Welcome to the Tar Heel State!
I’m referring to North Carolina of course.
Why is it called the Tar Heel State? Evidence suggests the name came from North Carolina’s long history as a producer of tar, pitch, rosin, and turpentine. These naval stores all came from our states massive pine forests.
If you are just making North Carolina your home, OR you slept through history class, here are a few interesting facts about the best place on earth to live.
- Too legitOur state motto is deep: Esse quam videri, which means:
To be rather than to seem.
- Higher education is old.The University of North Carolina is the oldest State University in the ENTIRE United States of America.
- First in Flight
Oooh, this one can get a little touchy! Ohio was home to the Wright Brothers and there have been a few bold articles suggesting that North Carolina needs to remove the “First in Flight” stamp that’s printed across our license plates.BUT we can’t help the facts! North Carolina is just awesome. Including our wind. Our gorgeous, gusty, winds that simple ignite genius in those who feel the air rushing past their face is obviously where any genius would want to be. Oh, and I suppose those winds are good for helping an aircraft get off the ground and sustain flight too.The beaches of Kitty Hawk (located in North Carolina… not Ohio… for those keeping track) were perfect and in 1902 the Wrights Brothers came here and made more than 700 successful flights.
And that is how North Carolina is First in Flight.
- Our water comes from high placesWe have the highest waterfall in the eastern US. Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County.
- Spelling mattersWe are the Tar Heel State (2 words) and the University of North Carolina’s mascot is the Tarheel (1 word). A spelling test to follow this article. 😉
- Ready for battleBattleship North Carolina is permanently stationed on the Cape Fear River by downtown Wilmington. She was set to be scrapped in the 1960’s by was saved by the public!
- We like it hotKrispy Kreme Doughnut was founded in Winston-Salem in 1937. Which means, you must pull into Krispy Kreme when the Hot Sign is on. It’s part of being North Carolinian.
- Die fly! DIE!The Venus Fly-Trap is native to NC! Roses don’t kill flies. But the Venus Fly-Trap does! That’s right. North Carolina natives are both useful AND ornamental.
- We fancyAshville is home to the fancy-schmancy Biltmore Estate. The LARGEST PRIVATE HOME IN AMERICA.A whopping 255 rooms, an award-winning winery, and stunning garden.Pinkies up!
- Creative minds appreciate creative mindsNC was the first state in the nation to establish a state museum of art.
- Surrounded by waterThe ocean only spans one of our boarders. But we have water everywhere! We have 1500 lakes that are at least 10 acres in size, plus over 37,000 miles of fresh water streams.
- Brad’s DrinkThat was the first name Caleb Bradhem gave to his creation, Pepsi Cola, which he came up with in New Bern.
- SweeeeetMarshmallows. Cayenne pepper. Eat your sweet potatoes however you want because we have plenty (try this delicious sweet potato cheesecake recipe)! NC is the top sweet potato producer in the country. No wonder so many local restaurants serve them up! Folks here often enjoy them as a side to Stump Sound Oysters.
- Pirates of NCThe Graveyard of the Atlantic is an area by the Outer Banks where more than one thousand shipwrecks have been discovered.*This is the Belle of Topsail who succumbed to the winds and waves of Hurricane Florence. She did not become a number in the Graveyard, thank goodness! You can read about her history at sea, here.
- Got beaches?Yes, we do. 300 miles of barrier-island beaches! Yep. That’s a lot of beaches.
If you can recite the following information from memory/knowledge, you get a gold star.