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North Carolina Information

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North Carolina Quicklinks

North Carolina Info

  • Capital: Raleigh.
  • State abbreviation/Postal code: NC.
  • Nickname: North Carolina is commonly referred to as the Tar Heel state.
  • Organized as territory: .
  • Entered Union: North Carolina entered the union on 21 November, 1789, as the 12th state.
  • Present constitution adopted:
  • Motto: To be, rather than to seem.
  • Land area: The total area of North Carolina is 52,669 sq mi., of which land accounts for 48,843 sq mi. and inland water 3,826 sq mi.
  • Dimensions: North Carolina extends 503 mi. E-W; the state's maximum N-S extension is 187 mi.
  • Highest point: Mt. Mitchell, 6,684 feet.
  • Lowest point: Atlantic coast, sea level.
  • Geographic center: Chatham, 10 miles northwest of Sanford.
  • Number of counties: 100.
  • Largest county: By population: Mecklenburg, 919,628 (2010); By area: Robeson, 949 sq mi.

State Symbols:

  • Bird: Cardinal.
  • Flower: Dogwood.
  • Tree: Pine.

Largest Cities:

  • Charlotte.
  • Raleigh.
  • Greensboro.
  • Winston-Salem.
  • Durham.
  • Fayetteville.
  • Cary.
  • Wilmington.
  • High Point.
  • Greenville.

Some Famous Natives of North Carolina:

  • Clay Aiken, Musician.
  • Braxton Bragg, General, Confederate Army.
  • David Brinkley, Television journalist.
  • John Coltrane, Musician.
  • Howard Cosell, Sportscaster.
  • Charlie Daniels, Musician.
  • James Buchanan Duke, Industrialist.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Sr. NASCAR driver.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. NASCAR driver.
  • Roberta Flack, Musician.
  • Billy Graham, Minister.
  • Andy Griffith, Actor.
  • Andrew Jackson, U.S. President. First one elected from the common people.
  • Andrew Johnson, VP to Lincoln, President after Lincoln. Impeached for following the law, stymied by radicals.
  • Michael Jordan, Basketball player.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard, Boxer.
  • Julianne Moore, Actress.
  • Richard Petty, Racer, famous Dodge racecar advocate.
  • Lee Petty, Racer.
  • Soupy Sales, Comedian.
  • James Taylor, Musician.

Some North Carolina Factoids

  • Some individuals believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England, according to the North Carolina secretary of state.

  • The first child born in America, Virginia Dare, was born in Roanoke, North Carolina, in 1857. The oldest state university in the United States is North Carolina Chapel Hill. In 1903, the Wright brothers carried out the first successful flight at Kill Devil Hill just outside the town of Kitty Hawk.
  • Whitewater Falls, located in Transylvania County in North Carolina, is the largest waterfall in the eastern United States.
  • The outer banks of North Carolina are known for their wild black horses that roam the beaches in scare numbers, according to the Carolina Wild Horse Fund.
  • North Carolina is home to the largest dam in the United States, Fontana Dam, which has a height of 800 feet.
  • Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain in the eastern United States.
  • Cape Hatteras lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the United States.
  • North Carolina ranks 28th in size among the 50 states.  

North Carolina Attractions

Creek National Military Parks, Carl Sandburg's home near Hendersonville, and the Old Salem Restoration in Winston-Salem. Another popular attraction, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddles the North Carolina-Tennessee border. There are more than 1.2 million acres of national forest land located in North Carolina, 1,500 lakes of ten acres or more, and 37,000 miles of freshwater streams.

About 53% of visitors to the state travel from the following states: Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New York, Maryland, and Ohio.

Tourists are also attracted by North Carolina's coastal beaches, by golf and tennis opportunities (including the world-famous golf courses at Pinehurst), and parks and scenery in the North Carolina mountains. Additional sites of special interest are the Revolutionary War battlegrounds at Guilford Courthouse and Moore's Creek Bridge; Bennett Place, near Hillsborough, where the last major Confederate army surrendered; and Ft. Raleigh, the site of the Lost Colony's misadventures. With more than 500 golf courses across the state, North Carolina is often nicknamed the "Golf Capital of the World."

More About North Carolina

North Carolina's economy is experiencing a shift away from tobacco, furniture and textiles to knowledge-based enterprises such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences. The state was ranked third best state for business in 2010 by Forbes magazine. The major agricultural products are tobacco, corn, cotton, hay, peanuts, and vegetable crops. The state is the country's leading producer of mica and lithium.


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