New in the collection: Lumberton license plate

Front license plate with the words "Lumberton, The Progressive City."

Just as local license plates once touted friendliness — Randleman, “City of Friendly People,” and Zebulon, “Town of Friendly People” — so too did they claim progressiveness.

While Lumberton basks in today’s Miscellany spotlight, we could have just as easily recognized Ayden (“Progressive Community”), Dunn (“Pattern for Progress”), Simpson (“Together for Progress”) or Ahoskie and Statesville (each a “City of Progress”).


New in the collection: Randleman, Zebulon license plates

Randleman license plate

Zebulon license plate


During the greater part of the 20th century, municipalities in North Carolina were empowered to collect their own vehicle taxes — and to issue license plates.  Local officials often saw this as an opportunity to add a unique self-promotional slogan.

If you’re advertising Apex, nobody’s likely to beat you to the title of “Peak of Good Living.” Or beat Benson to “Annual Sing-Mule Day,” Manteo to “Home of the Lost Colony,” Havelock to “Gateway to Cherry Point” or Love Valley to “Cowboy Capital.”

If, however, you’re claiming bragging rights to  “Friendly People,” better expect some competition.