Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. was an American professional auto racing driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR. The third child of racing driver Ralph Earnhardt and first of two to Martha Coleman, he began his career in 1975 in the World 600 as part of the Winston Cup Series. Regarded as one of the most significant drivers in NASCAR history, Earnhardt won a total of 76 Winston Cup races over the course of his career, including the 1998 Daytona 500, he earned seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships, tying for the most all-time with Richard Petty. This feat, accomplished in 1994, was not equaled again for 22 years until Jimmie Johnson in 2016, his aggressive driving style earned him the nicknames "The Intimidator", "The Man in Black", "The Count of Monte Carlo". His success at the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega earned him the nickname, "Mr. Restrictor Plate". In February 2001, Earnhardt was killed in a collision during the final lap of the Daytona 500, an event, lamented in the racing industry.
Earnhardt has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2010. Of German ancestry, Dale Earnhardt was born on April 29, 1951, in Kannapolis, North Carolina, as the third child of Martha and Ralph Earnhardt. Earnhardt's father was one of the best short-track drivers in North Carolina at the time and won his first and only NASCAR Sportsman Championship in 1956 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, South Carolina. Although Ralph did not want his son to pursue a career as a race car driver, Dale dropped out of school to pursue his dreams. Ralph was a hard teacher for Dale, after Ralph died of a heart attack at his home in 1973 at age 45, it took many years before Dale felt as though he had "proven" himself to his father. Earnhardt had four siblings: two brothers and Randy. In 1968, at the age of 17, Earnhardt married Latane Brown. With her, Earnhardt fathered Kerry, a year later. Earnhardt and Latane divorced in 1970. In 1971, Earnhardt married his second wife, Brenda Gee, the daughter of NASCAR car builder Robert Gee.
In his marriage with Gee, Earnhardt had two more children: a daughter, Kelley King Earnhardt, in 1972, a son, Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1974. Not long after Dale Jr. was born and Gee divorced. Earnhardt married his third and final wife, Teresa Houston, in 1982, she gave birth to their daughter, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, in 1988. Taylor and her husband, Brandon Putnam, are professional rodeo performers. Earnhardt began his professional career in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1975, making his debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina in the longest race on the Cup circuit—the 1975 World 600, he drove the No. 8 Ed Niegre Dodge Charger and finished 22nd in that race, just one spot ahead of his future car owner, Richard Childress. Earnhardt competed in eight more races until 1979; when he joined car owner Rod Osterlund Racing in a season that included a rookie class of future stars including Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Terry Labonte in his rookie season, Earnhardt won one race at Bristol, captured four poles, scored eleven Top 5s and seventeen Top 10s, finished seventh in the points standings despite missing four races due to a broken collarbone, winning Rookie of the Year honors.
During his sophomore season, now with 20-year-old Doug Richert as his crew chief, began the season winning the Busch Clash. With wins at Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte, Earnhardt won his first Winston Cup points championship, he is the only driver in NASCAR Winston Cup history to follow a Rookie of the Year title with a NASCAR Winston Cup Championship the next season. He was the third driver in NASCAR history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cup Series championship, following David Pearson and Richard Petty. Only seven drivers have joined this exclusive club since: Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch. In 1981, after Osterlund sold his team to J. D. Stacy, Earnhardt left for Richard Childress Racing and finished the season seventh in the points standings but winless; the following year, at Childress's suggestion, Earnhardt joined car owner Bud Moore for the 1982 and 1983 seasons driving the No. 15 Wrangler Jeans-sponsored Ford Thunderbird.
