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Rip Van Winkle

During the early 1800s, North Carolina acquired a nickname: “the Rip Van Winkle State.”   It was named so because more than few considered the state’s economy to be asleep while neighboring states were bustling with production and trade.  Some historians argue, however, that outsiders used this term and that economists have misunderstood North Carolina’s incremental economic growth

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Preddy, George E. (1919-1944)

A native son of Greensboro, North Carolina, George E. Preddy became one of America’s top flying aces during World War II.  At the end of the war, he had the third-highest ranking among American pilots.  Historians speculate that he might have emerged as the nation’s premier ace had not his plane been shot down by friendly fire on Christmas 1944.

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Cross Creek Canal Company

During the early 1800s, the state of North Carolina had only 43 of the 1,343 miles of canals in the United States.  The Cross Creek Canal Company, named after the second largest Cape Fear river town, was one company that ensured that goods were transported into and from Fayetteville.

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Waddell, James Iredell (1824-1886)

Many North Carolinians influenced the course of the American Civil War, but none so uniquely as did James Iredell Waddell.  One of the most successful Confederate commerce raiders, much like Raphael Semmes and John Taylor Wood, Waddell spent much of the conflict overseas and left a controversial legacy behind.  In particular, he commanded the only Confederate ship to circumnavigate the globe and continued fighting U.S. boats after the war’s end.

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Neuse, CSS

Although Confederate leadership for some time anticipated using the CSS Neuse, the ironclad’s service was short and disappointing.  Various reasons, including a manpower shortage and Union raids on construction material, delayed the ironclad’s construction.  Once it was battle and sea ready, the Neuse grounded on a sandbar during its first mission in 1864.  It was later scuttled after its second and last mission in 1865.

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Morrison, Cameron (1869-1953)

At times conservative, at times progressive (as defined in the early 1900s), Cameron Morrison rose to political prominence in North Carolina as an ally of Furnifold M. Simmons, Democratic stalwart who dominated the state’s politics in the early decades of the twentieth century.  During the late 1800s, Morrison started gaining statewide fame for leading the “Red Shirts."  But he is most known for being "The Good Roads Governor" (1921-1925) and opposing the teaching of evolution in public schools.  After his gubernatorial career, Morrison served as a United States Senator and Congressman. 

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Fayetteville, City of

A bustling, 1800s hub of trade and political activity, home to an important arsenal and center of trade during the Civil War, and home to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force bases during the twentieth century, Fayetteville has played an important role in North Carolina history and will continue to do so.

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Averasboro (Town of)

On the Cape Fear River during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, only Fayetteville’s and Wilmington’s populations outnumbered Averasboro’s.  Yet population and commercial growth were not inevitable.  Only a cemetery surrounded by a grove and a Civil War museum remind anyone that the port town once existed.

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Naval Stores

From the 1730s to the 1860s, the naval stores industry was an increasingly profitable business.  With its abundant Long Leaf Pines, North Carolina soon emerged as an invaluable producer of tar, pitch, and turpentine not only in the national economy but also in the international market.