North Carolina is a state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N).
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km).
Population, (2000) 8,049,313, a 21.4% increase since the 1990 census.
North Carolina, in the warm temperate zone, has a generally mild climate, with abundant and well distributed rainfall. The state's congenial climate, its many miles of beaches, and its beautiful mountains attract large numbers of visitors and vacationers each year. Chief among the tourist attractions are the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Cape Lookout National Seashore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mts. National Park. Wildlife abounds in national forests (the state has four) and in the Dismal Swamp. Places of historic interest include Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, on Roanoke Island; the Wright Brothers National Memorial, at Kitty Hawk; Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, at Flatrock; and Guilford Courthouse and Moores Creek national military parks.
North Carolina leads the nation in the production of tobacco and is a major producer of textiles and furniture. It grows 40% of all U.S. tobacco, but the continuing trend is toward diversification. Broilers, hogs, turkeys, greenhouse products, sweet potatoes, corn, soybeans, peanuts, and eggs are important. Plentiful forests supply the thriving furniture and lumber industries. The state has long been a major textile manufacturer, producing cotton, synthetic, and silk goods as well as various kinds of knit items. Other leading manufactures are electrical machinery, computers, and chemicals; the Research Triangle complex near Chapel Hill has spurred high-tech manufacturing, as well as bringing federal jobs into the state. The state also has mineral resources: It leads the nation in the production of feldspar, mica, and lithium materials and produces substantial quantities of olivine, crushed granite, talc, clays, and phosphate rock. There are valuable coastal fisheries, with shrimp, menhaden, and crabs the principal catches. Charlotte developed in the 1980s into a major U.S. banking center, and related businesses have flourished in the area.
The State Bird and Flower
Cardinal (chosen March 4, 1943)
The Cardinal is sometimes called the Winter Redbird because it is most noticable during the winter when it is the only "redbird" present. A yearround resident of North Carolina, the Cardinal is one of the most common birds in our gardens, meadows, and woodlands. The Cardinal is a fine singer, and what is unusual is that the female sings as beautifully as the male.
Dogwood (designated 1941)
The Dogwood is one of the most prevalent trees in our state, found in regions stretching from the mountains to the coast. Its white (and sometimes pink) blooms appear in early spring and last into summer.
The State Flag
(current version established March 9, 1885)
It is interesting to examine the significance of the dates on North Carolina's flag. The first date, "May 20, 1775," refers to the Mecklenberg Declaration of Independence, although many speculate the authenticity of this particular document. The second date is "April 12, 1776." This date commemorates the Halifax Resolves, a document that places the Old North Sate in the very front rank, both in point of time and in spirit, among those who demanded unconditional freedom and absolute independence from any foreign power. This document, which helps define the state's involvement in the American Revolution, is one of the great landmarks in North Carolina History.
The State Tree and Mammal
Long Leaf Pine (designated 1963)
The pine is the most common of trees found in North Carolina. It is also the most important tree in the history of our state. During the colonial and early statehood periods, the pine was a vital part of North Carolina's economy. Naval stores—tar, pitch, and terpentine—derived from the pine were needed by merchants to supply the shipbuilding industry.
Gray Squirrel (designated 1969)
The gray squirrel is a common inhabitant of most areas of North Carolina, from natural wildlife havens to city parks and suburbs. During the fall and winter months, the gray squirrel survives on a diet of hardwoods, with acorns providing carbohydrates and proteins. In the spring and summer, its diet consists of new growths and fruits supplemented by early corn, peanuts, and insects.
The State Insect
Honey Bee (designated 1973)
This industrious creature is responsible for the annual production of more than $2 million worth of honey in North Carolina. The honey bee's greatest value, however, is its role as a major contributor to the pollination of North Carolina's crops and flowering plants.
OTHER OFFICIAL STATE EMBLEMS
- Motto: Esse Quam Videri (to be rather than to seem) (adopted 1893)
- Song: "The Old North State" (adopted 1927)
- Colors: Red and Blue (declared 1945)
- Shell: Scotch Bonnet (designated 1965)
- Salt Water Fish: Channel Bass (Red Drum) (designated 1971)
- Precious Stone: Emerald (designated 1973)
- Reptile: Eastern Box Turtle (designated 1979)
- Rock: Granite (designated 1979)
- Beverage: Milk (adopted 1987)
- Historic Boat: Shad Boat (adopted 1987)
- Dog: Plott Hound (adopted 1989)
North Carolina Facts
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States and Home of the 2005 NCAA Basketball Champions (4/5/2005 -- 75/70 over Illinois.
In 1903 the 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.
High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World.
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, in 1722.
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.
Krispy Kreme Doughnut was founded in Winston-Salem.
The Venus Fly-Trap is native to Hampstead.
The first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville.
Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
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 first English child born in America was born in Roanoke in 1587. Her name was Virginia Dare.
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.
Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.
Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775.
Grandfather Mountain, highest peak in the Blue Ridge, is the only private park in the world designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve.
The Mile-High Swinging Bridge near Linville is 5,305 feet above sea level. The bridge actually hangs about 80 feet above the ground.
Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern in 1898.
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.
Hiram Rhoades Revels, born in Fayetteville in 1822, was the first African-American member of the United States Congress.
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.
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 in Raleigh.
North Carolina was one of the first states in the U.S. to establish a state symphony. The North Carolina Symphony, founded in 1943, currently performs nearly 185 full-orchestra concerts each year.
North Carolina has the largest state-maintained highway system in the United States. The state's highway system currently has 77,400 miles of roads
The General Assembly of 1987 adopted milk as the official state beverage.
The oldest town in the state is Bath, incorporated in 1705.
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."
Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
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.