North Carolina, what a great place to enjoy snow skiiing in the mountains, NFL football in Charlotte, NASCAR at Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, and miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches.
We attract large numbers of visitors and vacationers each year due to the proximity of the mountains and beaches, our congenial climate, and many tourist attractions. Chief among the tourist attractions are the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Cape Lookout National Seashore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mts. National Park. Wildlife abounds in national forests (the state has four) and in the Dismal Swamp. Places of historic interest include Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, on Roanoke Island; the Wright Brothers National Memorial, at Kitty Hawk; Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, at Flatrock; and Guilford Courthouse and Moores Creek national military parks.
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 8,049,313, a 21.4% increase since the 1990 census.
Largest city, Charlotte.
Motto, Esse Quam Videri [To Be Rather than to Seem].
State bird, cardinal.
State flower, dogwood.
State tree, pine.
North Carolina leads the nation in the production of tobacco and is a major producer of textiles and furniture. It grows 40% of all U.S. tobacco, but the continuing trend is toward diversification. Broilers, hogs, turkeys, greenhouse products, sweet potatoes, corn, soybeans, peanuts, and eggs are important. Plentiful forests supply the thriving furniture and lumber industries. The state has long been a major textile manufacturer, producing cotton, synthetic, and silk goods as well as various kinds of knit items. Other leading manufactures are electrical machinery, computers, and chemicals; the Research Triangle complex near Chapel Hill has spurred high-tech manufacturing, as well as bringing federal jobs into the state. The state also has mineral resources: It leads the nation in the production of feldspar, mica, and lithium materials and produces substantial quantities of olivine, crushed granite, talc, clays, and phosphate rock. There are valuable coastal fisheries, with shrimp, menhaden, and crabs the principal catches. Charlotte developed in the 1980s into a major U.S. banking center, and related businesses have flourished in the area.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.