State of North Carolina - NC

North Carolina is a state located in the Southeastern United States of America along its Atlantic Seaboard. It was one of the original Thirteen Colonies, and the home of the first English colony in the Americas. It was also the location of the first successful powered heavier-than-air flight by the Wright brothers at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk in 1903. Today, it is a fast-growing state with an increasingly diverse economy and population. As of 2005, the population estimate is 8,683,242 - a 7.9% increase since April 1, 2000.

North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina on the south; Georgia on the southwest; Tennessee on the west; Virginia on the north; and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The United States Census Bureau classifies North Carolina as a Southern state in the subcategory of being one of the South Atlantic States.

North Carolina topographic map North Carolina consists of three main geographic sections: the coastal plain, which occupies the eastern 45% of the state; the Piedmont region, which contains the middle 35%; and the Appalachian Mountains and foothills, which take up the remaining 20% of the state in the west.

The coastal plain begins in the east as a chain of narrow, sandy barrier islands known as the "Outer Banks". The Outer Banks encompass two sounds — Albemarle Sound in the north and Pamlico Sound in the south; they are the two largest landlocked sounds in the United States. Inland the coastal plain is relatively flat, with rich soils which grow tobacco, soybeans, and cotton. The major rivers of this section, the Neuse River, Tar River, Pamlico River, Cape Fear River, and Roanoke River, tend to be slow-moving and wide.

Bodie Island Lighthouse, one of the Outer Banks attractions.The coastal plain turns into the Piedmont region along the "fall line," a line which marks the elevation at which waterfalls first appear on streams and rivers. The Piedmont region of central North Carolina is the state's most urbanized and densely-populated section - all five of the state's largest cities are located in the Piedmont. It consists of gently rolling countryside frequently broken by hills or low isolated mountain ridges. Many small, deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located in the Piedmont, including the Saura Mountains, Pilot Mountain, the Uwharrie Mountains, Crowder's Mountain, King's Pinnacle, the Brushy Mountains, and the South Mountains. The Piedmont ranges from about 300-400 feet (90-120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west. The major rivers of the Piedmont, such as the Yadkin and Catawba, tend to be fast-flowing, shallow, and narrow.

The western section of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Among the subranges of the Appalachians located in the state are the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Balsams, Pisgahs, and the Black Mountains. The Black Mountains are the highest mountains in the Eastern United States, and culminate in Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m). It is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Due to the higher altitude in the mountains, the climate often differs starkly from the rest of the state. Winters in western North Carolina typically feature significant snowfall and subfreezing temperatures more akin to a northern state than a southern one.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

The Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shining Rock Wilderness AreaAppalachian National Scenic Trail
Blue Ridge Parkway
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Lookout National Seashore
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site at Flat Rock
Croatan National Park in Eastern North Carolina
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro
Moores Creek National Battlefield near Currie
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Uwharrie National Forest

Due to its wide range of elevation, from sea level on the coast to over 6,000 feet in the mountains, North Carolina has the most variation in climate of all the Southeastern states. While the coastal plains, especially the tidewater areas, are strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, the western, mountainous part of the state is more than 300 miles from the coast, and there is considerably less maritime influence there. As such, the climate of the state ranges from a Humid subtropical near the coast to one which is nearly humid continental in the mountains.

The three geographical divisions of North Carolina are also useful when discussing the climate of the state. The coastal plain, as mentioned above, is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and it helps keep the temperatures down in the summer and up in the winter. Daytime high temperatures on the coast average less than 90 F during the summer. In the winter, the coast has the mildest temperatures in the state. The coast typically has around one or two winter storms (snow/ice) every year and receives around 1 inch of snow annually. The Piedmont has hotter summers with daytime highs averaging over 90 F in many locations. While it is not common for temperatures to reach over 100 F in North Carolina, when it happens, the highest temperatures are to be found in the lower areas of the Piedmont, especially around the city of Fayetteville. In the winter, the Piedmont is much less mild than the coast, with temperatures which can reach 20 F or below, and around 8 - 10 inches of annual snowfall. Annual precipitation and humidity is lower in the Piedmont than either the mountains or the coast, but even at its lowest, the precipitation is a generous 40 inches a year. The Appalachian Mountains are the coolest area of the state, with temperatures frequently falling into the teens or lower in the winter, and relatively cool summers which rarely rise above 80 F. Snowfall in the mountains is usually 14-20 inches per year, but can be much higher in the higher elevations.

