Celebrating all things North Carolina on this special day

September 28th is National North Carolina Day, a day to celebrate all things NC. And along those lines, here are eleven things you may not have known about "The Old North State."

  • North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the US Constitution on November 21, 1789
  • North Carolina was the first state to establish a state symphony and state museum of art
  • Population of NC: estimated at 10,146,788 as of July 1, 2016
  • Ft. Bragg, NC, is the largest military installation in the nation in terms of population, housing more than 50,000 active duty personnel
  • North Carolina is the number one producer of sweet potatoes in the US, producing more than half the sweet potatoes grown in the country
  • In 1893, "Brad's Drink," a mixture of water, sugar, caramel, and other natural ingredients, became an overnight sensation in New Bern, NC. Five years later, inventor Caleb Bradham renamed his drink "Pepsi-Cola."
  • Seven coastal lighthouses line the NC coast, including the nation's tallest lighthouse, Cape Hatteras
  • The majority of the land now known as the State of Tennessee was originally part of North Carolina
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation's first public university, opening its doors to students in 1795
  • North Carolina has the nation's second largest system of state-maintained roads, and became known as the "Good Roads State" in the 1920s
  • The first official NASCAR stock car race took place in North Carolina -- the Charlotte Speedway, June 14, 1949

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