Quick Facts

Population: 10,042,802
Capital: Raleigh
Nickname: The Tarheel State

State Flower: Dogwood Blossom

State Bird: Cardinal

State Carnivorous Plant: Venus Fly Trap

Historical Sites

NC State Capitol

The State Capitol building, standing in the center of Raleigh, is the historical center of North Carolina’s government. The building was constructed from 1833 to 1840, designed in the Greek Revival style by the renowned American architects Ithiel Town, Alexander Jackson Davis, and David Paton. The Governor’s Office and the legislature, the NC General Assembly, both met in the building until 1963, when the General Assembly relocated to the new legislative building. Today, the Capitol continues to house the Governor’s Office.

USS North Carolina

The battleship USS North Carolina was launched in 1940 and served throughout the United States’ time in the Second World War. During the war, North Carolina served primarily in the Pacific Theater, fighting the Japanese in the battles of Guadalcanal, the Eastern Solomans, the Gilbert Islands, the Marianas, and the Philippine Sea. During the fighting at Guadalcanal, the battleship survived a direct torpedo hit below the waterline that threatened to flood the ship. Over the course of the war, she earned a total of 15 battle stars, making her the most highly decorated U.S. battleship of WWII. After the war, North Carolina was decommissioned from service in 1947, and in 1962 was converted to a museum ship in Wilmington, NC, where she remains today.

Mount Mitchell

Mount Mitchell, located in the Appalachian Mountains in Yancey County, NC, is 6,684 feet above sea level, making the highest peak in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The mountain is named after Elisha Mitchell, a University of North Carolina professor who first measured its height in 1835. Today, visitors can access the mountain more easily through a short road off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a trail that leads up to a new visitor’s observation deck. The mountain is coated with evergreen Red Spruce and Fraser Fir trees, whose dark coloration gives the surrounding range the name the Black Mountains. Mount Mitchell is also where, on January 21, 1985, the coldest temperature ever recorded in North Carolina was measured, at -35 Degrees Fahrenheit.

Tryon Palace

The reconstruction of Tryon Palace is located in New Bern, NC in Craven County. Before the American Revolution, when North Carolina was a British colony, New Bern was the capital of North Carolina, and Tryon Palace was the official mansion for the royal colonial governor. Constructed from 1766 to 1770 under the administration of Governor William Tryon, it was the most lavish building yet constructed in North Carolina, and required extra taxes to be levied on the people to cover the expenses. When the American Revolution began in 1775, Patriot militia seized the building and converted it into the first State Capitol, used until the capital was moved to Raleigh in 1792. The Palace was destroyed by a fire in 1798, but was reconstructed from 1945 to 1959 as part of the restoration of Colonial New Bern.

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina

The State’s Seal was commissioned by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1871. In the foreground, it depicts two female figures; Liberty stands on the left, holding the Constitution in her right hand and a liberty pole in her left, while Plenty stands on the right, holding three grains of wheat in her right hand and a full cornucopia in her left. In the background, a landscape of mountains to the sea is depicted. At the top of the Seal, the date, May 20, 1775--the date of the Mecklenberg Declaration of Independence, the first such declaration of the American Revolution--is inscribed, while the date April 12, 1776--when the Halifax Resolves were adopted by the state legislature to declare the state’s independence--is written along the bottom of the seal. Finally, at the bottom of the Seal’s rim, the state’s Latin motto--Esse Quam Videri--To Be, Rather than to Seem--is inscribed.

University of North Carolina

In 1789 the first public university in the United States was chartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After opening its doors for students in 1795, UNC quickly grew into one of the leading research universities in the world. The University launched the growth of higher education in North Carolina and the U.S. Carolina is proud to continually rank as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. North Carolina offers one of the best education systems in the nation via outstanding state community colleges and university systems to exceptional private institutions. North Carolina’s education system provides its citizens remarkable opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive, resulting in a better tomorrow for the Good Old North State.

First in Flight

On December 17, 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright’s dream of flying came true in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Covering 120 feet and lasting only 12 seconds, the Wright brothers flew the first successful airplane flight above the dunes of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The Wright Brothers’ achievements radically changed our world. From this event, North Carolina is recognized as the state “first in flight.”

US Presidents born in North Carolina

North Carolina is the birthplace for three of our Nation’s Presidents – Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. Andrew Jackson was born in the Waxhaws region of North Carolina. Jackson served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829-1837. James K. Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Polk served as the eleventh president of the United States from 1845-1849. Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Johnson served as the seventeenth President of the United States from 1865-1869. The Three Presidents statue in front of the North Carolina Capitol Building in Raleigh commemorates the work of these three men.

Military History

Revolutionary War

Battle of Guilford Court House

On March 15, 1781, an American force under the command of General Nathaniel Greene clashed with a British force under Lord Charles Cornwallis near the Guilford County Court House in Greensboro, NC. Cornwallis’ army had been marching through the Carolinas in pursuit of Greene and in order to recruit Loyalist militia to fight alongside the British regulars. At Guilford Court House, the 2,100 man British army faced approximately 4,500 Americans, consisting mainly of North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland militia. Despite being outnumbered, the British launched an assault and after 90 minutes of heavy fighting forced the mostly poorly trained and equipped American militia to flee the field. Both sides suffered roughly even casualties. However, the smaller British army, despite winning the field, was more damaged by the casualties and was forced to abandon the Carolinas and retreat to Yorktown, VA, where it would be surrounded and eventually forced to surrender to a joint American-French force. In this way, the Americans who fought at Guilford Court House inflicted a “Pyrrhic” victory on the British, whereby the British won the battle but emerged with a worse-off strategic position.

Civil War

Battle of Fort Fisher

In the Civil War, the Confederate States, with little industry of their own, survived through importing weapons and supplies from Great Britain and other countries. Because the Union’s navy controlled the seas, they relied on “blockade runners” to smuggle these supplies into the Confederacy. One of the most important bases for blockade runners was Wilmington, NC, protected by the massive earthworks and cannon of Fort Fisher. In December 1864, Union warships bombarded the fort and troops and landed along its shores, but they failed to capture the fort. In January 1865, the Union launched a second attempt with a larger force of 9,000 troops. After breaching the fortifications, the Union troops poured through and forced the Confederate defenders to surrender, after both sides suffered heavy casualties. With the fall of Fort Fisher and the capture of Wilmington the next month, the Confederacy lost its last remaining sea port, and the ability to resupply its few remaining troops in the field.

Battle of Bentonville

In March 1865, the Confederate army of General Joseph E. Johnston attacked the Union army of General William T. Sherman near Bentonville, NC, in Johnson County. This would be the last significant Confederate offensive of the Civil War. Johnston’s force of 22,000 men attacked the left wing of Sherman’s force of 60,000 men, but the Union defenders held strong and eventually brought up the other units of their army to launch a counterattack and force the Confederates to retreat north. Johnston would surrender his army to Sherman near Durham, NC that April, effectively ending the war by taking the last Confederate army out of the war.

Elected Officials

U.S. Senators

Richard Burr

DC Office
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Thom Tillis

DC Office
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

U.S. House of Representatives

George "G.K." Butterfield, Jr.

1st District
2080 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Walter Jones, Jr.

3rd District
2333 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Virginia Foxx

5th District
2262 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

David Rouzer

7th District
424 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Robert Pittenger

9th District
224 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Mark Meadows

11th District
1024 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Ted Budd

13th District
118 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20115

George Holding

2nd District
1110 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

David Price

4th District
2108 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Mark Walker

6th District
1305 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Richard Hudson

8th District
429 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Patrick McHenry

10th District
2334 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Alma Adams

12th District
222 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515