Severe weather is not a rare event in North Carolina. On average the state receives a direct hit from a hurricane once a decade, although in some years several hurricanes or tropical storms can either directly hit the state, or brush across its coastal areas. On average, North Carolina has 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year, with some storms becoming severe enough to produce hail and strong, damaging winds. North Carolina averages less than 20 tornadoes per year, and some of these are produced by hurricanes or tropical storms along the coast. Nonetheless, tornadoes from thunderstorms are a risk, especially in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina. [1]

Main article: History of North Carolina

Native Americans and Lost Colony
North Carolina was originally inhabited by many different native peoples, including the Cherokee, Tuscarora, Cheraw, Pamlico, Meherrin, Coree, Machapunga, Cape Fear Indians, Waxhaw, Saponi, Tutelo, Waccamaw,Coharie, and Catawba. North Carolina was the second American territory the British attempted to colonize. Sir Walter Raleigh, for whom the state capital is named, chartered two colonies on the North Carolina (then Virginia) coast in the late 1580s, both ending in failure. The demise of one, the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, remains one of the great mysteries of American history. Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in North America, was born in North Carolina. Dare County is named for her.

Colonial period and Revolutionary War
The first permanent European settlers of North Carolina were British colonists who migrated south from Virginia, following a rapid growth of the colony and the subsequent shortage of available farmland. Nathaniel Batts was documented as one of the first of these Virginian immigrants. He settled south of the Chowan River and east of the Great Dismal Swamp in 1655.[2] By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina was experiencing full-scale British settlement.[3]

During the same period, the English monarch Charles II gave the province to the Lords Proprietors, a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1670. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I (Latin: Carolus). In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. With the exception of the Earl Granville's holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later.[4] On May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg County became the first North Carolina county to publicly declare its independence from Great Britain. It did so by issuing the Mecklenburg Declaration. (Because of its similarity to the more well-known United States Declaration of Independence, which would appear 18 months later, the document is thought by some to be spurious.) [4] On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown. The dates of both of these independence-related events are memorialized on the state flag and state seal.[5]

The road to Yorktown and America's independence from England led through North Carolina. As the British army moved north from victories in Charleston and Camden, South Carolina, the Southern Division of the Continental Army and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banastre Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, Southern Commander Nathanael Greene led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from Cornwallis's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River Crossings."

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro on March 15, 1781. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this "victory", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the British Navy to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis's eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia later in 1781, a victory which guaranteed American independence.

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution to become the twelfth state in the Union. The North Carolina delegation's reluctance to sign the Constitution was instrumental in creating the United States Bill of Rights. The state refused to ratify the constitution until some sort of declaration of the people's rights was added. The North Carolina Government received a letter from Continental Army General George Washington stating that this was a wonderful idea. Thus, the Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution. North Carolina worked to establish its state and local governments. In 1840, it completed the state capitol building in Raleigh, still standing today. In mid-century, the state's rural and commercial areas were connected by construction of a 129 mile (208 km) wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad," from Fayetteville in the east to Bethania (northwest of Winston-Salem).

Civil War
In 1860, North Carolina was a slave state. However, it refused to join the Confederacy until President Abraham Lincoln called on it to invade its sister-state, South Carolina. The state was the site of few battles, but in the Civil War it provided at least 125,000 troops to the Confederacy— more than any other Confederate state. Approximately 40,000 of those troops never returned home, dead of battlefield wounds, disease and privation. Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, elected in 1862, tried to maintain state autonomy against Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond. Even after secession, some North Carolinians refused to support the Confederacy; this was particularly true of non-slaveowning farmers in the state's mountains and western Piedmont region. Some of these farmers remained neutral during the war, while others covertly supported the Union cause during the conflict. Even so, Confederate troops from North Carolina served in virtually all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Confederacy's largest and most famous army. The largest battle fought in North Carolina was at Bentonville, which was a futile attempt by Confederate General Joseph Johnston to slow Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's advance through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865. In March 1865, Sherman was able to capture his chief North Carolina objective when he took Goldsboro; at the time it was the main railroad junction in North Carolina. Johnston surrendered one of the largest Confederate armies at Bennett Place, a farm house in what is now Durham, in late April 1865, weeks after General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox. A small, integrated guerrilla force of white and Cherokee Confederates under William Holland Thomas continued fighting in the mountains until May 10. This unit, called the "Thomas Legion," was North Carolina's sole legion and was never actually defeated by Union troops. On May 6, 1865, Thomas' Legion fired "The Last Shot" of the Civil War east of the Mississippi River in White Sulphur Springs, North Carolina. It had the distinction of capturing a city (Waynesville) then voluntarily ceasing from hostilities. North Carolina's port city of Wilmington was the last Confederate port to fall to the Union. It fell in the spring of 1865 after the nearby Second Battle of Fort Fisher. The first Confederate soldier to be killed in the Civil War was a North Carolinian, Private Henry Wyatt, at the Battle of Big Bethel in 1861. At the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, the 26th North Carolina Regiment participated in Pickett's Charge and advanced the farthest into the Northern lines of any Confederate regiment. At Appomattox Court House in Virginia in April 1865, the 75th North Carolina Regiment, a cavalry unit, fired the last shots of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War. For many years. North Carolinians proudly boasted that they had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg, and Last at Appomattox."...

Historical populations
year Population


1790 393,751
1800 478,103
1810 556,526
1820 638,829
1830 737,987
1840 753,419
1850 869,039
1860 992,622
1870 1,071,361
1880 1,399,750
1890 1,617,949
1900 1,893,810
1910 2,206,287
1920 2,559,123
1930 3,170,276
1940 3,571,623
1950 4,061,929
1960 4,556,155
1970 5,082,059
1980 5,881,766
1990 6,628,637
2000 8,049,313
2005 8,683,242

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2005, North Carolina has an estimated population of 8,683,242, which is an increase of 142,774, or 1.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 636,751, or 7.9%, since the year 2000. This exceeds the rate of growth for the United States as a whole. The growth comprises a natural increase since the last census of 248,097 people (that is 627,309 births minus 379,212 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 390,672 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 158,224 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 232,448 people. North Carolina has historically been a rural state, with most of the population living on farms and in small towns. However, over the last 25 years the state has undergone rapid urbanization, and today the residents of North Carolina live primarily in urban areas, as is the case in most of the United States. In particular, the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh have become major urban centers, with a large, diverse, and rapidly-growing population. Most of this growth in diversity has been fueled by immigrants from Latin America, especially Mexico. The state has also witnessed a large increase in the number of immigrants from Asia, especially India and countries in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam.

6.7% of North Carolina's population were reported as under 5 years old, 24.4% under 18, and 12.0% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.

Demographics of North Carolina (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 75.27% 22.20% 1.65% 1.70% 0.11%
2000 (hispanic only) 4.28% 0.33% 0.10% 0.05% 0.03%
2005 (total population) 74.95% 22.29% 1.65% 2.06% 0.12%
2005 (hispanic only) 5.89% 0.37% 0.12% 0.05% 0.03%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 7.41% 8.31% 7.51% 30.62% 17.92%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 4.93% 8.13% 6.31% 30.71% 16.84%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 48.62% 20.36% 25.79% 27.15% 21.63%

North Carolina has 3 Metropolitan Combined Statistical Areas with a population over 1 million:

The Metrolina: Charlotte/Gastonia/Rock Hill, NC-SC - population 2,067,810
The Piedmont Triad: Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point - population of 1,473,679
The Triangle: Raleigh/Durham/Cary (official - known colloquially as Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) - population of 1,467,434
North Carolina Population Density MapThe five largest ancestry groups in North Carolina are: African American (21.6%), Scots & Scots-Irish (13.9%), English (9.5%), German (9.5%), Irish (7.4%). North Carolina has one of the largest Native American populations in the United States. North Carolina has the second largest Laotian American population in the country.

African Americans
African Americans are concentrated in the state's eastern Coastal Plain and in parts of the Piedmont Plateau where plantation agriculture was most dominant. Until the mid 1860s, North Carolina had more small farms and fewer plantations than adjacent South Carolina and Virginia. These "yeoman" farmers were non-slave holding, private land owners of tracts of approximately 500 acres (2 km²).

European Americans
North Carolinians of Scots-Irish, Scottish and English ancestry are concentrated in the western mountains, coastal areas, and rural areas of the central Piedmont. Descendants of German ancestry, often of subsequent migration from Pennsylvania, can also be found in smaller numbers throughout the Piedmont. In the Winston-Salem area, there is a substantial population of Czech ancestry from the migration of Moravians during the 18th century.

Native Americans
Estimated population figures for Native American in North Carolina as of 2004 is 110,198, or 1.3% of the total North Carolina population. Only five states (California, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas) have a larger Native American population than North Carolina. The total Native American and Alaska Native population in the United States is 2,824,751, or 0.95% of total U.S. population.

To date, North Carolina recognizes eight Native American tribal nations within its state borders:

The Lumbee are the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest tribal nation in the U.S. The Lumbee comprise roughly one-half the state of North Carolina's indigenous population of 84,000 with a population of 52,614, and live in Robeson, Hoke, Scotland, and Cumberland counties. The Lumbee received state recognition in 1885, and have maintained a relationship with the federal government since 1888, but federal recognition is still pending.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were federally recognized in 1868 and received state recognition in 1889. The Eastern Cherokee live in western Swain County, as well as Graham and Jackson counties, and have roughly 13,400 enrolled members, most of whom live on a reservation properly called the Qualla Boundary. The Reservation is slightly more than 56,000 acres, and is held in trust by the federal government specifically for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of Native Americans received state recognition in 1965. The tribe is comprised of a little more than 3,800 enrolled members who reside in northeastern North Carolina's Halifax and Warren counties.
The almost 2,000 members of the Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe are located in the southeastern North Carolina counties of Bladen and Columbus and received state recognition in 1971.
The Coharie Tribe of Native Americans are located in Sampson and Harnett counties, and have a population of 1,781 enrolled members. The Coharie received state recognition in 1911. North Carolina rescinded recognition in 1913 but reinstated it in 1971.
The Sappony Indians of Person County received state recognition in 1911 and have 850 enrolled members.
The Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation have a population of 800 members who reside in Orange and Alamance counties and received state recognition in 2002.
The Meherrin are an Iroquoian-descent Native American tribe located primarily in rural northeastern Hertford, Bertie, and Gates counties, with a population of 557 enrolled members.

Asian Americans
The state has one of the fastest growing Asian American, specifically Indians and Vietnamese, populations in the country; the populations have nearly quintupled and tripled respectively between 1990 and 2002. Most 2006 estimates claim Asians to be at least 3.2% of North Carolina's population.

North Carolina, like other Southern states, has traditionally been overwhelmingly Protestant, with the largest Protestant denomination being the Baptists. However, the rapid influx of Northerners and immigrants from Latin America is steadily increasing the number of Roman Catholics and Jews in the state, and the numerical dominance of the Baptist Church is beginning to decline. This is especially evident in the urban areas of the state, where the population is more culturally diverse than the rural and small-town population. The fastest growing non-Judeo-Christian religion is Hinduism largely due to the rapidly increasing Indian and Sri Lankan populations. The current religious affiliations of the people of North Carolina are shown below:

Christian – 88%
Protestant – 77%
Baptist – 40%
Methodist – 10%
Presbyterian – 3%
Other Protestant or general Protestant – 24%
Roman Catholic – 10%
Other Christian – 1% (such as Eastern Orthodox or Mormon)
Non-Religious – 11% (atheists, agnostics, and others)
Other Religions – 1% (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism)

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the state's 2004 total gross state product was $336 billion.[6] Its 2005 per capita personal income was $31,029, 36th in the nation.[7] North Carolina's agricultural outputs include poultry and eggs, tobacco, hogs, milk, nursery stock, cattle, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. However, North Carolina is the state most affected by outsourcing; one in five North Carolina manufacturing jobs has been lost to overseas competition.[8]

Agriculture and Manufacturing
Over the past century, North Carolina has grown to become a national leader in agriculture, financial services, and industry. The state's industrial output—mainly textiles, chemicals, electrical equipment, paper and pulp/paper products—ranked eighth in the nation in the early 1990s. The textile industry, which was once a mainstay of the state's economy, has been steadily losing jobs to markets in Latin America and Asia for the past 25 years. Over the past few years, another important Carolina industry, furniture production, has also been hard-hit by jobs moving to Asia (especially China). Tobacco, one of North Carolina's earliest sources of revenue, remains vital to the local economy, although concerns about whether the federal government will continue to support subsidies for tobacco farmers has led some growers to switch to other crops or leave farming altogether.

Technology, Research and Finance
The information and biotechnology industries have been steadily on the rise since the creation of the Research Triangle Park in the 1950's. Located between Raleigh and Durham, its proximity to local research universities has no doubt helped to fuel growth. Meanwhile, beginning in the 1980's, Charlotte's banking industry began a period of rapid growth, creating what is now the second largest banking center in the United States (after New York).

Sports, Film and the Arts
The state is also a center of American motorsports, with many NASCAR racing teams and related industries located near Charlotte. NASCAR recently announced that the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be built in Charlotte.

North Carolina is the third largest film production state behind California and New York. Film studios are located in Shelby, Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington.

Some of the better-known films and television shows filmed in North Carolina include: All the Real Girls, Being There, Blue Velvet, Bull Durham, Cabin Fever, Cape Fear, The Crow, Dawson's Creek, Dirty Dancing, Firestarter, The Fugitive, George Washington, Last of the Mohicans, Loggerheads, One Tree Hill, Shallow Hal, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

The television show most associated with North Carolina is The Andy Griffith Show, which aired on CBS-TV from 1960 to 1968. The series is set in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina and was based on the real-life town of Mount Airy, North Carolina, although it was filmed in California. Mount Airy is the hometown of actor Andy Griffith. The show is still popular in reruns and is frequently shown in syndication around the nation.

North Carolina personal income tax is divided into 4 brackets, ranging from 6.0% to 8.25%. The state sales tax is 4.5%. Most taxable sales or purchases are subject to the state tax as well as the 2.5% local tax rate levied by all counties, for a combined 7%. Mecklenburg County has an additional 0.5% local tax for public transportation, bringing sales taxes there to a total 7.5%. Effective January 1, 2006, the total local rate of tax in Dare County increased to 3.5%, producing a combined state and local rate there of 8%. The property tax in North Carolina is a locally assessed tax, collected by the counties. The three main elements of the property tax system in North Carolina are real property, motor vehicles and personal property (inventories and household personal property are exempt).


International/Major regional airports
Main article: List of airports in North Carolina
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (Charlotte)
Asheville Regional Airport (Asheville)
Fayetteville Regional Airport (Fayetteville)
Piedmont Triad International Airport (Greensboro)
Pitt-Greenville Airport (Greenville)
Albert J. Ellis Airport (Jacksonville)
Moore County Airport (Pinehurst/Southern Pines)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (Raleigh/Durham)
Craven County Regional Airport (New Bern)
Wilmington International Airport (Wilmington)

Major highways
Main article: North Carolina Highway System
The North Carolina Highway System is comprised of a vast network of Interstate highways, U.S. routes, and state routes. North Carolina has the second largest state maintained highway network in the United States.

Interstate 26
Interstate 40
Interstate 73
Interstate 74
Interstate 77
Interstate 85
Interstate 95
Interstate 240
Interstate 277
Interstate 440
Interstate 485
Interstate 540
Interstate 785
U.S. Route 1
U.S. Route 13
U.S. Highway 15
U.S. Highway 17
U.S. Highway 19
U.S. Highway 25
U.S. Highway 29
U.S. Highway 52
U.S. Highway 64
U.S. Highway 70
U.S. Highway 74
U.S. Highway 76
U.S. Highway 117
U.S. Highway 158
U.S. Highway 178
U.S. Highway 220
U.S. Highway 221
U.S. Highway 321
U.S. Highway 421
U.S. Highway 501

Law and government
The state capitol in RaleighThe governor, lieutenant governor, and eight elected executive department heads form the Council of State. Ten other executive department heads appointed by the governor form the North Carolina Cabinet. The state's current governor is Democrat Mike Easley.

The North Carolina General Assembly, or Legislature, consists of two houses: a 50-member Senate and a 120-member House of Representatives. For the 2005–2006 session, the current President Pro Tempore of the Senate is Democrat Marc Basnight (the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina is the President of the Senate); The House Speaker is Democrat James B. Black. The prior legislature's power sharing two-speaker arrangement is no longer in effect, as the House Democrats won a decided victory and majority of the seats in the 2004 election.

In 2005, the state Legislature voted to implement a state lottery, nullifying North Carolina's reputation as the "anti-lottery" state, where owning a lottery ticket from another state was once a felony. By 2005, every state surrounding North Carolina had a lottery in operation. The North Carolina lottery began selling tickets March 31, 2006. North Carolina remains a control state, although beer and wine can be sold by retailers.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state's highest appellate court; it numbers seven justices. The North Carolina Court of Appeals is the only intermediate appellate court in the state; it consists of fifteen judges who rule in rotating panels of three. Together, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals constitute the appellate division of the court system.

The trial division includes the Superior Court and the District Court. All felony criminal cases, civil cases involving more than $10,000 and misdemeanor and infraction appeals from District Court are tried in Superior Court. A jury of 12 hears the criminal cases.

Civil cases—such as divorce, custody, child support and cases involving less than $10,000—are heard in District Court, along with criminal cases involving misdemeanors and infractions. The trial of a criminal case in District Court is always without a jury. The District Court also hears juvenile cases involving children under the age of 16 who are delinquent and children under the age of 18 who are undisciplined, dependent, neglected or abused. Magistrates accept guilty pleas for minor misdemeanors, accept guilty pleas for traffic violations, and accept waivers of trial for worthless-check cases among other things. In civil cases, the magistrate is authorized to try small claims involving up to $4,000 including landlord eviction cases. Magistrates also perform civil marriages.

Federal Apportionments

North Carolina currently has 13 congressional districts, which, when combined with its two U.S. Senate seats, gives the state 15 electoral votes.

State constitution
Main article: North Carolina Constitution
North Carolina has had three constitutions:

1776: ratified December 18, 1776, as the first constitution of the independent state. The Declaration of Rights was ratified the preceding day.
1868: framed in accordance with the Reconstruction Acts after North Carolina was readmitted into the Union. It was a major reorganization and modification of the original into fourteen articles. It also introduced townships which each county was required to create, the only southern state to do so.
1971: minor consolidation of the 1868 constitution and subsequent amendments.

Important cities and towns
Main article: List of cities, towns, and villages in North Carolina
Chapel Hill
Charlotte (Largest city)
Elizabeth City
High Point
Mount Airy
New Bern
Raleigh (State capital)
Roanoke Rapids
Rocky Mount
Southern Pines
Wake Forest


Elementary and secondary education
Elementary and secondary public schools are overseen by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, which is headed by a Superintendent. Most legal authority for making public education policy is vested in the North Carolina State Board of Education, of which the Superintendent is a member and secretary.[9]

North Carolina has 115 public school systems, each of which is overseen by a local school board. A county may have one or more systems within it. The state has also established charter schools, which fall outside the ordinary structure.

school districts in North Carolina

Colleges and universities
Main article: List of colleges and universities in North Carolina
University of North Carolina system :
Appalachian State University
East Carolina University
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina School of the Arts
North Carolina State University

University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Western Carolina University
Winston-Salem State University

Private institutions :
Barber-Scotia College
Barton College
Belmont Abbey College
Bennett College
Brevard College
Campbell University
Catawba College
Chowan University
Davidson College
Duke University
Elon University
Gardner-Webb University
Greensboro College
Guilford College

High Point University
John Wesley College
Johnson C. Smith University
Lees-McRae College
Lenoir-Rhyne College
Livingstone College
Louisburg College
Mars Hill College
Meredith College
Methodist University
Montreat College
Mount Olive College
North Carolina Wesleyan College
Peace College

Pfeiffer University
Piedmont Baptist College
Queen's University
Roanoke Bible College
St. Andrews Presbyterian College
St. Augustine's College
Salem College
School of Communication Arts
Shaw University
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest University
Warren Wilson College
Wingate University

North Carolina Community College System:
Alamance Community College
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Beaufort County Community College
Bladen Community College
Blue Ridge Community College
Brunswick Community College
Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
Cape Fear Community College
Carteret Community College
Catawba Valley Community College
Central Carolina Community College
Central Piedmont Community College
Cleveland Community College
College of the Albemarle
Coastal Carolina Community College
Craven Community College
Davidson County Community College
Durham Technical Community College
Edgecombe Community College
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Forsyth Technical Community College
Gaston College
Guilford Technical Community College
Halifax Community College
Haywood Community College
Isothermal Community College
James Sprunt Community College
Johnston Community College
Lenoir Community College

Martin Community College
Mayland Community College
McDowell Technical Community College
Mitchell Community College
Montgomery Community College
Nash Community College
Pamlico Community College
Piedmont Community College
Pitt Community College
Randolph Community College
Richmond Community College
Roanoke-Chowan Community College
Robeson Community College
Rockingham Community College
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Sandhills Community College
Sampson Community College
South Piedmont Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Stanly Community College
Surry Community College
Tri-County Community College
Vance-Granville Community College
Wake Technical Community College
Wayne Community College
Western Piedmont Community College
Wilkes Community College
Wilson Technical Community College

Professional sports teams
Despite having over eight million people, the disbursement of North Carolina's population over three major metropolitan areas left the state unable to attract any major professional sports league teams until recently. North Carolina remains without a Major League Baseball team despite numerous efforts to attract a team to the state (including a current push to relocate the Florida Marlins to Charlotte). Although more populous New Jersey also does not have an MLB team, North Carolina is the most populous state without a team from each of the major leagues either within or very close to the state's borders. On June 19, 2006 the Carolina Hurricanes, a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise based in Raleigh, won the Stanley Cup. The Hurricanes are the first professional sports team from North Carolina to win their sport's highest championship. For amateurs, the state holds the State Games of North Carolina each year.

