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The Story of North Carolina

A 1903 Wright Flyer replica next to a replica of a textile mill, featured in the exhibit, "The Story of North Carolina."

The Story of North Carolina, the largest exhibit ever produced at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, opened to rave reviews in 2011. This permanent exhibit traces life in North Carolina from its earliest inhabitants through the 20th century. Admission is free.

More than 14,000 years of the state’s history unfold through fascinating artifacts, multimedia presentations, dioramas, and hands-on interactive components. Additionally, two full-size historic houses and several re-created environments immerse museum visitors in places where North Carolinians have lived and worked. Yet the heart of The Story of North Carolina focuses on the people — both well-known and everyday citizens — who shaped the Tar Heel State.

"This engaging, interactive exhibit encourages visitors of all ages to see, hear and experience the state’s history. We believe that visitors come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the people and events in North Carolina." - Ken Howard, Director of the North Carolina Museum of History

Highlights in the first part of The Story of North Carolina include American Indian life, European settlement, piracy, the American Revolution and early 1800s farm life. The exhibit continues through the antebellum era, the Civil War, the rise of industry, the Great Depression, the two World Wars, and the Civil Rights movement.