A pleasant climate, an astonishing array of soil types, and widely accessible hydroelectric power have resulted in a historically diverse economy for North Carolina, which unsurprisingly leads the Atlantic States in industry and agriculture.
The Tar Heel State leads the nation in sweet potato, textile, and furniture production, but it garnered this nickname because of the vast amounts of tar, pitch, and turpentine that is produced from the state’s forests. These same forests are also home to a familiar annual present… North Carolina is second in the nation in Christmas tree production.
The Appalachian Mountains drive a thriving tourism industry in North Carolina, attracting millions of visitors every year. Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are two of the most visited national parks in the United States. North Carolina residents and visitors experience one of the widest elevation ranges in the nation, starting at sea level and rising to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell — the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River.
North Carolina’s tourism is bolstered by a commitment to enterprising sports franchises. The state is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey team, the Carolina Panthers NFL football team, and the Charlotte Hornets NBA basketball team.
One of the original thirteen colonies, North Carolina was the 12th to ratify the Constitution and to be admitted to the Union on November 21, 1789.