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North Carolina has yielded some of the oldest fossils in the world. There have been some found that date back as far as 620 million years. In ancient times, the eastern part of North Carolina was under water that was filled with giant megalodon sharks. And, mastodons and woolly mammoths roamed the land.
The British established two colonies on Roanoke Island, one in 1585 that quickly failed. In 1587, 110 settlers led by John White arrived at Roanoke Island and found the houses from the first colony. Later, running low on supplies, White returned to England for provisions.
White didn't get to return to Roanoke Island until 1590. When he did, there were no signs of life at the colony, but he did find the word "Croatan" carved on one of the nearby trees. There has been much speculation of the fate of the Roanoke colonists, but even today the "Lost Colony" is still a mystery!
English colonists migrating from Virginia established the first permanent settlements in the state in 1653. The state became the first to vote for independence in 1776, but refused to ratify the Constitution two years later. After the Bill of Rights was adopted, North Carolina ratified the Constitution and became the 12th state on November 21, 1789.
Farming dominated the economy until the 1920's when manufacturing became an important resource. The state is the largest producer of tobacco, brick, textiles and furniture in the nation. And, it produces more lithium and mica than any other state. Tourism is a billion dollar industry with golfing, fishing, skiing and other activities.
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