North Carolina State History

North Carolina State collage of images.

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General State History
Historic Figures

General North Carolina State History

In ancient times, the Eastern half of the state was underwater, and giant megladon sharks roamed the waters. On land, there were woolly mammoths and mastodons. Eventually, nearly 30 Native American groups settled across the state.

In the 1580s, the British established two colonies in North Carolina, both of which failed. In the 1600s permanent settlers from Virginia began to move to North Carolina, and it eventually became part of a British colony known as "Carolina".

Many people believe that in 1775 North Carolina became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. After the American Revolution, North Carolina became the twelfth state of the Union.

In 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in the Civil War. In 1865 North Carolina troops surrendered, and in 1868 the state was brought back into the Union.

The 20th century has seen North Carolina transformed into a modern state, a transformation that began when the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903.
North Carolina Historic Figures

Virginia Dare
1587-88: The first English child born in the New World, Dare was born August 18, 1587, in the ill-fated "Lost Colony" of Roanoke.


Andrew Jackson
1767-1845: Born in Western North Carolina, Jackson was the 7th president of the United States. He was known for his staunch defense of the rights of the people, and also for his frequent parties, to which anyone in the country could come.


Dolley Madison
1768-1849: One of America's most famous First Ladies, this Piedmont, NC native was the wife of President James Madison. She is known for originating the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn and also for saving George Washington's picture and many important state documents from the White House when it was set on fire in 1814.


Edward R. Murrow
1908-65: A five-time Emmy winning journalist from Polecat Creek, North Carolina, Murrow is a member of the Television Hall of Fame. He earned distinction at CBS news for his TV and radio reporting.


James K. Polk
1795-1849: Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, NC, and idolized Andrew Jackson. Eventually, he rose to be one of Jackson's aides and then became President himself. It was during his administration that California and Oregon became part of the United States.