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North Carolina State Facts - North Carolina Firsts
Catch up on your state trivia with these North Carolina history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.
|35.82195 N, 078.65875 W
||November 21, 1789
|Number of Counties
||100 Counties in North Carolina
527 sq. mi.
- 1580 - Coastal North Carolina was the scene of the first attempt to colonize America by English-speaking people. Two colonies were begun
in the 1580's under a charter granted by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Walte.
- 1585 - Raleigh. The first colony, established in 1585 under the leadership of Ralph Lane, ended in failure.
- 1587 - First English child born in America was born in Roanoke. Her name was Virginia Dare.
- 1700 - North Carolina has had two permanent capitals, New Bern and Raleigh, and there have been three capitol buildings. Tryon Palace in
New Bern was constructed in the period 1767-1770, and the main building was destroyed by fire February 27, 1798. The first capitol in Raleigh was
completed in 1794 and was destroyed by fire on June 21, 1831. The present capitol building was completed in 1840.
- 1705 - The oldest town in the state is Bath, incorporated in 1705.
- 1722 - Know as "Fish Town" in the early 1700's when Blackbeard frequented the coast, "Beaufort Town" was established as a seaport with
the right to collect customs.
- 1775 - Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration
- 1822 - Hiram Rhoades Revels, born in Fayetteville, was the first African-American member of the United States Congress.
- 1885 - Find out more about North Carolina State Flag
- 1893 - Find out more about North Carolina State Great seal
- 1898 - Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern.
- 1903 - Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk. The Wright Memorial at Kitty
Hawks now commemorates their achievement.
- 1914 - Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
- 1927 - "The Old North State," words by William Gaston,
music by Mrs. E. E. Randolph is North Carolina State Song
- 1941 - The Dogwood blossom (Genus Cornus) was designated as
North Carolina State Flower
- 1943 -
- The Cardinal aka Redbird (Cardinalis cardinalis) was chosen as the
official North Carolina State Bird
- North Carolina was one of the first states in the US to establish a state symphony. The North Carolina Symphony, founded in 1943, currently performs
nearly 185 full-orchestra concerts each year.
- 1945 - The colors: Red and blue are chosen as
North Carolina State Colors
- 1957 - "A Toast" to North Carolina is
North Carolina State Toast
- 1963 - The Pine (Genus Pinus) was designated as the
North Carolina State Tree
- 1965 - The Scotch bonnet (pronounced bonay) (Semicassis
granulata) was selected as North Carolina State Shell
- 1969 - The Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was
designated as the North Carolina State Mammal
- 1971 - The Channel bass or Red drum (Sciaenops
ocellatus) was designated as North Carolina State Saltwater fish
- 1973 -
- 1979 -
- 1987 -
- 1989 -
- The Plott hound (Canis lupus familiaris) was selected as
North Carolina State Dog
- Students at a Wilson County school petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly for the establishment of the sweet potato as the Official State
Vegetable. Their assignment led to the creation of the newest state symbol. North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation
harvesting over 4 billion pounds of the vegetable.
- 1991 -
- 1993 -
- 1995 - The Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)
was selected as North Carolina State Vegetable
- 2001 -
- 2003 -
- 2005 -
- 2007 -
- Find out more about North Carolina State Salute to flag
- The Thalian Association in Wilmington is North Carolina State Community theater
- The Lexington Barbecue Festival is the North Carolina State Food Festival of the Piedmont Triad Region of the State of North Carolina
- The Ayden Collard Festival is picked as North Carolina State Collard festival
- 2009 - Albemarle Potato Festival in Elizabeth City was designated as North Carolina State Irish potato festival
- 2010 - The Colonial Spanish mustang (Equus ferus caballus) represents North Carolina State Horse
- 2011 -
- Gold (Aurum) was designated as North Carolina State Mineral
- Stock car racing was designated as North Carolina State Sport
- The Grifton Shad Festival was designated as North Carolina State Shad festival
- The Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival is chosen as North Carolina State Shrimp festival
- The Herring Festival held in the Town of Jamesville was designated as the North Carolina State Herring festival
- 2012 - The Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio
glaucus) was designated as North Carolina State Butterfly
- 2013 -
- Clay was selected as the North Carolina State Art medium
- The Marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) was designated as the North Carolina State Salamander
- The Pine barrens tree frog (Hyla andersonii) represents the North Carolina State Frog
- Fossilized teeth of the megalodon shark was designated as the North Carolina State Fossil
- The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the North Carolina State Marsupial
- The Dublin Peanut Festival was designated as the North Carolina State Peanut festival
- Whirligigs created by Vollis Simpson represents the North Carolina State Folk art
- The Blue Monday Shad Fry in East Acadia is the North Carolina State Blue Monday shad fry
More North Carolina History Firsts & State Facts
- The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States.
