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North Carolina Firsts

  • The Wright brothers completed the first successful flight of a mechanically propelled airplane over the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903.
  • The University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States to open its doors.
  • The first known miniature golf course was in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 
  • Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914. 
  • The first English child born in America, Virginia Dare, was born in Roanoke, North Carolina, in 1587.
  • Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775.
  • Cabarrus County, North Carolina, was the site of America's first gold rush.
  • What was probably the first drawbridge built in the United States was built over the Cape Fear River.
  • The first state art museum in the country is located in Raleigh.
  • The first Pepsi was created and served in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898
  • The first outdoor drama in America, The Lost Colony , is staged every year in Manteo, North Carolina.


  • Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain in the eastern United States.
  • Jockey's Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Depending on the weather, its height can range from 80 to 100 feet!
  • Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County, one of over 200 waterfalls in North Carolina, is the highest waterfall on the East Coast.
  • The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the largest private house in the world, with 250 rooms.
  • Grandfather Mountain is home to the nation's highest swinging bridge-one mile high.
  • The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the United States.
  • Albemarle Sound is the largest freshwater sound in the world.
  • Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.
  • The world's smallest daily newspaper is the Tryon Daily Bulletin.
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