The North Carolina Museum of History is hosting its largest exhibit ever, The Story of North Carolina. As the title suggests, this exhibit is all about North Carolina: how it started, who started it, what changes it has gone through, and what its distinguishing features are. The result is a massive series of artifacts, multimedia presentations, dioramas, interactive components, and full-size immersive constructs that span more than 14,000 years of the state’s history.
It’s a herculean undertaking to portray even a decade of history, much less 14 millennia. There are a nearly fathomless number of stories, people, places, and events to explore in that time. The historical experts have worked very hard, however, to create an exhibit that offers a variety of elements so that visitors are neither overwhelmed nor underserved.
We have visited this exhibit ourselves, and learned a lot about North Carolina. There are so many names that we hear while traveling around the state—Morehead, Blount, Cary, Cameron, Hargett, McDowell—that it’s easy to forget that these names are prominent because they involve important events. As you learn more about different areas in Raleigh, and cities throughout the state, it can make you more conscious of your place in a larger story.
Feeling connected with something larger than one’s self can give people a stronger sense of meaning and purpose. Learning more about your surroundings builds a sense of personal connection, which in turn promotes happiness. A good way then to feel better about your life is to take a look at what’s around you. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The Story of North Carolina is a free exhibit, and a great reason to visit our state’s capital. Parking is available for free on the weekends and weekday evenings. Nearby is the legislative building, Capitol building, and plenty of restaurants if you need to recharge (we especially recommend Oakwood Café and Centro). Happy learning!