 73/47 80/56 87/65 90/70 89/69 83/63 74/49 65/41 56/34
Greensboro 47/28 52/31 60/38 70/46 77/55 84/64 88/68 86/67 79/60 70/48 60/39 51/31
Greenville 51/30 54/32 63/38 72/46 79/55 85/65 90/70 89/67 82/61 71/49 63/40 54/33
Raleigh 50/30 54/32 62/39 72/46 79/55 86/64 89/68 87/67 81/61 72/48 62/40 53/33
Wilmington 56/36 60/38 66/44 74/51 81/60 86/68 90/72 88/71 84/66 76/54 68/45 60/38
http://www.weatherbyday.com/north-carolina/|'


History

Spanish colonial forces were the first Europeans to make a permanent settlement in the area, when the Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo (explorer)
Juan Pardo was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was active in the later half of the sixteenth century. He led a Spanish expedition through what is now North and South Carolina and into eastern Tennessee. He established Fort San Felipe, South Carolina , and the village of Santa Elena on...

-led Expedition built Fort San Juan in 1567. This was sited at Joara
Joara
Joara was a large Native American settlement, a regional chiefdom of the Mississippian culture, located in what is now Burke County, North Carolina. Joara is notable as a significant archaeological and historic site. It was a place of encounter in 1540 between the Mississippian people and the...

, a Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 regional chiefdom near present-day Morganton
Morganton, North Carolina
Morganton is a city in Burke County, North Carolina, United States. Reader's Digest included Morganton in its list of top ten places to raise a family. The town was recently profiled in The 50 Best Small Southern Towns. The population was 17,310 at the 2000 census...

 in the western interior. It lasted only 18 months as the natives killed all but one of the 120 men Pardo had stationed at a total of six forts in the area.

North Carolina became one of the English Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

, and was originally known as Province of Carolina
Province of Carolina
The Province of Carolina, originally chartered in 1629, was an English and later British colony of North America. Because the original Heath charter was unrealized and was ruled invalid, a new charter was issued to a group of eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, in 1663...

, along with South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. The northern and southern parts of the original Province separated in 1729. Originally settled by small farmers, sometimes having a few slaves, who were oriented toward subsistence agriculture, the colony lacked cities or even towns. Pirates menaced the seacoast settlements, but by 1718 the pirates had been captured and executed. Growth was strong in the middle of the 18th century, as the economy attracted Scotch-Irish, Quaker, English and German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 immigrants. The colonists supported the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, as the Loyalists were weak. North Carolina made the smallest per-capita contribution to the war of any state, as only 7800 men joined the Continental Army under General George Washington; an additional 10,000 served in local militia units under such leaders as General Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United...

. There was some military action, especially in 1780–81. Many Carolinian frontiersmen had moved west over the mountains into the Washington District
Washington District, North Carolina
The Washington District of North Carolina was in a remote area west of the Appalachian Mountains, officially existing for only a short period of time , although it had been self-proclaimed and functioning as an independent governing entity since the spring of 1775...

 (later known as Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

), but in 1789 the state relinquished its claim to the western lands, ceding them to the national government. After 1800, cotton and tobacco became important export crops, and the eastern half of the state developed a plantation system based on slavery, while the western areas were dominated by white families who operated small farms. In the early national period, the state became a center of Jeffersonian Democracy
Jeffersonian democracy
Jeffersonian Democracy, so named after its leading advocate Thomas Jefferson, is a term used to describe one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the 1790s to the 1820s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party which Jefferson...

 and Jacksonian Democracy
Jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian democracy is the political movement toward greater democracy for the common man typified by American politician Andrew Jackson and his supporters. Jackson's policies followed the era of Jeffersonian democracy which dominated the previous political era. The Democratic-Republican Party of...

 with a strong Whig presence, especially in the West.

On May 20, 1861, North Carolina was the second to last (after Tennessee) of the Confederate states
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 to declare secession from the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

. Some 125,000 North Carolinians saw military service; 20,000 were killed in battle and 21,000 died of disease. The state government was reluctant to support the demands of the national government in Richmond, and the state was the scene of only small battles. With the end of the war in 1865, the Reconstruction Era began, slavery was abolished without any compensation to the slave-holders, or reparations to the freedmen. A coalition of black Freedmen, northern Carpetbaggers, and local Scalawags controlled state government for three years but the white conservatives were back in control by 1871. The system of Jim Crow and legal segregation made the blacks into second-class citizen
Second-class citizen
Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there...

s from the 1880s until 1964. Angry memories of Reconstruction helped make the Democratic Party dominant in state and national elections. By the 1960s, changing party politics, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

, significantly reversed the role of Democrat and Republican parties in the South.

North Carolina was impoverished by the Civil War, and became increasingly locked into a cotton economy. Towns and cities remained few in the east, but a major industrial base emerged in the late 19th century in the western counties based on cotton mills. The state was the site of the first successful controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, by the Wright brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

, near Kitty Hawk
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Kitty Hawk is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 3,000 at the 2000 census. It was established in the early 18th century as Chickahawk....

 on December 17, 1903. North Carolina was hard hit by the Great Depression
Great Depression in the United States
The Great Depression began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 and rapidly spread worldwide. The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement...

, but the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

's farm programs for cotton and tobacco significantly helped the farmers. After World War II, the state's economy grew rapidly, highlighted by the growth of such cities as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham. In the 1990s, Charlotte became a major regional and national banking center.

Native Americans, lost colonies, and permanent settlement

North Carolina was originally inhabited by many different prehistoric native cultures. Before 200 AD, they were building earthwork mounds
Earthworks (archaeology)
In archaeology, earthwork is a general term to describe artificial changes in land level. Earthworks are often known colloquially as 'lumps and bumps'. Earthworks can themselves be archaeological features or they can show features beneath the surface...

, which were used for ceremonial and religious purposes. Succeeding peoples, including those of the ancient Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 established by 1000 AD in the Piedmont, continued to build or add on to such mounds. In the 500–700 years preceding European contact, the Mississippian culture built large, complex cities and maintained far flung regional trading networks. Historically documented tribes in the North Carolina region included the Carolina Algonquian-speaking tribes of the coastal areas, such as the Chowanoke
Chowanoke
The Chowanoke, also spelled Chowanoc, was an Algonquian-language American Indian tribe. They were the largest and most powerful Algonquian tribe in present-day North Carolina, occupying most or all of the coastal banks of the Chowan River in the northeastern part of the state at time of the first...

, Roanoke
Roanoke (tribe)
The Roanoke, also spelled Roanoac, tribe were a Carolina Algonquian-speaking people whose territory comprised present-day Dare County, Roanoke Island and part of the mainland at the time of English exploration and colonization...

, Pamlico
Pamlico
The Pamlico were a Native American people of North Carolina. They spoke an Algonquian language also known as Pamlico or Carolina Algonquian.- Geography :...

, Machapunga
Machapunga
The Machapunga were a very small Native American tribe of Algonquian descent, one of a number in the territory of North Carolina, probably related to the Algonquian of the Powhatan Confederacy in present-day Virginia, who had migrated south. They have now disappeared as a separate tribe...

, Coree
Coree
The Coree were a very small Native American tribe, who once occupied a coastal area of southeastern North Carolina in the area now covered by Carteret and Craven counties...

, Cape Fear Indians
Cape Fear Indians
The Cape Fear Indians were a small tribe of Carolina Algonquian Native Americans who lived on the Cape Fear River in North Carolina ....

, and others, who were the first encountered by the English; Iroquoian-speaking Meherrin
Meherrin
The Meherrin Nation is one of eight state-recognized Nations of Native Americans in North Carolina. They reside in rural northeastern North Carolina, near the river of the same name on the Virginia-North Carolina border. They received formal state recognition in 1986. The Meherrin have an...

, Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 and Tuscarora
Tuscarora (tribe)
The Tuscarora are a Native American people of the Iroquoian-language family, with members in New York, Canada, and North Carolina...

 of the interior; and Southeastern Siouan tribes, such as the Cheraw
Cheraw (tribe)
The Cheraw , were a tribe of Siouan-speaking Amerindians first encountered by Hernando De Soto in 1540. The name they called themselves is lost to history but the Cherokee called them Ani-suwa'ii and the Catawba Sara...

, Waxhaw
Waxhaws
The Waxhaws is a geographical area on the border of North and South Carolina.-Geography:The Waxhaws region is in the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, southwest of the Uwharrie Mountains. The region encompasses an area just south of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Lancaster, South...

