This Month in North Carolina History

This Month in North Carolina History includes short sketches by North Carolina Collection staff tying significant events in North Carolina history to the month in which they occurred. The essays often include images from or links to North Carolina Collection material related to the event. Many of the sketches were written between 2005 and 2011. Staff still add essays, although with less frequency.


January 1716: North Carolina’s “Blue Laws”

January 1795: The University of North Carolina

January 1849: Dorothea Dix Hospital

January 1870: North Carolina State Penitentiary Opens

January 1890: Creation of the American Tobacco Company

January 1958: The Lumbees Face the Klan

January 1961: Bombs Over Goldsboro



February 1820: Bunkum

February 1881: The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina

February 1885: North Carolina Recognizes the Lumbee

February 1891: Founding of University of North Carolina at Greensboro

February 1927:  “The Old North State”

February 1948: Piedmont Airlines’ First Passenger Flight

February 1971: The Wilmington Ten



March 1781:  Battle of Guilford Courthouse

March 1825: Lafayette visits Fayetteville

March 1840: Wilmington & Weldon Railroad

March 1863: The Salisbury Bread Riot

March 1865: Executions Spark the Lowry War

March 1916:  The End of North Carolina Whaling

March 1948:  The Death of Zelda Fitzgerald



April 1776: The Halifax Resolves

April 1854: The Fayetteville and Western Plank Road

April 1896: Reed Gold Mine

April 1899: North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

April 1924: American Painter Kenneth Noland Born in Asheville

April 1947: Journey of Reconciliation

April 1960: Creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee



May 1868: The Death of Tom Dooley

May 1888: William Henry Belk Opens His First Store in Monroe, NC

May 1898: The Death of Ensign Worth Bagley

May 1906: Stuart W. Cramer and Air Conditioning

May 1908: Statewide Prohibition

May 1925:  Carolina Coal Company Mine Explosion

May 1969: Howard Lee

May 1972: First Presidential Primary



June 1756:  Birth of William Richardson Davie

June 1791: George Washington Visits Salem, NC

June 1859: James Buchanan visits the University of North Carolina

June 1861: Battle of Bethel

June 1870: The “Kirk-Holden” War

June 1929: Strike at Loray Mill

June 1940:  USS North Carolina

June 1959: Textile Strike and Trials in Henderson



July 1813:  Otway Burns and the Snap Dragon

July 1833: Frankie Silver Hanged

July 1885: John Richard (Romulus) Brinkley

July 1916: Western North Carolina Floods

July 1937: Krispy Kreme Opens in Winston-Salem

July 1937: The Lost Colony

July 1963: The North Carolina Fund



August 1751: North Carolina’s First Newspaper

August 1831: North Carolina and Nat Turner

August 1887:  The Goophered Grapevine

August 1918: Rescue at Sea

August 1920: North Carolina and the Women’s Suffrage Amendment

August 1956: Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

August 1957: Igor Bensen and the “Gyrocopter”



September 1711:  The Death of John Lawson

September 1802: Spaight-Stanly Duel

September 1862: The Birth of O. Henry

September 1898:  Biltmore Forest School

September 1940:  Dedication of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 1987: The Blue Ridge Parkway



October 1853: The North Carolina State Fair

October 1864: Rose O’Neal Greenhow

October 1896: Rural Free Delivery

October 1918: North Carolina and the “Blue Death”

October 1942: The Southern Conference on Race Relations and the “Durham Manifesto”

October 1954:  Hurricane Hazel

October 1960: The Andy Griffith Show



November 1718 :  Death of Blackbeard

November 1753:  Moravians Come to Bethabara

November 1765: The Stamp Act Crisis in North Carolina

November 1879: Colored Industrial Association Fair

November 1920: Lillian Exum Clement

November 3, 1979: Greensboro Killings

November 1997:  Cherokee Casino Opens



December: Jonkonnu in North Carolina

December: Old Christmas

December 18, 1776: North Carolina Constitution

December 1789: North Carolina Cedes Western Lands to the Federal Government

December 1804: The Walton War

December 1865: Henry Martin Tupper and the Founding of Shaw University

December 1870: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse