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7 Things You Didn’t Know About The History of North Carolina

Carly Rutledge

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One of the 13 original colonies, North Carolina is filled with historical events that even many natives are in the dark about. The state was given its title, North Carolina way back in 1663. It was then that King Charles II declared the land between the Virginia Colony and Florida to be the Carolina charter. Centuries later, we can reflect on the numerous historical movements that developed our beloved Tar-heel State. Here are 7 events in the history of North Carolina that you really should know.

1. North Carolina Was the First State to Vote for Independence

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Following the Battle of Lexington, North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England. On May 20, 1775, a group of military leaders met in Mecklenburg county to sign the “Mecklenburg Declaration”. One year later the rest of the colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.

2. North Carolina Native Andrew Jackson Became the 7th President

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thepapersofandrewjackson.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014

In 1828 Andrew Jackson from the Waxhaws region became the seventh president of the United States. Nicknamed “Old Hickory,” Andrew Jackson expanded the country westward and during his term, he admitted Michigan and Arkansas into the union.

3. North Carolina Native James Polk Became the 11th President

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iloveusa.com/wp-content/themes/iloveusa/images/presidents

A few terms after Jackson, another NC native, James Polk became the eleventh president in 1845. President Polk pushed for the annexation of Texas into the Union. It took some time, but eventually, the state joined the Union in December 1845 making Texas the 28th state.

4. Famous Civil War Battles Happened Here

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civilwartalk.com/attachments/1001146_261559577318903_

Between 1861 and 1865, Civil War battles took place in North Carolina killing more than 40,000 North Carolinians.

5. The First Successful Flight Occured at Kitty Hawk

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wright-brothers.org/Information_Desk/Just_the_Facts

In 1903 the Wright brothers (Orville and Wilbur) made the man’s first successful flight at Kitty Hawk.

6. The Greensboro Sit-ins Played a Major Role in the Fight for Civil Rights

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joelrieves.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sit-in.jpg

The first sit-in to protest segregation was at the lunch counter in 1960 at F.W. Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina. At the time, Woolworths wouldn’t allow black people to eat or drink in the restaurant.

The first sit-in occurred on February 1st, 1960 when four freshmen from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University decided to protest segregation. These four students later became known as The Greensboro Four. Their names are Joseph McNeilFranklin McCainEzell Blair Jr., and David Richmond. This sit-in set off a series of more sit-ins that continued through July of the same year. By the end, over 70,000 people participated in sit-ins contributing greatly to the coming Civil Rights Act.

7. Most Confederate Recruits Came From North Carolina

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North Carolina sent more recruits to fight in the Civil War on the Confederacy side than any other rebel state. After seceding from the Union on May 20, 1861, General John Coke called for 30,000 recruits from North Carolina.


The history of North Carolina is important to the whole nation, and even the world. From birthing presidents to fighting in the Civil War, to aircraft travel, to contributing greatly to the Civil Rights Movement, the history of North Carolina is long and important.

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