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North Carolina Fun Facts

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Discover fun facts about North Carolina!

North Carolina is one of America’s 13 original states. 

In 1789, North Carolina became the twelfth state! 

People of North Carolina call it the Tar Heel State. 

Why’s that? 

Well, back in the day, tar helped to stop leaks from happening on wooden ships. 

Black tar is very messy and would stick to the workers’ heels. 

This event eventually led to the state nickname Tar Heel. 

How interesting!

Fun Facts About North Carolina

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Check out some other unique facts about the wonderful state of North Carolina!

North Carolina Fun Facts 

A Lot of Sweet Potatoes Grow in North Carolina

Did you know that over half of the country’s sweet potatoes grow in North Carolina? 

It’s true! 

North Carolina is the leading sweet potato producer in America! 

In fact, there are roughly 53,000 acres of delicious sweet potato farms in North Carolina. 

In 1995, the sweet potato became the Official Vegetable of North Carolina. 


North Carolina is Home to the Oldest Public University

The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the United States. 

The very first students arrived in 1795. 

By 1798, a total of seven students graduated, making UNC the only school to give diplomas in the eighteenth century! 


UNC now has over 29,000 students that attend each semester.

The Venus Fly Trap Grows in North Carolina

A Venus Fly Trap is a unique insect-eating plant that can live up to 20 years in the wild.

It only grows naturally in a 75-mile radius around Wilmington, NC. 

Venus Fly Traps have both flowers and leaves. 

Flying bugs pollinate the tall flowers on the plant and the lower leaves trap the crawling insects for them to snack on.

Crazy, right?    

Fun Facts About North Carolina

North Carolina had the First Gold Rush

In 1799, a 12-year-old boy named Conrad Reed discovered a large “rock”.

It wasn’t until about 3 years later, when his father took it to a jeweler, that they learned that it was real gold. 

When news got around, the first gold rush in America began. 

The Carolina Gold Rush was the leading gold mining discovery event until 1848. 

At that time, gold found in California started the California Gold Rush.  

The First Plane FLEW in North Carolina

Taking flight on the beaches of Kitty Hawk, NC, the Wright Brothers successfully flew the first airplane on December 17, 1903. 

The first flight, piloted by Mr. Orville Wright, lasted for 12 seconds and went a distance of 120 feet. 

The plane, named The Wright Flyer I, flew three more times after its first flight.

It eventually became wrecked beyond repair and was retired. 

The Wright Brothers made history that day and paved the way for the future of aviation!  

Fun Facts About North Carolina

Interesting North Carolina Facts for Kids

North Carolina is full of unique and interesting fun facts. 

From its surplus of sweet potatoes to being the sight of the first gold rush, North Carolina is pretty amazing!  

Did you know any of these facts? 

Which fact are you most interested in?

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