Posted on April 27, 2018

Fascinating North Carolina State Facts You Need To Know

State Facts You Need To Know

Fascinating North Carolina state facts you need to know include the surprising number of times The Tarheel State was the first to do something (or has the largest or oldest or highest something). We also name some notable North Carolinians in history.

  • The oldest town in North Carolina is Bath, incorporated in 1705
  • Andrew Jackson (born in the Waxsaws area on the border of North and South Carolina in 1767) became the seventh President of the United States (serving 1829-1837)
  • The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States (founded December 11, 1789)
  • James K. Polk (born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 1795) became the eleventh President of the United States (serving 1845-1849)
  • Andrew Johnson (born in Raleigh in 1808) became the seventeenth President of the United States (serving 1865-1869)
  • Hiram Rhoades Revels (born in Fayetteville in 1822) became the first African-American member of the United States Congress
  • George Vanderbilt opens The Biltmore Estate (America’s largest home) located in Asheville, North Carolina to family and friends in 1895
  • Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern (in 1898)
  • The Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk (in 1903)
  • The town of Wendell (named for the American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes) was incorporated (in 1903)
  • Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville (on March 7, 1914)
  • North Carolina was the first state in the nation to establish a museum of art (the North Carolina State Art Society was formed in 1924)
  • The first Krispy Kreme was founded in Winston-Salem (on July 13, 1937)
  • The largest air base in the Marine Corps, Havelock, was commissioned (in 1942)
  • The Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high (the equivalent of a 50-story skyscraper) began construction (in 1942)
  • North Carolina was one of the first states to establish a state symphony (the North Carolina Symphony was founded in 1943)
  • The Mile-High Swinging Bridge near Linville is 5,305 feet above sea level (and hangs about 80 feet above the ground) was built (in 1952)
  • The first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville (in 1954)
  • Beech Mountain is Eastern America’s highest town (at 5,506 feet above sea level); town incorporated in 1981
  • In 1999, Cape Hatteras became the largest lighthouse to ever be moved (2,900 feet from its original location where it stood since 1870) due to erosion problems
  • Today, North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, brick, textile production, and sweet potatoes (our official state vegetable)
  • North Carolina has the largest state-maintained highway system in the United States (currently 77,328 miles of roads)
  • North Carolina has 1,500 lakes (of 10 acres or more in size) and 37,000 miles of fresh water streams
  • Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States
  • Mount Mitchell in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the highest peak east of the Mississippi (towering 6,684 feet above sea level)


Vacationers in North Carolina know they can rely on our regularly inspected North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns association members to provide friendly Southern hospitality, luxurious yet comfortable accommodations, and superior gourmet breakfasts. We also provide delicious complimentary snacks and refreshing beverages.