During the 1982 season, Earnhardt struggled. Although he won at Darlington, he failed to finish 15 races and completed the season 12th in points, the worst of his career, he suffered a broken kneecap at Pocono Raceway when he flipped after contact with Tim Richmond. In 1983, Earnhardt won his first of 12 Twin 125 Daytona 500 qualifying races, he won at Talladega, finishing eighth in the points standings. After the 1983 season, Earnhardt returned to Richard Childress Racing, replacing Ricky Rudd in the No. 3. Rudd went to Bud Moore's No. 15, replacing Earnhardt. Wrangler sponsored both drivers at their respective teams. During the 1984 and 1985 seasons, Earnhardt went to victory lane six times, at Talladega, Richmond and Martinsville, where he finished fourth and eighth in the season standings respectively; the 1986 season saw Earnhardt win his second career Winston Cup Championship and the first owner's championship for Richard Childress Racing. He had 10 top-fives and 16 top-10s. Earnhardt defended his championship the following year, going to victory lane 11 tim
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States. Raleigh is the second-largest city in the state, after Charlotte. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city; the city covers a land area of 142.8 square miles. The U. S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population as 479,332 as of July 1, 2018, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County. Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University and is part of Research Triangle Park, together with Durham and Chapel Hill; the "Triangle" nickname originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located in Durham and Wake counties, among the three cities and their universities. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U. S. Census Bureau's Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 2,037,430 in 2013.
The Raleigh metropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 1,214,516 in 2013. Most of Raleigh is located within Wake County, with a small portion extending into Durham County; the towns of Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Wendell and Rolesville are some of Raleigh's primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns. Raleigh is an early example in the United States of a planned city. Following the American Revolutionary War when the US gained independence, this was chosen as the site of the state capital in 1788 and incorporated in 1792 as such; the city was laid out in a grid pattern with the North Carolina State Capitol in Union Square at the center. During the American Civil War, the city was spared from any significant battle, it fell to the Union in the closing days of the war, struggled with the economic hardships in the postwar period related to the reconstitution of labor markets, over-reliance on agriculture, the social unrest of the Reconstruction Era. Following the establishment of the Research Triangle Park in 1959, several tens of thousands of jobs were created in the fields of science and technology, it became one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States by the early 21st century.
Bath, the oldest town in North Carolina, was the first nominal capital of the colony from 1705 until 1722, when Edenton took over the role. The colony had no permanent institutions of government until the new capital New Bern was established in 1743. In December 1770, Joel Lane petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly to create a new county. On January 5, 1771, the bill creating Wake County was passed in the General Assembly; the county was formed from portions of Cumberland and Johnston counties. The county was named for the wife of Governor William Tryon; the first county seat was Bloomsbury. New Bern, a port town on the Neuse River 35 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, was the largest city and the capital of North Carolina during the American Revolution; when the British Army laid siege to the city, that site could no longer be used. Raleigh was chosen as the site of the new capital in 1788, as its central location protected it from attacks from the coast, it was established in 1792 as both county seat and state capital.
The city was named for sponsor of Roanoke, the "lost colony" on Roanoke Island. The city's location was chosen, in part, for being within 11 mi of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a popular tavern frequented by the state legislators. No known city or town existed on the chosen city site. Raleigh is one of the few cities in the United States, planned and built to serve as a state capital, its original boundaries were formed by the downtown streets of North, East and South. The plan, a grid with two main axes meeting at a central square and an additional square in each corner, was based on Thomas Holme's 1682 plan for Philadelphia; the North Carolina General Assembly first met in Raleigh in December 1794, granted the city a charter, with a board of seven appointed commissioners and an "Intendant of Police" to govern it. In 1799, the N. C. Minerva and Raleigh Advertiser was the first newspaper published in Raleigh. John Haywood was the first Intendant of Police. In 1808, Andrew Johnson, the nation's future 17th President, was born at Casso's Inn in Raleigh.