, Saponi
Saponi
Saponi is one of the eastern Siouan-language tribes, related to the Tutelo, Occaneechi, Monacan, Manahoac and other eastern Siouan peoples. Its ancestral homeland was in North Carolina and Virginia. The tribe was long believed extinct, as its members migrated north to merge with other tribes...

, Waccamaw
Waccamaw Siouan
Waccamaw Siouan Indians are one of eight state-recognized Native American tribal nations in North Carolina. Formerly Siouan-speaking, they are located predominantly in the southeastern North Carolina counties of Bladen and Columbus. They adopted this name in 1948. Their communities are St...

, and Catawba
Catawba (tribe)
The Catawba are a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans, known as the Catawba Indian Nation. They live in the Southeast United States, along the border between North and South Carolina near the city of Rock Hill...

.

Spanish explorers traveling inland in the 16th century met the Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 people at Joara
Joara
Joara was a large Native American settlement, a regional chiefdom of the Mississippian culture, located in what is now Burke County, North Carolina. Joara is notable as a significant archaeological and historic site. It was a place of encounter in 1540 between the Mississippian people and the...

, a regional chiefdom near present-day Morganton
Morganton, North Carolina
Morganton is a city in Burke County, North Carolina, United States. Reader's Digest included Morganton in its list of top ten places to raise a family. The town was recently profiled in The 50 Best Small Southern Towns. The population was 17,310 at the 2000 census...

. Records of Hernando de Soto attested to his meeting with them in 1540. In 1567 Captain Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo (explorer)
Juan Pardo was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was active in the later half of the sixteenth century. He led a Spanish expedition through what is now North and South Carolina and into eastern Tennessee. He established Fort San Felipe, South Carolina , and the village of Santa Elena on...

 led an expedition into the interior to claim the area for the Spanish colony, as well as establish another route to protect silver mines in Mexico. Pardo made a winter base at Joara, which he renamed Cuenca. The expedition built Fort San Juan and left 30 men, while Pardo traveled further, and built and staffed five other forts. He returned by a different route to Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina
Parris Island, South Carolina
Parris Island is a former census-designated place , currently a portion of Port Royal in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 4,841 at the 2000 census. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, Parris Island is included within the Beaufort Urban Cluster and the larger...

, then a center of Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

. In the spring of 1568, natives killed all but one of the soldiers and burned the six forts in the interior, including the one at Fort San Juan. Although the Spanish never returned to the interior, this marked the first European attempt at colonization of the interior of what became the United States. A 16th-century journal by Pardo's scribe Bandera and archaeological findings since 1986 at Joara have confirmed the settlement.
In 1584, Elizabeth I, granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, for whom the state capital is named, for land in present-day North Carolina (then Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

). Raleigh established two colonies on the coast in the late 1580s, both ending in failure. It was the second American territory the English attempted to colonize. The demise of one, the "Lost Colony
Roanoke Colony
The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County, present-day North Carolina, United States was a late 16th-century attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in what later became the Virginia Colony. The enterprise was financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh and carried out by...

" of Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island is an island in Dare County near the coast of North Carolina, United States. It was named after the historical Roanoke Carolina Algonquian people who inhabited the area in the 16th century at the time of English exploration....

, remains one of the mysteries of American history. Virginia Dare
Virginia Dare
Virginia Dare was the first child born in the Americas to English parents, Eleanor and Ananias Dare. She was born into the short-lived Roanoke Colony in what is now North Carolina, USA. What became of Virginia and the other colonists remains a mystery...

, the first English child to be born in North America, was born on Roanoke Island on August 18, 1587. Dare County
Dare County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:* Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge * Cape Hatteras National Seashore * Fort Raleigh National Historic Site* Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge* Wright Brothers National Memorial-Demographics:...

 is named for her.

As early as 1650, colonists from the Virginia colony moved into the area of Albemarle Sound
Albemarle Sound
Albemarle Sound is a large estuary on the coast of North Carolina in the United States located at the confluence of a group of rivers, including the Chowan and Roanoke. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Outer Banks, a long barrier peninsula upon which the town of Kitty Hawk is located,...

. By 1663, King Charles II of England
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 granted a charter to start a new colony on the North American continent which generally established its borders. He named it Carolina in honor of his father Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

. By 1665, a second charter was issued to attempt to resolve territorial questions. In 1710, due to disputes over governance, the Carolina colony began to split into North Carolina and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. The latter became a crown colony in 1729. A devastating series of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 epidemics swept the South. According to Russell Thornton, "The 1738 epidemic was said to have killed one-half of the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

, with other tribes of the area suffering equally."

Colonial period and Revolutionary War

The first permanent European settlers of North Carolina after the Spanish in the 16th century were English colonists who migrated south from Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, following a rapid growth of the colony and the subsequent shortage of available farmland. Nathaniel Batts
Nathaniel Batts
Nathaniel Batts was a fur trader. He became the first recorded European to permanently settle in North Carolina in 1655. His deed from King Kiscutanewh for "all ye Land on ye southwest side of Pascotanck River from ye mouth of ye sd. River to ye head of new Begin Creek" was witnessed by George...

 was documented as one of the first of these Virginian migrants. He settled south of the Chowan River
Chowan River
The Chowan River is a blackwater river formed with the merging of Virginia's Blackwater and Nottoway rivers near the stateline between Virginia and North Carolina. According to the USGS a variant name is Choan River....

 and east of the Great Dismal Swamp
Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp is a marshy area on the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States. It is located in parts of southern Chesapeake and Suffolk in Virginia, as well as northern...

 in 1655. By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina
Province of Carolina
The Province of Carolina, originally chartered in 1629, was an English and later British colony of North America. Because the original Heath charter was unrealized and was ruled invalid, a new charter was issued to a group of eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, in 1663...

, known as the Albemarle Settlements
Albemarle Settlements
The Albemarle Settlements were the first permanent English settlements in what is now North Carolina, founded in the Albemarle Sound and Roanoke River regions, beginning about the middle of the 17th century. The settlers were mainly Virginians migrating south...

, was undergoing full-scale British settlement. During the same period, the English monarch Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 gave the province to the Lords Proprietors, a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1660. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 (Latin: Carolus). In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. Except for the Earl Granville
John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville
John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville, 7th Seigneur of Sark, KG, PC , commonly known by his earlier title as Lord Carteret, was a British statesman and Lord President of the Council from 1751 to 1763.-Family:...

 holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later.

Differences in the settlement patterns of eastern and western North Carolina, or the low country and uplands, affected the political, economic, and social life of the state from the eighteenth until the 20th century. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina was settled chiefly by immigrants from rural England and the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

. The upcountry of western North Carolina was settled chiefly by Scots-Irish, English and German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Protestants, the so-called "cohee". Arriving during the mid-to-late 18th century, the Scots-Irish from what is today Northern Ireland were the largest non-English immigrant group before the Revolution and English indentured servants were overwhelmingly the largest immigrant group prior to the Revolution. During the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, the English and Highland Scots of eastern North Carolina tended to remain loyal to the British Crown, because of longstanding business and personal connections with Great Britain. The English, Welsh, Scots-Irish and German settlers of western North Carolina tended to favor American independence from Britain.

Most of the English colonists arrived as indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

s, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Some Africans were allowed to earn their freedom before slavery became a lifelong status. Most of the free colored
Free people of color
A free person of color in the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, is a person of full or partial African descent who was not enslaved...

 families formed in North Carolina before the Revolution were descended from unions or marriages between free white women and enslaved or free African or African-American men. Because the mothers were free, their children were born free. Many had migrated or were descendants of migrants from colonial Virginia. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, more slaves were imported and the state's restrictions on slavery hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco.

On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

 to vote for independence from the British crown, through the Halifax Resolves
Halifax Resolves
The Halifax Resolves is the name later given to a resolution adopted by the Fourth Provincial Congress of the Province of North Carolina on April 12, 1776, during the American Revolution...

 passed by the North Carolina Provincial Congress
North Carolina Provincial Congress
The North Carolina Provincial Congresses were extra-legal unicameral legislative bodies formed in 1774 through 1776 by the people of the Province of North Carolina, independent of the British colonial government.-First Provincial Congress:...

. The dates of both of these events are memorialized on the state flag
Flag of North Carolina
The flag of the state of North Carolina is defined by law as followsA former Confederate soldier and then state Adjutant General, Johnstone Jones, introduced the bill which led the state legislature to adopt this flag in March, 1885 to replace the flag that had been adopted on June 22, 1861,...

 and state seal
Seal of North Carolina
The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina was standardized in design by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1871. The following is a description of what the seal was made to look like:...

. Throughout the Revolutionary War, fierce guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 erupted between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists. In some cases the war was also an excuse to settle private grudges and rivalries. A major American victory in the war took place at King's Mountain along the North Carolina–South Carolina border. On October 7, 1780 a force of 1000 mountain men from western North Carolina (including what is today the State of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

) overwhelmed a force of some 1000 British troops led by Major Patrick Ferguson
Patrick Ferguson
Major Patrick Ferguson was a Scottish officer in the British Army, early advocate of light infantry and designer of the Ferguson rifle. He is best known for his service in the 1780 military campaign of Charles Cornwallis, in which he aggressively recruited Loyalists and harshly treated Patriot...

. Most of the British soldiers in this battle were Carolinians who had remained loyal to the British Crown (they were called "Tories"). The American victory at Kings Mountain gave the advantage to colonists who favored American independence, and it prevented the British Army from recruiting new soldiers from the Tories.
The road to Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

 and America's independence from Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 led through North Carolina. As the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 moved north from victories in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

 and Camden, South Carolina
Camden, South Carolina
Camden is the fourth oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and is also the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was an estimated 7,103 in 2009...

, the Southern Division of the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan was an American pioneer, soldier, and United States Representative from Virginia. One of the most gifted battlefield tacticians of the American Revolutionary War, he later commanded troops during the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.-Early years:Most authorities believe that...

's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banastre Tarleton
Banastre Tarleton
General Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB was a British soldier and politician.He is today probably best remembered for his military service during the American War of Independence. He became the focal point of a propaganda campaign claiming that he had fired upon surrendering Continental...

 at the Battle of Cowpens
Battle of Cowpens
The Battle of Cowpens was a decisive victory by Patriot Revolutionary forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War...

 on January 17, 1781, southern commander Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. Many places in the United...

 led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from Cornwallis's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River."

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

 on March 15, 1781. Although the British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this "Pyrrhic victory
Pyrrhic victory
A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost to the victor that it carries the implication that another such victory will ultimately cause defeat.-Origin:...

", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis's eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

 later in 1781. The Patriots' victory there guaranteed American independence.

Antebellum period

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. In 1840, it completed the state capitol
North Carolina State Capitol
The North Carolina State Capitol is the main house of government of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Housing the offices of the Governor of North Carolina, it is located in the state capital of Raleigh on Union Square at One East Edenton Street. The cornerstone of the Greek Revival building was...

 building in Raleigh, still standing today. Most of North Carolina's slave owners and large plantations were located in the eastern portion of the state. Although North Carolina's plantation system was smaller and less cohesive than those of Virginia, Georgia or South Carolina, there were significant numbers of planters concentrated in the counties around the port cities of Wilmington and Edenton, as well as suburban planters around the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Durham. Planters owning large estates wielded significant political and socio-economic power in antebellum North Carolina, placing their interests above those of the generally non-slave holding "yeoman" farmers of Western North Carolina. In mid-century, the state's rural and commercial areas were connected by the construction of a 129-mile (208 km) wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad", from Fayetteville
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville is a city located in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Cumberland County, and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army post located northwest of the city....

 in the east to Bethania
Bethania, North Carolina
Bethania is the oldest municipality in Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States, and was most recently incorporated in 1995, upon the reactivation of the original 1838/1839 town charter...

 (northwest of Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, with a 2010 population of 229,617. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to...

).

Besides slaves, there were a number of free people of color
Free people of color
A free person of color in the context of the history of slavery in the Americas, is a person of full or partial African descent who was not enslaved...

 in the state. Most were descended from free African Americans who had migrated along with neighbors from Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 during the 18th century. After the Revolution
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 and Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

s worked to persuade slaveholders to free their slaves. Some were inspired by their efforts and the language of men's rights, to arrange for manumission
Manumission
Manumission is the act of a slave owner freeing his or her slaves. In the United States before the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished most slavery, this often happened upon the death of the owner, under conditions in his will.-Motivations:The...

 of their slaves. The number of free people of color rose markedly in the first couple of decades after the Revolution.

On October 25, 1836 construction began on the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad
Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad
Chartered in 1834, the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad began operations in 1840 between Wilmington, North Carolina and Weldon, NC. With 161.5 miles of track, it is said to have been the longest railroad in the world at the time of its completion....

 to connect the port city of Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

 with the state capital of Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

. In 1849 the North Carolina Railroad was created by act of the legislature to extend that railroad west to Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

, High Point
High Point, North Carolina
High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. As of 2010 the city had a total population of 104,371, according to the US Census Bureau. High Point is currently the eighth-largest municipality in North Carolina....

, and Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

. During the Civil War the Wilmington-to-Raleigh stretch of the railroad would be vital to the Confederate war effort; supplies shipped into Wilmington would be moved by rail through Raleigh to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

.

During the antebellum period, North Carolina was an overwhelmingly rural state, even by Southern standards. In 1860 only one North Carolina town, the port city of Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

, had a population of more than 10,000. Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

, the state capital, had barely more than 5,000 residents.

While slaveholding was slightly less concentrated than in some Southern states, according to the 1860 census, more than 330,000 people, or 33% of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African-Americans. They lived and worked chiefly on plantations in the eastern Tidewater
Tidewater (geographic term)
Tidewater is a geographic area of southeast Virginia and northeastern North Carolina that is considered a part of the Coastal Plain. Portions of Maryland facing the Chesapeake Bay are also given this designation. The area gains its name because of the effect the area has from the changing tides of...

. In addition, 30,463 free people of color lived in the state. They were also concentrated in the eastern coastal plain, especially at port cities such as Wilmington and New Bern where they had access to a variety of jobs. Free African Americans were allowed to vote until 1835, when the state revoked their right to vote.

American Civil War

In 1860, North Carolina was a slave state, in which about one-third of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African Americans. This was a smaller proportion than many Southern states. In addition, the state had just over 30,000 Free Negroes. The state did not vote to join the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 until President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 called on it to invade its sister-state, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, becoming the last or second to last state to officially join the Confederacy. The title of "last to join the Confederacy" has been disputed because Tennessee informally seceded on May 7, 1861, making North Carolina the last to secede on May 20, 1861. However, the Tennessee legislature did not formally vote to secede until June 8, 1861.

North Carolina was the site of few battles, but it provided at least 125,000 troops to the Confederacy— far more than any other state. Approximately 40,000 of those troops never returned home, dying of disease, battlefield wounds, and starvation. North Carolina also supplied about 15,000 Union troops. Elected in 1862, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance
Zebulon Baird Vance
Zebulon Baird Vance was a Confederate military officer in the American Civil War, the 37th and 43rd Governor of North Carolina, and U.S. Senator...

 tried to maintain state autonomy against Confederate President Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

.

Even after secession, some North Carolinians refused to support the Confederacy. This was particularly true of non-slave-owning farmers in the state's mountains and western Piedmont region. Some of these farmers remained neutral during the war
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, while some covertly supported the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 cause during the conflict. Approximately 2,000 North Carolinians from western North Carolina enlisted in the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 and fought for the North in the war, and two additional Union Army regiments were raised in the coastal areas of the state that were occupied by Union forces in 1862 and 1863. Even so, Confederate troops from all parts of North Carolina served in virtually all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia
Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, as well as the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac...

, the Confederacy's most famous army. The largest battle fought in North Carolina was at Bentonville
Battle of Bentonville
At 3 p.m., Confederate infantry from the Army of Tennessee launched an attack and drove the Union left flank back in confusion, nearly capturing Carlin in the process and overrunning the XIV Corps field hospital. Confederates under Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill filled the vacuum left by the retreating...

, which was a futile attempt by Confederate General Joseph Johnston
Joseph E. Johnston
Joseph Eggleston Johnston was a career U.S. Army officer, serving with distinction in the Mexican-American War and Seminole Wars, and was also one of the most senior general officers in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War...

 to slow Union General William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War , for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched...

's advance through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865. In April 1865, after losing the Battle of Morrisville
Battle of Morrisville
The Battle at Morrisville Station was fought April 13–15 1865 in Morrisville, North Carolina during the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War. It was the last cavalry battle of the War and occurred between the armies of Major General William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston...

, Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place
Bennett Place
Bennett Place, sometimes known as Bennett Farm, in Durham, North Carolina was the site of the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers ending the American Civil War, on April 26, 1865.-History:...

, in what is today Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Durham County and also extends into Wake County. It is the fifth-largest city in the state, and the 85th-largest in the United States by population, with 228,330 residents as of the 2010 United States census...

