U.S. states/North Carolina/Facts and information

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North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United states. It was one of the original thirteen colonies and now borders Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Size: 52,669 square miles (28th in country)

Nickname: Tar Heel State -- the origin is clothed in mystery, but it probably evolved from the fact that during the Colonial period, the colony’s chief exports were tar, pitch and turpentine.

Origin of Name: North Carolina is named in honor of King Charles I of England, from the Latin “Carolus.”

Song: “The Old North State” by Judge William Gaston

Rock: Granite

"State Bird": Cardinal

"Highest point": Mt. Mitchell-6684'above sea level

Vegetable: Sweet Potato

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

• On January 15, 1795, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first state university in the country to open its doors for students.

• The first silver mine in the country was the Silver Hill Mine, which opened in 1833 about 10 miles from Lexington.

• Putt-Putt Golf(also known as mini golf) was invented in Fayetteville.

• The first forestry school in the United States was established in Transylvania County in 1898 by Dr. Carl A. Schenck.

• The first abbey cathedral in North America was Belmont Abbey – located in Belmont, North Carolina – established by a papal edict in 1910.

• Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.

• The Tar Heel State has more paved miles of road than any other state in the United States – over 78,000 miles.

• The first state-supported institution to emphasize the performing arts was the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.

• Millions of years ago, the area was home to 50-foot-long alligators, and huge megalodon sharks roamed the waters.

• The New River, which runs through Ashe County, is the oldest river in North America and second oldest in the world.

• More than 120 species of trees are found in North Carolina – more than can be found from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean.

• North Carolina boasts more than 200 waterfalls, including the highest on the East Coast: the 411-foot-high, two-tiered Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County.

• North Carolina has 1,500 lakes 10 acres or more in size and 37,000 miles of fresh water streams.

• There are more than 1.2 million acres of national forest land in the Tar Heel State.

• Blackbeard, America’s most famous pirate, established a residence and married his 14th wife in Bath, NC, in 1718.

• At around 500 million years old, the North Carolina Uwharrie Mountains are the oldest in the nation and among the oldest in the world.

• Cape Hatteras lighthouse, built of brick in 1870, is 208 feet tall, making it the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States.

It is said that North Carolina is a "valley of humility between two mountains of conceit".