The city's first water supply network was completed in 1818, although due to system failures, the project was abandoned. In 1819 Raleigh's first volunteer fire company was founded, followed in 1821 by a full-time fire company. In 1817, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina was headquartered in Raleigh. In 1831, a fire destroyed the North Carolina State House. Two years reconstruction began with quarried gneiss being delivered by the first railroad in the state. Raleigh celebrated the completions of the new State Capitol and new Raleigh & Gaston Railroad Company in 1840. In 1853, the first State Fair was held near Raleigh; the first institution of higher learning in Raleigh, Peace College, was established in 1857. Raleigh's Historic Oakwood contains many houses from the 19th century that are still in good condition. North Carolina seceded from the Union. After the Civil War began, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance ordered the construction of breastworks around the city as protection from
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the most populous city in the U. S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2017, the U. S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 859,035, making it the 17th-most populous city in the United States; the Charlotte metropolitan area's population ranks 22nd in the U. S. and had a 2016 population of 2,474,314. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2016 census-estimated population of 2,632,249. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U. S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, it tops the 50 largest U. S. cities as the millennial hub. It is the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Florida, it is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. It is listed as a "gamma" global city by World Cities Research Network. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States since 1995. Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Charlotte Independence of the USL, the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse, two NASCAR Cup Series races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, the U. S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate, it is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city; the Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records.
By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from smallpox, endemic among Europeans, because the Catawba had no acquired immunity to the new disease. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, but by 1826 their total population had dropped to 110; the European-American city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding European population in the backcountry. German immigrants settled the area before the American Revolutionary War, but in much smaller numbers, they still contributed to the early foundations of the region. Mecklenburg County was part of Bath County of New Hanover Precinct, which became New Hanover County in 1729; the western portion of New Hanover split into Bladen County in 1734, its western portion splitting into Anson County in 1750. Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762.
Further apportionment was made in 1792, after the American Revolutionary War, with Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg. In 1842, Union County formed from Mecklenburg's southeastern portion and a western portion of Anson County; these areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the Salisbury District. The area, now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood. Thomas Polk, who married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path was part of the Great Wagon Road. Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents.
He wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest". Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become "Charlotte Town", incorporating in 1768; the crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of Uptown Charlotte. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development; the east–west trading path became Trade Street, the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon," or "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square". While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte Town, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs". Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that led to the American Revolution.
May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's state flag and state seal bea
North Carolina State Capitol
The North Carolina State Capitol is the former seat of the legislature of the U. S. state of North Carolina which housed all of the state's government until 1888. The Supreme Court and State Library moved into a separate building in 1888, the General Assembly moved into the State Legislative Building in 1963. Today, their immediate staff occupy offices on the first floor of the Capitol; the building was built following the destruction by fire of the first North Carolina State House in 1831, today houses the offices of the Governor of North Carolina. It is located in the state capital of Raleigh on Union Square at One East Edenton Street; the cornerstone of the Greek Revival building was laid with Masonic honors by the Grand Master of North Carolina Masons Simmons Jones Baker on July 4, 1833. Construction was completed in 1840, it was designed by the architectural firm of Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis. Credited to that team, the design of the capitol was the result of a sequence of work by William Nichols, Sr. and his son William Nichols, Jr.
Town and Davis, David Paton. The Capitol housed the entire state government until 1888, the North Carolina General Assembly met in the capitol building until 1961; the legislature relocated to its current location in the North Carolina State Legislative Building in 1963. The North Carolina Supreme Court has convened in the building in the past, most meeting in the capitol's senate chamber in 2005 while the Supreme Court Building was undergoing renovations; the Governor and the governor's immediate staff has continued to occupy offices in the building. The Capitol remains unaltered from its 1840 state. Only three rooms have been altered through remodeling: the two committee rooms in the east and west wings of the second floor, which were divided horizontally to provide space for restrooms, the office in the east wing of the first floor, part of which had to be cut away to permit space for an elevator to be installed in 1951; the Capitol was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973 and the building is located in the Capitol Area Historic District.
List of National Historic Landmarks in North Carolina National Register of Historic Places listings in Wake County, North Carolina List of state and territorial capitols in the United States Media related to North Carolina State Capitol at Wikimedia Commons North Carolina State Capitol NC State Capitol Foundation The North Carolina State Capitol: Pride of the State, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan
Beaufort, North Carolina
Beaufort is a town in and the county seat of Carteret County, North Carolina, United States. Established in 1709 and incorporated in 1723, Beaufort is the third-oldest town in North Carolina. On February 1, 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine; the population was 4,039 at the 2010 census. It is sometimes confused with a city of the same name in South Carolina. Beaufort is located in North Carolina's "Inner Banks" region; the town is home to the North Carolina Maritime Museum, the Duke University Marine Laboratory, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research. It is the location of the Rachel Carson Coastal Reserve; the Beaufort Historic District, Carteret County Home, Gibbs House, Jacob Henry House, Old Burying Ground are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In June 1718 Blackbeard the pirate ran his flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge and his sloop Adventure, aground near present-day Beaufort Inlet, NC.