. This was the last major Confederate Army to surrender. North Carolina's port city of Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

 was the last Confederate port to fall to the Union. It fell in the spring of 1865 after the nearby Second Battle of Fort Fisher
Second Battle of Fort Fisher
The Second Battle of Fort Fisher was a joint assault by Union Army and naval forces against Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, North Carolina, near the end of the American Civil War...

.
The first Confederate soldier to be killed in the Civil War was Private Henry Wyatt, a North Carolinian. He was killed in the Battle of Big Bethel
Battle of Big Bethel
The Battle of Big Bethel, also known as the Battle of Bethel Church or Great Bethel was one of the earliest land battles of the American Civil War after the surrender of Fort Sumter...

 in June 1861. At the Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

 in July 1863, the 26th North Carolina Regiment participated in Pickett/Pettigrew's Charge
Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Charge was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Its futility was predicted by the charge's commander,...

 and advanced the farthest into the Northern lines of any Confederate regiment. During the Battle of Chickamauga
Battle of Chickamauga
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign...

 the 58th North Carolina Regiment advanced farther than any other regiment on Snodgrass Hill to push back the remaining Union forces from the battlefield. At Appomattox Court House
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is a National Historical Park of original and reconstructed nineteenth century buildings. It was signed into law August 3, 1935. The village was made a national monument in 1940 and a national historical park in 1954...

 in Virginia in April 1865, the 75th North Carolina Regiment, a cavalry unit, fired the last shots of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
Army of Northern Virginia
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, as well as the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac...

 in the Civil War. For many years, North Carolinians proudly boasted that they had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox."

Demographics

Demographics of North Carolina covers the varieties of ethnic groups that reside in North Carolina, along with the relevant trends.

The state's racial composition in the 2010 Census:
  • White: 68.5%
  • Black or African American: 21.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 8.4%
  • Asian: 2.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Some other race: 4.3%
  • Two or more races: 2.2%

Economy

In 2010 North Carolina's total gross state product was $424.9 billion. In 2011 the civilian labor force was at around 4.5 million with employment near 4.1 million. The working population is employed across the major employment sectors. The economy of North Carolina covers 15 metropolitan areas. In 2010, North Carolina was chosen as the third best state for business by Forbes Magazine, and the second best state by Chief Executive Officer Magazine.

Transportation

Transportation systems in North Carolina consists of air, water, road, rail, and public transportation.

Politics and government

North Carolina has a large number of statewide elected executive officials.

The government of North Carolina is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. These consist of the state govenor's office, a bicameral state legislature known as the general assembly, and a state court system. The state constitution delineates the structure and function of the state government. North Carolina has 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the U.S. Senate. Recent changes in North Carolina politics include the change to a majority Republican legislature after the 2010 elections. The governorship and the majority of the cabinet remain under Democratic control.

Elementary and secondary education

Elementary and secondary public schools are overseen by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction oversees the public school system in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The DPI is headed by the State Superintendent and the North Carolina State Board of Education...

. The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction
The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction is the elected head of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and oversees the public school systems of the state. The Superintendent is currently an elected member of the North Carolina Council of State, chosen in a partisan...

 is the secretary of the North Carolina State Board of Education
North Carolina State Board of Education
The North Carolina State Board of Education, established by Article 9 of the North Carolina Constitution, supervises and administers the public school systems of North Carolina...

, but the board, rather than the superintendent, holds most of the legal authority for making public education policy. In 2009, the board's chairman also became the "chief executive officer" for the state's school system. North Carolina has 115 public school systems, each of which is overseen by a local school board. A county may have one or more systems within it. The largest school systems in North Carolina are the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a local education agency headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the public school system for Mecklenburg County. With over 133,600 students enrolled, it is the second-largest school district in North Carolina and the twentieth-largest in the nation...

, Wake County Public School System
Wake County Public School System
The Wake County Public School System is a public school district located in Wake County, North Carolina. With 143,289 students enrolled in 163 schools as of the 2010/11 academic year, it is the largest public school district in North Carolina and the 17th largest district in the United States.-...

, Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools is the third largest school district in the state of North Carolina. It serves Greensboro and High Point.-Schools:-Students:...

, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is a school district in Forsyth County, North Carolina. WS/FCS has over 75 schools in its system, and it serves over 53,300 students every year. WS/FCS was formed in 1963 by the merger of the Forsyth County School System and the Winston-Salem School System...

, and Cumberland County Schools
Cumberland County Schools
Cumberland County Schools is a school district encompassing the entirety of Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States.Cumberland County Schools' headquarters are located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cumberland County Schools has schools located in all cities and towns of Cumberland County...

. In total there are 2,338 public schools in the state, including 93 charter schools
Charter school (North Carolina)
Charter schools in North Carolina are public schools operating under a different set of rules than the typical state-run schools. Though they are exempt from many requirements, charter schools are required to administer the state's battery of standardized tests.-History:North Carolina Charter...

.

Colleges and universities

In 1795, North Carolina opened the first public university in the United States—the University of North Carolina (currently named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

). More than 200 years later, the University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina
Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina was one of the first public universities in the United States and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century...

 system encompasses 17 public universities
Public university
A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

 including UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a public, coeducational, extensive research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. Commonly known as NC State, the university is part of the University of North Carolina system and is a land, sea, and space grant institution...

, East Carolina University
East Carolina University
East Carolina University is a public, coeducational, engaged doctoral/research university located in Greenville, North Carolina, United States. Named East Carolina University by statute and commonly known as ECU or East Carolina, the university is the largest institution of higher learning in...

, Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University is a coeducational public university located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, United States. The university is a constituent campus of the University of North Carolina system....

, UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Pembroke, UNC Wilmington, UNC School of the Arts, and Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University is a comprehensive , public, coeducational university located in Boone, North Carolina, United States. Appalachian State, also referred to as Appalachian, App State, or simply App, is the sixth largest institution in the University of North Carolina system...

. The system also supports several well-known historically African-American colleges and universities such as North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University is a public historically black university in the University of North Carolina system, located in Durham, North Carolina, offering programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels....

, Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University , a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a historically black public research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.Winston-Salem State has been...

, Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City State University is a public, historically black college located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in the United States...

, and Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University is a historically black, regional university located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States. FSU is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System and is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.-Academics:The primary...

. Along with its public universities, North Carolina has 58 public community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

s in its community college system
North Carolina Community College System
The North Carolina Community College System is a statewide network of fifty-eight public community colleges. Each college has a distinct governance system and policies. In total, the system enrolls over 800,000 students, and is the third largest community college system in the nation...

.

North Carolina is also home to many well-known private colleges and universities including: Duke University
Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...

, Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational university in the U.S. state of North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, is...

, Davidson College
Davidson College
Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. The college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine, although it has recently dropped to 11th in U.S. News...

, Elon University
Elon University
Elon University is a private liberal arts university in Elon, North Carolina, United States. Formerly known as Elon College, it became Elon University on June 1, 2001. The campus is a botanical garden and features oak trees, brick sidewalks, fountains, and lakes...

, Guilford College
Guilford College
Guilford College, founded in 1837 by members of the Religious Society of Friends , is an independent college whose stated mission is to: provide a transformative, practical and excellent liberal arts education that produces critical thinkers in an inclusive, diverse environment, guided by Quaker...

, the first coeducational institution of higher learning in the South, Salem College
Salem College
Salem College is a liberal arts women's college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina founded in 1772. Originally established as a primary school, it later became an academy and finally a college. It is the oldest female educational establishment that is still a women's college...

, the first school for young women in the South, Shaw University
Shaw University
Shaw University, founded as Raleigh Institute, is a private liberal arts institution and historically black university in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. Founded in 1865, it is the oldest HBCU in the Southern United States....

, the first historically black college or university in the South, John Wesley College (North Carolina)
John Wesley College (North Carolina)
Laurel University is based on a campus in High Point, North Carolina, US, and provides education for leadership in society, the church, and the corporate world from a Christian point of view...

, the oldest undergraduate theological education institution in North Carolina, Campbell University
Campbell University
Campbell University is a coeducational, church-related university in rural North Carolina, USA. Its main campus is located in the community of Buies Creek; its law school moved from Buies Creek to a new campus in the state capital of Raleigh in 2009. Campbell has an approximately equal number of...

 and High Point University
High Point University
High Point University is a private liberal arts university in High Point, North Carolina, USA, affiliated with the United Methodist Church.- Beginnings :...

.

