North Carolina - Fast Facts & Trivia

The Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Fontana Dam is the highest 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, the highest peak on the Blue Ridge, is the only private park in the world declared an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations.

  • The Mile High Swinging Bridge near Linville is 5,305 meters above sea level. The bridge actually hangs about 80 feet above the ground.

  • Pepsi was invented and served in New Bern in 1898.

  • Beech Mountain is the highest city in East America at 5,506 feet 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 has been recognized as the player whose aggressive play and winning personality has inspired golfing national attention, and has refined his skills on the championship golf team at Wake Forest University.

  • James K. Polk, born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, was the eleventh President of the United States.

  • Hiram Rhoades Revels, born 1822 in Fayetteville, was the first African American member of the US Congress.

  • Andrew Johnson began his career as a tailor apprentice in Raleigh, North Carolina, and joined the reunification of the nation as the seventeenth President of the United States.

  • North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, tile and textile production.

  • Saluda, North Carolina is at the top of the Saluda Grade. The crest of the steepest standard gauge railway in the United States.

  • Motto of the state: Esse quam videri (to be rather than to shine)

  • The city of Wendell was named after the American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  • The Swiss and German branch of New Bern was named in honor of the residence of the founder, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland, was founded, it was named by a group of hunters. They gave the city the first animal they encountered in their hunt. It was a bear. "Bern" is the old Germanic word for bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It was also taken over by New Bern.

  • North Carolina was the first state in the nation to establish a state art museum.

  • North Carolina was one of the first states in the United States to found a State Symphony. Founded in 1943, the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra is currently conducting nearly 185 orchestral concerts each year.

  • North Carolina has the largest state-owned highway system in the United States. The state road system currently has 77,400 miles of roads

  • The 1987 General Assembly accepted milk as the official state drink.

  • The oldest city in the state is Bath, incorporated in 1705.

  • Columbia is located in northeastern North Carolina on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula on the eastern shore of the Scuppernong River. The Indians called the area "the place of the sweet laurel tree".

  • Babe Ruth made his first professional home runs on March 7, 1914 in Fayetteville.

  • White Lake near Elizabethtown is very unique as it has a white sandy bottom and is blessed with crystal clear waters. It has also been called the "safest beach in the nation". It really is a paradise for children because there are no currents, no tides, no dangerous depression or real dangers for swimmers.

  • North Carolina has 1,500 lakes of 10 acres or more and 37,000 miles of freshwater streams.

  • The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest state university in the United States.

  • In 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first successful motorized flight of a man on Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk. The Wright Memorial in Kitty Hawks is now reminiscent of their achievement.

  • High Point is known as the furniture capital of the world.

  • Known as "Fish Town" in the early 1700s, when Blackbeard visited the coast, in 1722 "Beaufort Town" was established as a seaport with the right to collect customs.

  • The Outer Banks of NC houses 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 North Carolina University mascot, the Tarheels, is a nickname for North Carolinians, supposedly from the days when NC produced lots of tar and someone saw a series of footprints made by someone who had stepped into the tar.

  • Charles Karault was born and raised in Wilmington.

  • Havelock is home to Marine Base "Cherry Point". It is the largest air force base in the Marine Corps.

  • North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation. Students at a Wilson County School applied to the North Carolina General Assembly for the establishment of sweet potato as official state vegetable.

  • Harkers Island hosts the annual Core Sound Decoy Festival in December.

  • Morehead City hosts the North Carolina Seafood Festival, which takes place every year on the first weekend of October.

  • The World War II "North Carolina" warship is permanently located on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington. It was saved from scrap by public subscriptions in the 1960s, including donations of dime from schoolchildren.

  • The first English colony in America was on Roanoke Island. Walter Raleigh founded it. The colony mysteriously disappeared without a trace, except for the word "Croatoan", which stood 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 Donut was founded in Winston-Salem.

  • The Venus Flytrap is from Hampstead.

  • The first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville.

  • Babe Ruth played his first home game on March 7, 1914 in Fayetteville.

  • Winston-Salem came into being when the two cities of Winston and Salem came together.

  • Ashville's Biltmore Estate is America's largest home and includes a 255-room castle, award-winning winery and sprawling 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. It was supposed to run for only a year and was so successful that it has played nearly sixty consecutive summers.

  • The country's first state art museum is in Raleigh.
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