- The state's best-known scenic attraction is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located astride the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
- Krispy Kreme Doughnut was founded in Winston-Salem.
Falls is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States. The falls is located on the
Whitewater River, Jackson County / Transylvania County, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and the falls plunge an amazing 411 feet! South
Carolina's Lower Whitewater Falls about 2 miles downstream from Upper Whitewater Falls drops another 400 feet. As with most of North Carolina's waterfalls,
it is in the mountainous area of the state. There is a cluster of falls in the area where the borders of Georgia and the Carolinas come together.
Whitewater Falls is part of that group, very close to the South Carolina border.
- The North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is the nation's only art museum whose collection was founded with state funds
- High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World.
- The Outer Banks of NC hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
- Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.
- Cape Hatteras is the largest lighthouse ever to be moved due to erosion problems.
- The University of North Carolina's mascot, the Tarheels, is a nickname for North Carolinians that supposedly came from the days when NC produced
a lot of tar, and someone saw a set of footprints made by someone who had stepped in the tar.
- Charles Karault was born and raised in Wilmington.
- Havelock is home of Marine Base "Cherry Point." It is the largest air base in the Marine Corps.
- North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation. Students at a Wilson County school petitioned the North Carolina General
Assembly for the establishment of the sweet potato as the official state vegetable.
- Harker's Island hosts the annual Core Sound Decoy Festival in December.
- Morehead City is home to the North Carolina Seafood Festival, held the first weekend in October every year.
- The World War II battleship 'North Carolina' is permanently berthed on the Cape Fear River at Wilmington. She was saved from the scrap heap in
the 1960's by public subscription, including donations of dimes by schoolchildren.
- The first English colony in America was located on Roanoke Island. Walter Raleigh founded it. The colony mysteriously vanished with no trace except
for the word "Croatoan" scrawled on a nearby tree.
- Mount Mitchell in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. It towers 6,684 feet above sea level.
- The Venus Fly-Trap is native to Hampstead.
- The first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville.
- Winston-Salem was created when the two towns Winston and Salem combined.
- The Biltmore Estate in Ashville is America's largest home, and includes a 255-room chateau, an award-winning winery and extensive gardens.
- The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Albemarle commemorates the birth of Virginia Dare. Scheduled to run just one year, it proved so successful that
it has played for nearly sixty consecutive summers.
- The first state owned art museum in the country is located in Raleigh.
- Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.
- Grandfather Mountain, highest peak in the Blue Ridge, is the only private park in the world designated by the United Nations as an International
- The Mile-High Swinging Bridge near Linville is 5,305 feet above sea level. The bridge actually hangs about 80 feet above the ground.
- Beech Mountain is Eastern America's highest town at 5,506ft above sea level.
- Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was born in the Waxsaws area on the border of North and South Carolina.
- Arnold Palmer recognized as the player whose aggressive play and winning personality raised golf to national attention, honed his skills on the
championship golf team of Wake Forest University.
- James K. Polk, born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, was the eleventh President of the United States.
- Andrew Johnson started his career as a tailor's apprentice in Raleigh, North Carolina and rose to lead in the reuniting of the nation as the seventeenth
President of the United States.
- North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production.
- Saluda, North Carolina is located at the top of the Saluda Grade. The crest of the steepest standard gauge mainline railroad in the United States.
- North Carolina State Motto: Esse quam videri (To be rather than to seem)
- The town of Wendell town was named for the American writer, Oliver Wendell Holmes.
- The Swiss and German settlement of New Bern was named in honor of the founder's home, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland was founded, it
was named by a group of hunters. They named the city for the first animal they came upon on their hunting expedition. It was a bear. "Bern" is the
old Germanic word for Bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It has been adopted by New Bern, as well.
- North Carolina was the first state in the nation to establish a state museum of art.
- North Carolina has the largest state-maintained highway system in the United States. The state's highway system currently has 77,400 miles of
- Located in northeastern North Carolina on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula, Columbia is on the eastern shore of the Scuppernong River. The Indians
called the area "the place of the sweet bay tree."
- White Lake near Elizabethtown is very unique in that it has a white sandy bottom and is blessed with crystal clear waters. It has also been labeled
as the "Nation's Safest Beach." It is truly a child's paradise in that there are no currents, no tides, no hazardous depressions or real dangers of
any kind to swimmers.
- North Carolina has 1,500 lakes of 10 acres or more in size and 37,000 miles of fresh water streams.
County Information and County History
Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Cleveland, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Graham, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Iredell, Jackson, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Martin, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Tyrrell, Union, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes, Wilson, Yadkin, Yancey
State Facts & History Firsts
History firsts and fun facts!
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