Sports

Athletes and sports teams from North Carolina compete at every level of competition in the United States including NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

, the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

, the NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, and the NHL
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 along with several colleges and universities in various conferences across an array of divisions. North Carolina is a state known for minor league sports. There are also a number of indoor football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, indoor soccer, minor league basketball, and minor league
Minor league
Minor leagues are professional sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in those sports. Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues, often competing in smaller cities. This term is used in North America with regard to several organizations competing in...

 ice hockey teams throughout the state.

Recreation

North Carolina provides a large range of recreational activities, from swimming at the beach to skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

 in the mountains. North Carolina offers fall colors
Autumn leaf color
Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, one or many colors that range from red to yellow...

, freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching
Birdwatching
Birdwatching or birding is the observation of birds as a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds. Birding often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are...

, agritourism
Agritourism
Agritourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, and sometimes refers specifically to farm stays, as in Italy...

, ATV
All-terrain vehicle
An all-terrain vehicle , also known as a quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler, is defined by the American National Standards Institute as a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control...

 trails, ballooning
Hot air ballooning
Hot air ballooning is the activity of flying hot air balloons. Attractive aspects of ballooning include the exceptional quiet , the lack of a feeling of movement, and the bird's-eye view...

, rock climbing
Rock climbing
Rock climbing also lightly called 'The Gravity Game', is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling...

, biking, hiking, skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, boating
Boating
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels , focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or water skiing...

 and sailing, camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

, caving
Caving
Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems...

 (spelunking), gardens, and arboretum
Arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

s. North Carolina has theme parks, aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

s, zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

s, museums, historic site
Historic site
A historic site is an official location where pieces of political, military or social history have been preserved. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have recognized with the official national historic site status...

s, lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

s, elegant theaters, concert halls, and fine dining.

North Carolinians enjoy outdoor recreation utilizing numerous local bike paths, 34 state parks, and 14 national parks
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 which are the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles , mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains...

, Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore preserves the portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina from Bodie Island to Ocracoke Island, stretching over . Included within this section of barrier islands along N.C...

, Cape Lookout National Seashore
Cape Lookout National Seashore
Cape Lookout National Seashore preserves a 56-mile long section of the Southern Outer Banks, or Crystal Coast, of North Carolina, USA, running from Ocracoke Inlet on the northeast to Beaufort Inlet on the southeast. Three undeveloped barrier islands make up the seashore - North Core Banks, South...

, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, located near Hendersonville in Flat Rock, North Carolina, preserves Connemara Farms, the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and writer Carl Sandburg...

 at Flat Rock
Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina
Flat Rock is a village in Henderson County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,565 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Flat Rock Historic District.- Culture :Flat Rock is...

, Croatan National Forest
Croatan National Forest
The Croatan National Forest is a U.S. National Forest, was established on July 29, 1936, and is located on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina. It is administered by the United States Forest Service, a part of the United States Department of Agriculture...

 in Eastern North Carolina
Eastern North Carolina
Eastern North Carolina is the region encompassing the eastern tier of North Carolina. It is known geographically as the state's Coastal Plain region. Primary subregions of Eastern North Carolina include the Fayetteville Metropolitan Area, the Lower Cape Fear , the Sandhills, the Inner Banks and...

, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo
Manteo, North Carolina
Manteo is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States, located on Roanoke Island. The population was 1,052 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Dare County.-Geography:...

, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, at 2332 New Garden Road in Greensboro, North Carolina, commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House, fought on March 15, 1781. This battle opened the campaign that led to American victory in the Revolutionary War. The losses by the British in this...

 in Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

, Moores Creek National Battlefield
Moores Creek National Battlefield
Moores Creek National Battlefield is a United States National Battlefield managed by the National Park Service. The park commemorates the 1776 victory by 1,000 Patriots over about 800 Loyalists at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. The battle dashed the hopes of Province of North Carolina Royal...

 near Currie
Currie, North Carolina
Currie is an unincorporated settlement in Pender County, North Carolina, United States. It is located south of Yamacraw, the birthplace of the fictional character Philip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air....

, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is part of the U.S. National Trails System. It recognizes the Revolutionary War Overmountain Men, Patriots from what is now East Tennessee who crossed the Great Smoky Mountains and then fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South...

, Old Salem National Historic Site
Old Salem
Old Salem is a historic district of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It features a living history museum that interprets the restored Moravian community. The non-profit organization began its work in 1950, although some private residents had restored buildings earlier...

 in Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, with a 2010 population of 229,617. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to...

, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, commemorates the first successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. From 1900 to 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright came here from Dayton, Ohio, based on information from the U.S. Weather Bureau...

 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, USA. The population was 5,897 at the 2000 census.Nearby Kitty Hawk is frequently cited as the location of the Wright brothers' first controlled, powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903...

, Uwharrie National Forest
Uwharrie Mountains
The Uwharrie Mountains are a mountain range in North Carolina. The range lies in the counties of Randolph, Montgomery, Stanly, and Davidson, although its foothills stretch into Cabarrus, Anson, Union counties and terminate in the hills of Person. Formed approximately 500 million years ago by...

.

Music

North Carolina is known particularly for its tradition of old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

, and many recordings were made in the early 20th century by folk song collector Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer, folklorist, and performer of traditional music from western North Carolina. He was often known by the nickname "Minstrel of the Appalachians."- Early life :...

. Musicians such as the North Carolina Ramblers helped solidify the sound of country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 in the late 1920s, while the influential bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 musician Doc Watson
Doc Watson
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded...

 also came from North Carolina. Both North and South Carolina are a hotbed for traditional rural blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, especially the style known as the Piedmont blues
Piedmont blues
Piedmont blues refers primarily to a guitar style, the Piedmont fingerstyle, which is characterized by a fingerpicking approach in which a regular, alternating thumb bass string rhythmic pattern supports a syncopated melody using the treble strings generally picked with the fore-finger,...

. Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five is an alternative rock trio formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The group comprises Ben Folds , Robert Sledge , and Darren Jessee . The group achieved mainstream success in the alternative, indie and pop music scenes...

 originated in Winston-Salem, and Ben Folds still records and resides in Chapel Hill.
Contemporary Jazz musician LeRoi Moore
Leroi Moore
LeRoi Holloway Moore was an American saxophonist best known as a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band. Moore often arranged music for the songs written by frontman Dave Matthews...

, now deceased, of the Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews Band, sometimes shortened to DMB, is a U.S. rock band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. The founding members were singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews, bassist Stefan Lessard, drummer/backing vocalist Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. Boyd Tinsley was...

 was born in Durham, North Carolina.

MerleFest
MerleFest
MerleFest is an annual "traditional plus" music festival held in Wilkesboro, North Carolina on the campus of Wilkes Community College . The festival, which is held the last weekend in April, is hosted by Grammy Award winner Doc Watson and is named in memory and honor of his son, Eddy Merle Watson,...

 a musical tribute to Doc Watson
Doc Watson
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson is an American guitar player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music. He has won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded...

 takes place every April in Wilkesboro
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Wilkesboro is a town in and the county seat of Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 3,159 at the 2000 census, and it is the second largest municipality in the county. The 2010 Census listed the town's population at 3,044. The town is located along the south bank of the...

. The festival costs around $60.00 a person to get in through the four day time period. 12 and under are free. It brings in over $5 million every year and has over 90,000 in attendance.

The Triangle area has long been a well-known center for folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, rock, metal, and punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

. James Taylor
James Taylor
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000....

 grew up around Chapel Hill and his 1968 song "Carolina in My Mind
Carolina in My Mind
"Carolina in My Mind" is a song written and performed by singer-songwriter James Taylor, which first appeared on his 1968 debut album, James Taylor. Taylor wrote it while overseas recording for The Beatles' label Apple Records, and the song's themes reflect his homesickness at the time. Released as...

" has been called an unofficial anthem for the state. Other famous musicians from North Carolina include Shirley Caesar
Shirley Caesar
Shirley Ann Caesar is an American Gospel music singer, songwriter and recording artist whose career has spanned six decades...

, Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack
Roberta Flack is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is notable for jazz, soul, R&B, and folk music...

, Clyde McPhatter
Clyde McPhatter
Clyde McPhatter was an American R&B singer, perhaps the most widely imitated R&B singer of the 1950s and 1960s, making him a key figure in the shaping of doo-wop and R&B. He is best known for his solo hit "A Lover's Question"...

, Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon, , is an American jazz singer, composer, producer, and arranger. She has been nominated for five Grammy Awards for her vocal work, and has performed and toured with such top artists as Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall,...

, Jimmy Herring
Jimmy Herring
Jimmy Herring is an American guitarist who is currently the lead guitarist in the band Widespread Panic. Herring is a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit and Jazz is Dead...

