Colleges and Universities

UNC School of the Arts


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is an arts school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Its courses include dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. The school was established in 1963 when Governor Terry Sanford and writer John Erle worked together to create the first public arts conservatory in the United States.

Early America

Catawba Indians


Once an eminent Siouan tribe that thrived in the middle Carolinas, the Catawba Nation first encountered white settlers through the fur trade. Both war and European disease proved fatal to the Catawba, and by 1760, only 1,000 tribe members survived. The tribe, now numbering over 2,800 members, gained full federal recognition in 1993, and they live on a reservation near Rock Hill, South Carolina.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (NC A&T)


North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, more commonly known as NC A&T, is the largest historically black college or university (HBCU) in the country, with 13,885 students in the fall of 2023.

University of North Carolina at Asheville


The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC-Asheville) was founded in 1927 as Buncombe County Junior College. The junior college was tuition-free until the Great Depression forced the school to begin charging for admission.


Gristmills: North Carolina’s First Public Utilities


Gristmills—mills that use water power to grind corn and wheat into flour—were a “familiar feature of the 19th century countryside,“ wrote Grimsley T. Hobbs in 1985. They were also North Carolina's first public utilities.

African American

Sweet Potatoes in North Carolina History


North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any other state in the United States and has been a leader since 1971.[1] In 2021 its production represented 64 percent of total U.S. production.[2] The potatoes are grown primarily in central and eastern North Carolina. The largest producers are currently the counties of Sampson, Nash, Wilson, and...

Sports and Entertainment

Clogging: North Carolina’s Official Folk Dance


Clogging is the official folk dance of North Carolina (declared so by the state legislature in 2005).[1] It is a style of dancing that originated in the Appalachian mountains, so North Carolina shares it with other states such as Tennessse and Virginia. All clog dancing involves “fancy footwork”—there are many variations on stepping, shuffling, sidestepping,...

Political History

North Carolina Constitution Is an Important Governing Document


I often have wondered how many North Carolinians have taken the time to study or at least generally refer to the North Carolina Constitution. Most likely, more than a few from the Old North State would be surprised to learn that such a document exists. In this regard, North Carolinians probably are not alone. Most...

Sports and Entertainment

Southern Culture’s Multiracial Mix Affects American Music


North Carolinians, and their Southern counterparts, have contributed much to the American music scene.

New Deal/ Great Depression

Journey for Joedel (1970)


Although a movie was based on his The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man, Guy Owen considered Journey for Joedel his best novel. For it, he won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The esteemed novelist Walker Percy described Journey for Joedel as “touching, tender, and highly readable.”


Dismal Swamp Canal


The Dismal Swamp Canal, originally chartered in 1790, connects the Albemarle Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1805, the Dismal Swamp Canal created a passage between northeastern North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia. By the mid-1820s, the Dismal Swamp Canal was widened and deepened enough for reliable commercial traffic. As a result, international trade shifted from Albemarle Sound towns, like Edenton, to Norfolk, Virginia.  Today the Dismal Swamp Canal is primarily used for recreational boating.


Madison County (1851)


Madison County is located in North Carolina’s mountains along the Tennessee border. It was formed in 1851 out of Buncombe and Yancey Counties, and was named for President James Madison.  Marshall, the county seat, was incorporated in 1863.