The Queen Anne's Revenge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 with the reference number 04000148. Thirty two years in August 1750, at least three Spanish merchantmen ran aground in North Carolina during a hurricane. One of the three, the El Salvador, sank near Cape Lookout. Beaufort is located south of the center of Carteret County at 34°43′N 76°39′W, it is located on a channel leading south to the Atlantic Ocean. To the west is the tidal Newport River, separating the town from Morehead City. To the east is the unincorporated neighborhood of Lenoxville, extending to the North River, another tidal river. U. S. Route 70 passes through Beaufort, leading west across the Newport River to Morehead City and northeast 31 miles to its end in the town of Atlantic. According to the United States Census Bureau, Beaufort has a total area of 5.6 square miles, of which 4.6 square miles is land and 1.0 square mile, or 17.75%, is water. As of the census of 2008, there were 4,189 people, 1,780 households, 1,048 families residing in the town.
The population density was 1,374.4 people per square mile. There were 2,187 housing units at an average density of 797.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 75.87% White, 19.99% African American, 0.37% Asian, 0.11% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.39% from other races, 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.77% of the population. There were 1,780 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.1% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.65. In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.1 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males. The median income for a household in the town was $28,763, the median income for a family was $39,429. Males had a median income of $30,859 versus $22,955 for females; the per capita income for the town was $19,356. About 13.3% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.0% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over. Beaufort uses a council-manager form of government; the community elects five council members. Mayors serve two-year terms, council members serve staggered four-year terms. Beaufort Elementary School Tiller School Beaufort Middle School Beaufort students attend East Carteret High School, located north of town Nicholas School of the Environment Marine Lab US 70 NC 101 Michael J. Smith Field Beaufort hosts several annual events, including: Beaufort Music Festival North Carolina Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show BARTA Fishing Tournament Beaufort Pirate Invasion Beaufort Wine and Food FestivalBeaufort is home to the Carteret County main public library.
On February 1, 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine. Beaufort NC was named a 2015 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. According to Beaufort Sister Cities, Inc. the city of Beaufort has 19 sister cities: Beaufort Historic Site National Register of Historic Places listings in Carteret County, North Carolina Beaufort, North Carolina travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website Beaufort, NC info on InsiderInfo. Us NOAA Beaufort Laboratory
Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike most ball games and does not utilize a standardized playing area, coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game; the game at the usual level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller having 9 holes. Each hole on the course must contain a tee box to start from, a putting green containing the actual hole or cup 4 1⁄4 inches in diameter. There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough and various hazards but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most seen format at all levels, but most at the elite level.
The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf's first major, the world's oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship known as the British Open, first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland; this is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters, the U. S. Open, the PGA Championship. While the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated; some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, evolved into the modern game. Others cite chuiwan as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and fourteenth centuries. A Ming Dynasty scroll dating back to 1368 entitled "The Autumn Banquet" shows a member of the Chinese Imperial court swinging what appears to be a golf club at a small ball with the aim of sinking it into a hole.
The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as chambot in France; the Persian game chaugán is another possible ancient origin. In addition, kolven was played annually in Loenen, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V, a year earlier; the modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503–1504: "For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with". To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records.
The oldest surviving rules of golf were compiled in March 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers renamed The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, played at Leith, Scotland. The world's oldest golf tournament in existence, golf's first major, is The Open Championship, first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, with Scottish golfers winning the earliest majors. Two Scotsmen from Dunfermline, John Reid and Robert Lockhart, first demonstrated golf in the U. S. by setting up a hole in an orchard in 1888, with Reid setting up America's first golf club the same year, Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Yonkers, New York. A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground, set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway and other hazards, the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin and cup; the levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right.