Club Sport League
Carolina Panthers Football National Football League
Carolina Hurricanes Ice hockey National Hockey League
Charlotte Checkers Ice hockey Minor League Hockey; East Coast Hockey League
Fayetteville FireAntz Ice hockey Minor League Hockey; Southern Professional Hockey League
Charlotte Bobcats Basketball National Basketball Association
Raleigh Cougars Basketball United States Basketball Association
Charlotte Sting Basketball Women's National Basketball Association
Fayetteville Patriots Basketball NBA Development League
Asheville Tourists Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); South Atlantic League
Burlington Indians Baseball Minor League Baseball (R); Appalachian League
Carolina Mudcats Baseball Minor League Baseball (AA); Southern League
Charlotte Knights Baseball Minor League Baseball (AAA); International League
Durham Bulls Baseball Minor League Baseball (AAA); International League
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); South Atlantic League
Hickory Crawdads Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); South Atlantic League
Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); South Atlantic League
Kinston Indians Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); Carolina League
Winston-Salem Warthogs Baseball Minor League Baseball (A); Carolina League
Carolina Railhawks Soccer USL First Division; 2007 expansion
Charlotte Eagles Soccer USL Second Division
Wilmington Hammerheads Soccer USL Second Division
Carolina Dynamo Soccer USL Premier Development League
Raleigh Elite Soccer USL Premier Development League
Carolina Lady Dynamo Soccer W-League
Charlotte Lady Eagles Soccer W-League

Other sports teams
Club Sport League
Asheville RFC Rugby union
Cape Fear RFC Rugby union
Charlotte Royals Rugby union
Charlotte RFC Rugby union Rugby Super League
Eno River RFC Rugby union
Gastonia RFC Rugby union
North Carolina Tigers Australian Rules football USAFL/EAFL
Raleigh RFC Rugby union
Triad RFC Rugby union

Miscellaneous topics
The USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship, was named in honor of the state. Now decommissioned, it is part of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington. The ship served in several battles against the forces of Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater of World War Two. Another USS North Carolina, a nuclear attack submarine, is to be commissioned in 2007.

Haw River is the location of the untimely death of blood plasma pioneer Dr. Charles Drew, on April 1, 1950. He was driving a group of his colleagues to a medical conference in Alabama when he apparently dozed off at the wheel, resulting in a crash and the mortal wounds that were the cause of his death. An urban myth developed that he had been denied treatment and allowed to bleed to death, because of his being black, but eyewitnesses, including one of his fellow doctors who was at the hospital, have testified that nothing of the sort happened, as detailed in this article from the Raleigh News and Observer.[10]

State symbols
North Carolina state symbols

State motto: Esse quam videri ("To be, rather than to seem") (1893)
State song: "The Old North State" (1927)
State flower: Dogwood (1941)
State bird: Cardinal (1943)
State colors: the red and blue of the N.C. and U.S. flags (1945)
State toast: The Tar Heel Toast (1957)
State tree: Pine (1963)
State shell: Scotch Bonnet (1965)
State mammal: Eastern Grey Squirrel (1969)
State salt water fish: Channel Bass (1971)
State insect: Honeybee (1973)
State gemstone: Emerald (1973)
State reptile: Eastern Box Turtle (1979)
State rock: Granite (1979)
State beverage: Milk (1987)
State historical boat: Shad boat (1987)
State language: English (1987)
State dog: Plott Hound (1989)
State military academy: Oak Ridge Military Academy (1991)
State tartan: Carolina tartan (1991)
State northeastern watermelon festival: Hertford County Watermelon Festival (1993)
State southeastern watermelon festival: Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival (1993)
State vegetable: Sweet potato (1995)
State red berry: Strawberry (2001)
State blue berry: Blueberry (2001)
State fruit: Scuppernong grape (2001)
State wildflower: Carolina Lily (2003)
State international festival: Folkmoot USA (2003)
State Christmas tree: Fraser Fir (2005)
State carnivorous plant: Venus Flytrap (2005)
State folk dance: Clogging (2005)
State popular dance: Shag (2005)
State freshwater trout: Southern Appalachian Brook Trout (2005)
State birthplace of traditional pottery: the Seagrove area (2005)

Armed Forces Installations
Fort Bragg, near Fayetteville; it is the largest and most comprehensive military base in the United States and is the headquarters of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, NC.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune which, when combined with nearby Marine bases MCAS Cherry Point, Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson, Stone Bay and Courthouse Bay, makes up the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world.
MCAS Cherry Point in Cherry Point, NC is home of the MC Harrier, USN F/A-18 Hornet, and USN F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC
Coast Guard (Part of District 5)
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City
Marine Safety Unit Wilmington
Special Mission Training Center at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
CG Base Fort Macon
CG Station Hobuken
CG Station Oregon Inlet
CG Station Emerald Isle
CG Station Hatteras Isle
CG Station Oak Island
CG Station Wrightsville Beach
CG Station Ocracoke

Interesting city names
Towns/areas with interesting names:

