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What You Need to Know About North Carolina for June 23, 2014

Learn the tune of our state song, plus, news you can use about “The Old North State.”

Explaining North Carolina

Our “Old” Song

Every state has things that are “official.” We here in North Carolina are no different. We have 44 official state things, which can be boiled down into the following five categories: arts and culture, plant life, animal life, ceremony and tradition, and things. Join us over the next few days as we get to know them one by one.

Most of us learn the Pledge of Allegiance and maybe even a school chant or school song that you stand up and sing or recite at the beginning of class most mornings in elementary school, prompted by the morning announcements. In North Carolina, you may add to that morning ritual the singing of The Old North State, our state song.

Officially sanctioned in the General Assembly in 1927, this is a hint of the lyrics of the song:

Then let all those who love us,

love the land that we live in,

As happy a region as on this side of heaven, 

Where plenty and peace, love and joy smile before us,

Raise aloud, raise together the heart thrilling chorus.

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The Old North State forever!

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The good Old North State!

That’s the end of the song by the way. The rest of the song contains lots of imagery about battles and difficulties, mainly because its author, Judge William Gaston, felt a bit defensive about people leaving his home state for better opportunities in other territories when he wrote the song down in 1835. It gained steam in the 1840 presidential election and was sung to a variety of tunes, but the version that was canonized was arranged by Mrs. E.E. Randolph in Raleigh in 1926. The UNC Libraries has more information on how the song came to be.

Want to hear what it sounds like? Click here. Have you ever heard the song or sung it in school or elsewhere?

Things Not to Miss About North Carolina


It’s Monday. Sound smart about North Carolina by sprouting out these stories:

Former Greensboro Mayor Keith Holiday’s political appointment may be in jeopardy.

A Greensboro city councilman proposes closing a troubled condo complex.

525@vine is the latest building to open in the Winston-Salem Innovation Quarter.

Lawmakers are considering making the state budget debates more public.

Code for America’s Charlotte city data portal will go live in August.

If you watch Under the Dome, then you’ve seen real parts of Wilmington, Southport and Burgaw as scenery.

The town of Leland has begun the process of opening an ABC store.

The Wilmington Star-News has a great Q&A section for people curious about city workings.

Asheville’s debate over changes on Charlotte Street covers the gambit from road diets, to funding to whether or not the suburban-esqe street should be improved over other streets that are more dense.

The  Asheville Citizen-Times also ran a feature recently profiling people who are homeless in the area.

A church group has partnered with Greensboro Police to walk around downtown and engage youth before trouble starts.

Some state lawmakers want to make more things a crime, but also have to balance the costs of incarcerating people accused and convicted of these new crimes.

Winston-Salem leaders, business owners and community members met recently to discuss restoring the Union Station, the former passenger railroad station which sits on the east side of town. It also bears a spitting image to the Greensboro station.

Winston-Salem also hopes to make improvements to Hanes Park, possibly via a bond referendum.

The Winston-Salem Journal explores mall closings and changes via a story on the locally owned and operated Hush Puppies store closing at the mall.

The state’s Cooperative Extension service, started 100 years ago to help farmers and their families throughout the state, is celebrating its anniversary and changing with the times.

A longtime Trinity city councilman resigned from office, the second person to resign since the November election period.

Another shopping center has been proposed for the rapidly growing North High Point area.

Despite the collapse of High Point’s Kilby Hotel, people interested in the area and saving it are not giving up.

A report suggests that the pipes that leaked the coal-ash into the Dan River in Eden were not tested.

A bill that would allow hemp oil, a treatment for seizures, is working it’s way through the General Assembly.

Wake County leaders are debating where to build new schools.

And finally, The story of “Big Sam” in Watauga County illustrates how public transportation is not just a urban need.

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