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History & Facts

In ancient times, the eastern half of the state was underwater, and giant megalodon sharks roamed the waters. On land, there were woolly mammoths and mastodons. It is believed that the first Native Americans inhabited the New World 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Eventually, nearly 30 Native American groups settled across the state.

In the 1580s, the British established two colonies in North Carolina, both of which failed. In the 1600s permanent settlers from Virginia began to move to North Carolina, and it eventually became part of a British colony known as "Carolina."

Many people believe that in 1775 North Carolina became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. After the American Revolution, North Carolina became the twelfth state of the Union.

In 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in the Civil War. In 1865, North Carolina troops surrendered, leaving the state to be brought back into the Union in 1868.

The 20th century saw North Carolina transformed into a modern state, a transformation that began when the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.

The Charlotte Museum of History offers audience-focused programs and exhibits, based on the people, buildings, stories and objects spanning the region's history, while providing an historic context for understanding how conditions and decisions of the past impact the region today and shape its future.


Historic Charlotte


The mission of Historic Charlotte, Inc. is to actively promote historic preservation and to encourage, support and coordinate the activities of history and heritage groups throughout the greater Charlotte region.

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