This is called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and "dogleg right" if it bends right. Sometimes, a hole's direction may bend twice. A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes. Early Scottish golf courses were laid out on links land, soil-covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches; this gave rise to the term "golf links" applied to seaside courses and those built on sandy soil inland. The first 18-hole golf course in the United States was on a sheep farm in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1892; the course is still there today. Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout; each hole is played once in the round on a standard course of 18 holes. The game can be played by any number of people, although a typ
North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U. S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties; the capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City; the state has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell, the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River. The climate of the coastal plains is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than 300 miles from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate. Woodland-culture Native Americans were in the area around 1000 BCE.
During this time, important buildings were constructed as flat-topped buildings. By 1550, many groups of American Indians lived in present-day North Carolina, including Chowanoke, Pamlico, Coree, Cape Fear Indians, Waxhaw and Catawba. Juan Pardo explored the area in 1566–1567, establishing Fort San Juan in 1567 at the site of the Native American community of Joara, a Mississippian culture regional chiefdom in the western interior, near the present-day city of Morganton; the fort lasted only 18 months. A expedition by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe followed in 1584, at the direction of Sir Walter Raleigh. In June 1718, the pirate Blackbeard ran his flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, in present-day Carteret County. After the grounding her crew and supplies were transferred to smaller ships. In November, after appealing to the governor of North Carolina, who promised safe-haven and a pardon, Blackbeard was killed in an ambush by troops from Virginia.
In 1996 Intersal, Inc. a private firm, discovered the remains of a vessel to be the Queen Anne's Revenge, added to the US National Register of Historic Places. North Carolina became one of the English Thirteen Colonies and with the territory of South Carolina was known as the Province of North-Carolina; the northern and southern parts of the original province separated in 1729. Settled by small farmers, sometimes having a few slaves, who were oriented toward subsistence agriculture, the colony lacked cities or towns. Pirates menaced the coastal settlements. Growth was strong in the middle of the 18th century, as the economy attracted Scots-Irish, Quaker and German immigrants. A majority of the colonists supported the American Revolution, a smaller number of Loyalists than in some other colonies such as Georgia, South Carolina, New York. During colonial times, Edenton served as the state capital beginning in 1722, New Bern was selected as the capital in 1766. Construction of Tryon Palace, which served as the residence and offices of the provincial governor William Tryon, began in 1767 and was completed in 1771.
In 1788 Raleigh was chosen as the site of the new capital, as its central location protected it from coastal attacks. Established in 1792 as both county seat and state capital, the city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, sponsor of Roanoke, the "lost colony" on Roanoke Island; the population of the colony more than quadrupled from 52,000 in 1740 to 270,000 in 1780 from high immigration from Virginia and Pennsylvania plus immigrants from abroad. North Carolina made the smallest per-capita contribution to the war of any state, as only 7,800 men joined the Continental Army under General George Washington. There was some military action in 1780–81. Many Carolinian frontiersmen had moved west over the mountains, into the Washington District, but in 1789, following the Revolution, the state was persuaded to relinquish its claim to the western lands, it ceded them to the national government so that the Northwest Territory could be organized and managed nationally. After 1800, cotton and tobacco became important export crops.
The eastern half of the state the Tidewater region, developed a slave society based on a plantation system and slave labor. Many free people of color migrated to the frontier along with their European-American neighbors, where the social system was looser. By 1810, nearly 3 percent of the free population consisted of free people of color, who numbered more than 10,000; the western areas were dominated by white families Scots-Irish, who operated small subsistence farms. In the early national period, the state became a center of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, with a strong Whig presence in the West. After Nat Turner's slave uprising in 1831, North Carolina and other southern states reduced the rights of free blacks. In 1835 the legislature withdrew their right to vote. On May 20, 1861, North Carolina was the last of the Confederate states to declare secession from the Union, 13 days after the Tennessee legislature voted for secession; some 125,000 North Carolinians served in the military.