North Carolina Museum of History

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North Carolina Museum of  History

The Division of State History Museums collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, regional, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present. The Division interprets the state’s history through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications available to the visitor on-site or through distance-learning technologies.


Explore North Carolina’s past and learn about its people. See exhibits highlighting the state’s military history, decorative ar ts, spor ts heroes and more. Special programs include craft demonstrations, music concer ts and family events. The museum is a part of the Office of Archives and History, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The Museum Shop, featuring North Carolina crafts, is open daily.

Greetings from the North Carolina Museum of History! The state of North Carolina is known as the place where the Wright brothers made history in 1903 by achieving the first powered flight in a craft heavier than air. But did you know that North Carolina has seen a number of other important “firsts”?

  • First English settlement in the New World (England established a colony on Roanoke Island in 1587.)
  • First child born of English parents in the New World (Virginia Dare was born on Roanoke Island in 1587.)
  • First discovery of gold in the United States (Gold was found at the site of Reed Gold Mine, in Cabarrus County, in 1799.)
  • First state university in the United States (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was chartered in 1789 and opened to students in 1795.)
  • First African American to serve in the United States Senate (Hiram Rhodes Revels, who represented Mississippi, was born in Fayetteville in 1827.)
  • First African American woman in the United States to receive a B.A. degree (Mary Jane Patterson, of Raleigh, graduated from Oberlin College in 1862.)

People have lived in North Carolina for over 10,000 years, and today eight state-recognized American Indian tribes reside here. From its roots as the site of the first English settlement in the New World to its role in the American Revolution and Civil War, the “Old North State” has a history filled with stories of heroes, visionaries, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, and everyday people.

Legendary figures such as the notorious pirate Blackbeard, First Lady Dolley Madison, adventurer Daniel Boone, Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald, Lumbee folk hero Henry Berry Lowry, educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown, North Carolina Supreme Court chief justice Henry Frye, and athlete Jim Thorpe have all called North Carolina home over the years.

At the North Carolina Museum of History, they are committed to creating a place where you can explore, learn, and enjoy programs, events, and exhibitions that celebrate North Carolina’s past, present, and future. I am delighted you have chosen to visit their Web site, and they look forward to welcoming you to their museum.

5 E Edenton St
North Carolina (NC)
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