North Carolina Atlas
Online Atlas > North Carolina > Museums • Photographs
North Carolina facts and history plus travel and tourism information.
In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano explored North Carolina's Cape Fear area, becoming the first European in the region. Roanoke Island became the site of the first English settlement in 1587, but the whole colony mysteriously disappeared by 1590. North Carolina joined the Union as the 12th state on November 21, 1789.
North Carolina was a Confederate state during the Civil War, and in 1960, the Civil Rights Movement began in Greensboro as a reaction against longstanding discrimination. Since cotton and tobacco have been grown without slave labor, they continue to be major crops for the state's economy.
Beautiful terrain and interesting historical sites in North Carolina fuel the tourism industry. In the west, the Appalachian Mountains are featured by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the east, the Outer Banks, the thin strip of islands facing the Atlantic Ocean and its rough storms, attracts visitors to its beaches. Many lighthouses are found on these islands, including the tallest lighthouse in the country - the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The Wright brothers also took advantage of strong winds at Kitty Hawk, and made their first flight in 1903.
North Carolina Map