North Carolina is composed of 100 counties. North Carolina's two largest metropolitan areas are among the top ten fastest growing in the country. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from heavy reliance upon tobacco, textiles, and furniture making to a more diversified economy with engineering, energy, biotechnology, and finance sectors.
North Carolina was the 12th state in the USA; it became a state on November 21, 1789.
State Abbreviation - NC State Capital - Raleigh Largest City - Charlotte Area - 53,821 square miles [North Carolina is the 28th biggest state in the USA] Population - 8,049,313 (as of 2000) [North Carolina is the 11th most populous state in the USA] Name for Residents - North Carolinians Major Industries - farming (tobacco, poultry), textiles, furniture
Presidential Birthplaces James Knox Polk was born in Mecklenburg County on November 2, 1795 (he was the 11th US President, serving from 1845 to 1849).
Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh on December 29, 1808 (he was the 17th US President, serving from 1865 to 1869).
Major Rivers - Neuse River, Roanoke River, Yadkin River Major Lakes - Lake Mattamuskeet, Lake Phelps, Lake Waccamaw Highest Point - Mt. Mitchell - 6,684 feet (2,037 m) above sea level Number of Counties - 100 Bordering States - Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Origin of the Name North Carolina - North Carolina was named to honor King Charles I (Carolus is Latin for Charles). State Nickname - Tar Heel State State Motto - "Esse Quam Videri" (To Be Rather Than to Seem) State Song - The Old North State
North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet (2,037 m) at Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern US. The climate of the coastal plains is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.
English colonists, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, unsuccessfully attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. Virginia Dare, born there in 1587, was the first child of English parentage born in America.
In 1653 the first permanent settlements were established by English colonists from Virginia near the Roanoke and Chowan rivers. The region was established as an English proprietary colony in 1663–1665 and in its early history was the scene of Culpepper's Rebellion (1677), the Quaker-led Cary Rebellion (1708), the Tuscarora Indian War (1711–1713), and many pirate raids.
During the American Revolution, there was relatively little fighting within the state, but many North Carolinians saw action elsewhere. Despite considerable pro-Union, antislavery sentiment, North Carolina joined the Confederacy during the Civil War.
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.
Tourism is also important, with visitors spending more than $1 billion annually. Sports include year-round golfing, skiing at mountain resorts, both fresh- and salt-water fishing, and hunting.
Among the major attractions are the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge National Parkway, the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, Guilford Courthouse and Moores Creek National Military Parks, Carl Sandburg's home near Hendersonville, and the Old Salem Restoration in Winston-Salem.