, Michael Houser
Michael Houser
Michael Houser was the lead guitarist of the band Widespread Panic.Houser was born in Boone, North Carolina, graduated from Hixson High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and became a founding member of Widespread Panic in 1982 while attending the University of Georgia with John Bell...

, Randy Travis
Randy Travis
Randy Travis is an American country music singer and actor. Since 1985, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, 22 of which were number one hits...

, and The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers is a folk rock band from Mount Pleasant, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, who play the banjo and guitar respectively, and Bob Crawford who plays the stand-up bass. Joe Kwon, cello, and Jacob Edwards, drums, are touring members of...

.

Metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 & Punk
Punk
Punk or punks may refer to:* Punk rock, a music genre originating in the 1960s associated with various subgenres* Punk subculture, a subculture associated with punk rock** Punk fashion, clothing styles associated with the punk subculture...

 acts such as Killwhitneydead, Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me is an American heavy metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. They have released a total of five studio albums, as well as a cover album, an EP and a live DVD/CD...

 & Nightmare Sonata
Nightmare Sonata
Nightmare Sonata is a horror punk band from Greensboro, North Carolina. The original incarnation of the band formed in 2003 as an industrial metal band. They are notable for being the only Voodoo horror punk band in the world...

 are home to NC.

North Carolina is also the home state of more American Idol finalists than any other state. Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken
Clayton Holmes "Clay" Aiken is an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer and author who began his rise to fame on the second season of the television program American Idol in 2003. RCA Records offered him a recording contract, and his multi-platinum debut album Measure of a Man was released...

 (season two), Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Monique Barrino commonly known as Fantasia, is an American R&B singer, Broadway and television actress who rose to fame as the winner of the third season of the reality television series American Idol in 2004. Following her victory, she released her debut single, "I Believe", which...

 (season three), Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler
Kellie Dawn Pickler is an American country music artist and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show American Idol, eventually finishing in sixth place. In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist, releasing...

 (season five), Bucky Covington
Bucky Covington
William Joel "Bucky" Covington III is an American country music singer. He placed eighth on the 5th season of the Fox Network's talent competition series American Idol. In December 2006, he signed a recording contract with Lyric Street Records...

 (season five), Chris Daughtry
Chris Daughtry
Christopher Adam "Chris" Daughtry is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the rock band Daughtry and as the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol, from which he was eliminated on May 10, 2006...

 (season five), Anoop Desai
Anoop Desai
Anoop Desai is an American singer-songwriter best known for his time as a contestant on the eighth season of American Idol. Motivated by the death of his friend Eve Carson, Desai auditioned for American Idol. Desai made American Idol history by being the first ever 13th finalist on American Idol...

 (season eight), and Scotty McCreery
Scotty McCreery
Scott Cooke "Scotty" McCreery is an American country singer from Garner, North Carolina . He also won the tenth season of American Idol on May 25, 2011. His debut studio album, Clear as Day was released in October 2011...

 (season ten) all hail from the state.

In the mountains, the Brevard Music Center
Brevard Music Center
The Brevard Music Center is a summer institute and festival located in Brevard, North Carolina. It enrolls about four hundred students, age fourteen and older, who participate in orchestra and other large ensembles, an opera program, play chamber music, study composition, and take private lessons....

 hosts choral, orchestral and solo performances during its annual summer schedule.

Shopping

North Carolina has a variety of shopping choices. SouthPark Mall
SouthPark Mall (Charlotte, North Carolina)
SouthPark Mall is an upscale shopping mall located in Charlotte, North Carolina. With , SouthPark Mall is the largest mall in Charlotte and the Carolinas. It is the 10th largest on the East Coast and is the 28th largest in the United States. The area around SouthPark Mall is the most congested...

 in Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

 is currently the largest in the Carolinas and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 with almost 2.0 million square feet. The mall also has many luxury and upscale stores like Burberry
Burberry
Burberry Group plc is a British luxury fashion house, manufacturing clothing, fragrance, and fashion accessories. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. Burberry is most famous for its iconic trench coat, which was invented by founder Thomas Burberry...

, Coach, Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton Malletier – commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV – is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes,...

, Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

, Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury American specialty store owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises , a subsidiary of Saks Incorporated. It competes in the high-end specialty store market in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, i.e. 'the 3 B's' Bergdorf, Barneys, Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor...

 and many others. Other major malls throughout the state include Hanes Mall
Hanes Mall
Hanes Mall is a shopping mall located off I-40 on Silas Creek Parkway between Stratford Road and Hanes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem, North Carolina...

 in Winston Salem, Crabtree Valley Mall
Crabtree Valley Mall
Crabtree Valley Mall is a regional mall located in Raleigh, North Carolina. At , it is the largest enclosed mall in the Triangle. Crabtree Valley contains over 220 stores and is anchored by Belk, Sears, and Macy's. Higher-end restaurants located in the mall include The Cheesecake Factory, P. F...

 and Triangle Town Center
Triangle Town Center
Triangle Town Center is a shopping mall in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is located in North Raleigh off U.S. Highway 1 and Interstate 540. The mall is owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.-History and description:...

 in Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

, Four Seasons Town Centre
Four Seasons Town Centre
Four Seasons Town Centre is a three-story shopping mall in Greensboro, North Carolina. Opened in 1974, it was the first enclosed shopping center in Greensboro. Currently it is anchored by Belk, Dillard's and J. C. Penney and it is the only indoor shopping mall within Greensboro's city limits;...

 in Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...

, Concord Mills
Concord Mills
Concord Mills is a nearly-1.4 million square foot shopping mall located in Concord, North Carolina. The mall is in Cabarrus County, just a few hundred feet from the Mecklenburg County border, and about from downtown Charlotte. One of two shopping malls in Concord, it was built & formerly...

 in Concord
Concord, North Carolina
Concord is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. According to Census 2010, the city has a current population of 79,066. It is the largest city in Cabarrus County and is the county seat. In terms of population, the city of Concord is the second largest city in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area...

, The Streets at Southpoint
The Streets at Southpoint
The Streets at Southpoint is a super-regional shopping mall located in southern Durham, North Carolina, at Interstate 40 and Fayetteville Road. The mall opened in 2002, and has 1,330,000 square feet of leasable area, and is anchored by Belk, J. C. Penney, Sears, Macy's and the first Nordstrom...

 and Northgate Mall
Northgate Mall (Durham)
Northgate Mall is a regional shopping mall located off Interstate 85 and Gregson Street in northern Durham, North Carolina, United States. The mall is in close proximity to Duke University and downtown Durham, between the Trinity Park and Walltown neighborhoods.-History:Northgate opened in 1960...

, in Durham
Durham, North Carolina
Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Durham County and also extends into Wake County. It is the fifth-largest city in the state, and the 85th-largest in the United States by population, with 228,330 residents as of the 2010 United States census...

. In High Point North Carolina, Oak Hollow Mall
Oak Hollow Mall
Oak Hollow Mall is a regional shopping mall located in High Point, North Carolina. It is located at the intersection of Eastchester Drive and East Hartley Drive. At nearly 1.3 million square feet, Oak Hollow is the largest mall in Guilford County and the second largest mall in the Triad after...

 still exists to this day, but, with its recent sale to High Point University
High Point University
High Point University is a private liberal arts university in High Point, North Carolina, USA, affiliated with the United Methodist Church.- Beginnings :...

, the future of the establishment remains uncertain.

Food, drink and tobacco

A state culinary staple of North Carolina is pork barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

. There are strong regional differences and rivalries over the sauces and method of preparation used in making the barbecue. The common trend across Western North Carolina is the use of Premium Grade Boston Butt, which is high in vitamins B1, B2, niacin (B3), B6, and selenium. Western North Carolina pork barbecue uses a tomato-based sauce, and only the pork shoulder (dark meat) is used. Western North Carolina barbecue is commonly referred to as Lexington barbecue after the Piedmont Triad
Piedmont Triad
The Piedmont Triad, or Triad, is a north-central region of the U.S. state of North Carolina that consists of the area within and surrounding the three major cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. This close group or "triad" of cities lies in the Piedmont geographical region of the...

 town of Lexington
Lexington, North Carolina
Lexington is the county seat of Davidson County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 19,953. It is located in central North Carolina, twenty miles south of Winston-Salem. Major highways include I-85, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 70, U.S. Route 52 ...

, home of the Lexington Barbecue Festival
Lexington Barbecue Festival
The Lexington Barbecue Festival is a one-day food festival held each October in Lexington, North Carolina, a city that calls itself the "Barbecue Capital of the World." Each year it attracts as many as 160,000 visitors to the uptown Lexington area to sample the different foods from up to 20...

 which attracts over 100,000 visitors each October. Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue uses a vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

 and red pepper based sauce and the "whole hog" is cooked, thus integrating both white and dark meat.

Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme is the name of an international chain of doughnut stores that was founded by Vernon Rudolph in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The parent company of Krispy Kreme is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc...

, an international chain of doughnut stores, was started in North Carolina; the company's headquarters are in Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, with a 2010 population of 229,617. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to...

. Pepsi-Cola was first produced in 1898 in New Bern
New Bern, North Carolina
New Bern is a city in Craven County, North Carolina with a population of 29,524 as of the 2010 census.. It is located at the confluence of the Trent and the Neuse rivers...

. A regional soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

, Cheerwine
Cheerwine
Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soft drink produced by the Carolina Beverage Corporation of Salisbury, North Carolina. It has been produced since 1917 by "the oldest continuing soft drink company still run by the same family".- Overview and history :...

, was created and is still based in the city of Salisbury. Despite its name, the hot sauce Texas Pete
Texas Pete
Texas Pete is a Louisiana-style hot sauce in the United States manufactured by the TW Garner Food Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The brand has 6.0 oz bottles with bright red sauce, shaker top, and white and yellow label featuring the name in red and "Texas Pete", a red silhouette cowboy...

 was created in North Carolina; its headquarters are also in Winston-Salem. The Hardees fast-food chain was started in Rocky Mount
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Rocky Mount is an All-America City Award-winning city in Edgecombe and Nash counties in the coastal plains of the state of North Carolina. Although it was not formally incorporated until February 28, 1867, the North Carolina community that became the city of Rocky Mount dates from the beginning of...

. Another fast-food chain, Bojangles'
Bojangles'
Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits is a regional chain of fast food restaurants based in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in spicy, "Cajun" fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits...

, was started in Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

, and has its corporate headquarters there. A popular North Carolina restaurant chain is Golden Corral
Golden Corral
Golden Corral is an American family-style restaurant chain that features a large buffet and grill offering numerous hot and cold items, a carving station and their Brass Bell Bakery...

. Started in 1973, the chain was founded in Fayetteville
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville is a city located in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Cumberland County, and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army post located northwest of the city....

, with headquarters located in Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

. Popular pickle
Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

 brand Mount Olive Pickle Company
Mount Olive Pickle Company
The Mount Olive Pickle Company is an American food processing company located in Mount Olive, North Carolina. The company's primary product is pickled cucumbers, but it is also a large supplier of mixed pickle, relish and other pickled products....

 was founded in Mount Olive
Mount Olive, North Carolina
This article is about the town in Wayne County, North Carolina. For the unincorporated community in Stokes County see Mount Olive, Stokes County, North Carolina....

 in 1926. Cook Out
Cook Out (restaurant)
Cook Out is a fast food privately owned restaurant chain in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia. Founded in Greensboro, the chain has since expanded throughout the state and now has drive-thru restaurants in over fifty cities. Most locations consist of a double...

, a popular fast food chain featuring burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes in a wide variety of flavors, was founded in Greensboro in 1989 and has begun expanding outside of North Carolina.

Over the last decade, North Carolina has become a cultural epicenter and haven for internationally prize-winning wine (Noni Bacca), internationally prized cheeses (Ashe County), "L'institut International aux Arts Gastronomiques: Conquerront Les Yanks les Truffes, January 15, 2010" international hub for truffles (Garland Truffles), and beer making as tobacco land has been converted to grape orchards while state laws regulating alcohol content in beer allowed a jump in ABV from 6% to 15%. The Yadkin Valley in particular has become a strengthening market for grape production while the city of Asheville
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a city in and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 11th largest city in North Carolina. The City is home to the United States National Climatic Data Center , which is the world's largest active...

 recently won the recognition of being named 'Beer City USA.' Asheville
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a city in and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 11th largest city in North Carolina. The City is home to the United States National Climatic Data Center , which is the world's largest active...

 boasts the largest breweries per capita of any city in the United States. Recognized and marketed brands of beer in NC include Highland Brewing, Duck Rabbit Brewery, Mother Earth Brewery, Weeping Radish Brewery, Big Boss Brewing, Foothills Brewing and Carolina Brewing Company. As of March 27, 2010, Wilmington, North Carolina hosts Noni Bacca winery which earned 12 medals at the coveted Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

Tobacco was one of the first major industries to develop after the Civil War. Many farmers grew some tobacco, and the invention of the cigarette made the product especially popular. Winston Salem is the birthplace of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR), founded by R. J. Reynolds in 1874 as one of 16 tobacco companies in the town. By 1914 it was selling 425 million packs of Camels a year. Today it is the second-largest tobacco company in the U.S. (behind Altria Group
Altria Group
Altria Group, Inc. is based in Henrico County, Virginia, and is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, Inc., Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. It is one of the world's largest tobacco corporations...

). RJR is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. which in turn is 42% owned by British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco p.l.c. is a global tobacco company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second largest quoted tobacco company by global market share , with a leading position in more than 50 countries and a presence in more than 180 countries...

.

Ships named for the state

Several ships have been named for the state. Most famous is the , a World War II battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

. The ship served in several battles against the forces of Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater
Pacific Ocean theater of World War II
The Pacific Ocean theatre was one of four major naval theatres of war of World War II, which pitted the forces of Japan against those of the United States, the British Commonwealth, the Netherlands and France....

 during the war
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Now decommissioned, it is part of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington. Another , a nuclear attack submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

, was commissioned in Wilmington, North Carolina on May 3, 2008.

State symbols

  • State motto: Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri is a Latin phrase meaning "To be, rather than to seem ". It has been used as motto by a number of different groups.-History:...

     ("To be, rather than to seem") (1893)
  • State song: "The Old North State
    The Old North State (song)
    "The Old North State" is the official state song of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Written by William Gaston and composed by Mrs. E.E. Randolph, it was adopted as the state song by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1927.1-Lyrics:...

    " (1927)
  • State flower: Dogwood (1941)
  • State bird: Cardinal
    Northern Cardinal
    The Northern Cardinal or Redbird or Common Cardinal is a North American bird in the genus Cardinalis. It can be found in southern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and south through Mexico...

     (1943)
  • State colors: the red and blue of the N.C.
    Flag of North Carolina
    The flag of the state of North Carolina is defined by law as followsA former Confederate soldier and then state Adjutant General, Johnstone Jones, introduced the bill which led the state legislature to adopt this flag in March, 1885 to replace the flag that had been adopted on June 22, 1861,...

     and U.S.
    Flag of the United States
    The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

     flags (1945)
  • State toast: "The Tar Heel Toast
    North Carolina State Toast
    "A Toast" was adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1957:"A Toast" was adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1957:"A Toast" was adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1957:...

    " (1957)
  • State tree: Longleaf Pine
    Longleaf Pine
    Pinus palustris, commonly known as the Longleaf Pine, is a pine native to the southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia extending into northern and central Florida....

     (1963)
  • State shell: Scotch bonnet
    Scotch Bonnet (shell)
    Semicassis granulata, also known as Phalium granulatum, common names the Scotch bonnet or ridged bonnet, is a medium-sized species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the subfamily Cassinae....

     (1965)
  • State mammal: Eastern Gray Squirrel
    Eastern Gray Squirrel
    The eastern gray squirrel is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada...

     (1969)
  • State salt water fish: Red Drum
    Red Drum
    The Red Drum , also known as Channel Bass, Redfish, Spottail Bass or simply Reds, is a game fish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Northern Mexico. It is the only species in the genus Sciaenops...

     (also known as the Channel bass) (1971)
  • State insect: European honey bee (1973)
  • State gemstone: Emerald
    Emerald
    Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness...

     (1973)
  • State reptile: Eastern Box Turtle (1979)
  • State rock: Granite
    Granite
    Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

     (1979)
  • State beverage: Milk (1987)
  • State historical boat: Shad boat
    Shad boat
    The shad boat is a traditional fishing boat which was proclaimed the Official State Historic Boat of North Carolina by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1987....

     (1987)
  • State language: English (1987)
  • State dog: Plott Hound
    Plott Hound
    The Plott Hound is a large scent hound, specifically a coonhound, originally bred for hunting boar.- Description :The Plott Hound is one of the least known breeds of dog in the United States, even though they are the state dog of North Carolina....

     (1989)
  • State military academy: Oak Ridge Military Academy
    Oak Ridge Military Academy
    ' is a college-preparatory military school in northwestern Guilford County, North Carolina. The academy is located within the town limits of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, which is named after the school...