Bat Cave (in Henderson County, near Asheville)
Bear Grass (in Martin County)
Big Lick (in Stanly County)
Blowing Rock (in Watauga County and Caldwell County along the Blue Ridge), so named for the updrafts rising from the Johns River Gorge around a rock pinnacle at the southern edge of town.
Booger Mountain (near Jefferson in Ashe County)
Buies Creek (in Harnett County, near Raleigh)
Bug Hill (in Columbus County)
Cary (in Wake County), often humorously referred to as a false acronym for "Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees"
Chinquapin (in Duplin County)
Climax (in Guilford County, near Greensboro)
Erect, North Carolina (in Robeson County)
Frog Level (in Pitt County)
Frog Pond (in Stanly County)
Frying Pan Landing (in Tyrrell County)
Fuquay-Varina (in Wake County)
Half-Hell Swamp (Brunswick County)
Harkers Island (Carteret County)
Hookerton (in Greene County)
Horneytown (in Forsyth County, near High Point)
Indian Trail (in Union County)
Kill Devil Hills (in Dare County)
Leatherman, (in Macon County)
Level Cross, home of NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty
Lizard Lick (in Wake County, near Raleigh)
Meat Camp (in Watauga County, off NC 194 between Boone and Blowing Rock.
Mount Airy (in Surry County, was the inspiration for Mayberry in the popular TV program The Andy Griffith Show, and is Griffith's birthplace)
Nags Head (in Dare County)
Pilot Mountain, near both its namesake and Mount Airy, referenced on The Andy Griffith Show as "Mount Pilot".
Pinnacle, also near Pilot Mountain
Poor Town, near Ahoskie in Hertford County, ironically located near Rich Square
Red Bug, a "suburb" of Shallotte (Brunswick County)
Rich Square (in Northampton County)
Rockfish (in Hoke County)
Roxboro (in Person County)
Sandy Mush (in Rutherford County)
Shine (west of Snow Hill, NC)
Soul City (in Warren County)
Tickbite (in Pitt County)
Toast (in Surry County, near Mount Airy)
Waxhaw (in Union County)
Welcome (in Davidson County)
Whynot (near Seagrove)
Cities/towns/villages with names of major U.S. cities:

Arlington, North Carolina (Arlington, Virginia)
Aurora, North Carolina (Aurora, Colorado)
Dallas, North Carolina (Dallas, Texas)
Denver, North Carolina (Denver, Colorado)
Jackson, North Carolina (Jackson, Mississippi)
Jacksonville, North Carolina (Jacksonville, Florida)
Jamestown, North Carolina (Jamestown, Virginia or Jamestown, New York)
Nashville, North Carolina (Nashville, Tennessee)
Plymouth, North Carolina (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
Waco, North Carolina (Waco, Texas)
Washington, North Carolina (Washington, D.C.)

The Tar Heel State
Cackalacky or North Cackalacky
Old North State
The Goodliest Land
The Rip Van Winkle State

Wildlife of North Carolina
List of topics related to North Carolina
List of North Carolina Governors
Order of the Long Leaf Pine
North Carolina Award
List of individuals executed in North Carolina
List of television stations in North Carolina
List of radio stations in North Carolina
List of people from North Carolina
List of North Carolina county seats
List of counties in North Carolina
List of cities, towns, and villages in North Carolina
List of unincorporated communities in North Carolina
Scouting in North Carolina
Pulled pork

^ [1] NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on October 24, 2006.
^ Fenn and Wood, Natives and Newcomers, pp. 24-25
^ Powell, North Carolina Through Four Centuries, p. 105
^ a b Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Farlex, Inc. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
^ The Great Seal of North Carolina. NETSTATE. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
^ Gross State Product. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (2006-06-23). Retrieved on 2006-09-12.
^ Per Capita Personal Income. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (September 2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
^ Fishman, China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World, p. 179
^ North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
^ Doctor wants to put end to story hospital refused to treat black physician. The News and Observer Publishing Company. Retrieved on 2006-09-12.


James Clay and Douglas Orr, eds., North Carolina Atlas: Portrait of a Changing Southern State (University of North Carolina Press, 1971).
Crow; Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise; Writing North Carolina History University of North Carolina Press, 1979
Fleer; Jack D. North Carolina Government & Politics University of Nebraska Press, 1994
Hawks; Francis L. History of North Carolina 2 vol 1857
Marianne M. Kersey and Ran Coble, eds., North Carolina Focus: An Anthology on State Government, Politics, and Policy, 2d ed., (Raleigh: North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, 1989).
Lefler; Hugh Talmage. A Guide to the Study and Reading of North Carolina History University of North Carolina Press, 1963)
Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina: The History of a Southern State University of North Carolina Press (1954, 1963, 1973)
Paul Luebke, Tar Heel Politics: Myths and Realities (University of North Carolina Press, 1990).
William S. Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries University of North Carolina Press (1989).


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