     (1991)
  • State tartan: Carolina tartan (1991)
  • State vegetable: Sweet potato
    Sweet potato
    The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

     (1995)
  • State red berry: Strawberry
    Garden Strawberry
    The garden strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness...

     (2001)
  • State blue berry: Blueberry
    Blueberry
    Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

     (2001)
  • State fruit: Scuppernong
    Scuppernong
    The scuppernong is a large variety of muscadine , a species of grape native to the southeastern United States. It is usually a greenish or bronze color and is similar in appearance and texture to a white grape, but rounder and larger and first known as the 'big white grape'...

     grape (2001)
  • State wildflower: Carolina Lily
    Lilium michauxii
    Lilium michauxii, commonly known as the Carolina lily can be found in the Southeastern United States from West Virginia in the north to Florida in the south to Texas in the west. It is most common in the summer months of July and August but can be found blooming as late as October...

     (2003)
  • State Christmas tree: Fraser Fir
    Fraser Fir
    Abies fraseri is a species of fir native to the mountains of the eastern United States. It is closely related to Abies balsamea , of which it has occasionally been treated as a subspecies or a variety Abies fraseri (Fraser fir) is a species of fir native to the mountains of the eastern United...

     (2005)
  • State carnivorous plant: Venus Flytrap
    Venus Flytrap
    The Venus Flytrap , Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant that catches and digests animal prey—mostly insects and arachnids. Its trapping structure is formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant's leaves and is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces...

     (2005)
  • State folk dance: Clogging
    Clogging
    Clogging is a type of folk dance with roots in traditional European dancing, early African-American dance, and traditional Cherokee dance in which the dancer's footwear is used musically by striking the heel, the toe, or both in unison against a floor or each other to create audible percussive...

     (2005)
  • State popular dance: Carolina shag
    Carolina shag
    Carolina Shag is a six-count partner dance done mostly to moderate tempo music . During the dance the upper body and hips hardly move as the legs do convoluted kicks and fancy footwork. The lead is the center of attention, and the follow's steps either mirror the lead's or mark time while the lead...

     (2005)
  • State birthplace of traditional pottery: the Seagrove area (2005)

Armed forces installations

According to former Governor Mike Easley
Mike Easley
Michael Francis "Mike" Easley is an American politician who served as the 72nd Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina, from 2001 to 2009. He is member of the North Carolina Democratic Party and became the first North Carolina governor to admit to a felony in a deal that halted a lengthy...

, North Carolina is the "most military friendly state in the nation." Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Fort Bragg is a major United States Army installation, in Cumberland and Hoke counties, North Carolina, U.S., mostly in Fayetteville but also partly in the town of Spring Lake. It was also a census-designated place in the 2010 census and had a population of 39,457. The fort is named for Confederate...

, near Fayetteville
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fayetteville is a city located in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Cumberland County, and is best known as the home of Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army post located northwest of the city....

, is the largest and most comprehensive military base in the United States and is the headquarters of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division
U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
The 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute landing operations. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting arm of the XVIII Airborne Corps....

, and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Serving as the airwing for Fort Bragg is Pope Field
Pope Air Force Base
Pope Field is a United States Army facility located 12 miles northwest of the central business district of Fayetteville, in Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States.-Units:...

 also located near Fayetteville.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is a United States military training facility in North Carolina. The base's of beaches make it a major area for amphibious assault training, and its location between two deep-water ports allows for fast deployments.The main base is supplemented by five satellite...

 which, when combined with nearby bases Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, MCAS New River
Marine Corps Air Station New River
Marine Corps Air Station New River is a United States Marine Corps helicopter base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the state. In 1972, the airfield was named McCutcheon Field for Brigadier General Keith B. McCutcheon, one of the fathers of Marine Corps helicopter aviation...

, Camp Geiger
Camp Geiger
Camp Geiger is a United States Marine Corps Base. Although not geographically connected, Camp Geiger is part of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune complex, and is home to the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry East for all Marines recruited through the Eastern Recruiting Region. Located...

, Camp Johnson
Camp Gilbert H. Johnson
Camp Gilbert H. Johnson is a satellite camp of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and home to the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools . This is where various support Military Occupational Specialties such as administration, supply, logistics, finance, and motor transport maintenance are trained...

, Stone Bay
Stone Bay
Stone Bay is a satellite facility of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina. Based on the south side of Camp Lejeune, it is separated from mainside by the New River and is home to the headquarters of United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and Lejeune's Weapons...

 and Courthouse Bay, makes up the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world. MCAS Cherry Point is home of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing is the major east coast aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps and is based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina...

. Located in Goldsboro
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Goldsboro is a city in Wayne County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 37,597 at the 2008 census estimate. It is the principal city of and is included in the Goldsboro, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. The nearby town of Waynesboro was founded in 1787 and Goldsboro was...

, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located to the southeast of Goldsboro, North Carolina. The base is named for Navy test pilot Seymour Johnson, a native of Goldsboro...

 is home of the 4th Fighter Wing
4th Fighter Wing
The 4th Fighter Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Ninth Air Force. It is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, where it is also the host unit....

 and 916th Air Refueling Wing
916th Air Refueling Wing
The 916th Air Refueling Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina...

. One of the busiest air stations in the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 is located at the Coast Guard Air Station
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is a United States Coast Guard air station located at Elizabeth City Regional Airport in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, along the Pasquotank River near the opening of the Albemarle Sound...

 in Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Elizabeth City is a city in Pasquotank County and Camden County in the State of North Carolina. With a population of 18,683 at the 2010 census, Elizabeth City is the county seat of Pasquotank County....

. Also stationed in North Carolina is the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point
Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point
Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point is the largest military terminal in the world. It serves as a transfer point between rail, trucks, and ships for the import and export of weapons, ammunition, explosives and military equipment for United States Army...

 in Southport
Southport
Southport is a seaside town in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside, England. During the 2001 census Southport was recorded as having a population of 90,336, making it the eleventh most populous settlement in North West England...

.

See also


  • Outer Banks
    Outer Banks
    The Outer Banks is a 200-mile long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, beginning in the southeastern corner of Virginia Beach on the east coast of the United States....

  • US state
  • Wildlife of North Carolina
    Wildlife of North Carolina
    This article seeks to serve as a field-guide, central repository, listing, and tour-guide for the flora and fauna of North Carolina and surrounding territories.-State ecology:...



Further reading

  • Clay, James, and Douglas Orr, eds., North Carolina Atlas: Portrait of a Changing Southern State 1971
  • Christensen, Rob. The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2008).
  • Cooper, Christopher A., and H. Gibbs Knotts, eds. The New Politics of North Carolina (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008)
  • Crow; Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise; Writing North Carolina History (1979) online
  • Fleer; Jack D. North Carolina Government & Politics (1994) online political science textbook
  • Hawks; Francis L. History of North Carolina 2 vol 1857
  • Kersey, Marianne M., and Ran Coble, eds., North Carolina Focus: An Anthology on State Government, Politics, and Policy, 2d ed., (Raleigh: North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, 1989).
  • Lefler; Hugh Talmage. A Guide to the Study and Reading of North Carolina History (1963) online
  • Lefler, Hugh Talmage, and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: The History of a Southern State (1954, 1963, 1973), standard textbook
  • Link, William A. North Carolina: Change and Tradition in a Southern State (2009), 481pp history by leading scholar
  • Luebke, Paul. Tar Heel Politics: Myths and Realities (1990).
  • Powell William S. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. Vol. 1, A-C; vol. 2, D-G; vol. 3, H-K. 1979–88.
  • Powell, William S. North Carolina Fiction, 1734–1957: An Annotated Bibliography 1958
  • Powell, William S. North Carolina through Four Centuries (1989), standard textbook
  • Powell, William S. and Jay Mazzocchi, eds. Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006) 1320pp; 2000 articles by 550 experts on all topics; ISBN 0-8078-3071-2. The best starting point for most research.
  • Ready, Milton. The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina (2005) excerpt and text search
  • WPA Federal Writers' Project. North Carolina: A Guide to the Old North State. 1939. famous WPA
    Works Progress Administration
    The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

     guide to every town

Primary sources

  • Hugh Lefler, North Carolina History Told by Contemporaries (University of North Carolina Press, numerous editions since 1934)
  • H. G. Jones, North Carolina Illustrated, 1524–1984 (University of North Carolina Press, 1984)
  • North Carolina Manual, published biennially by the Department of the Secretary of State since 1941.


External links

General

History

Government and education

Other
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