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5 Fun Facts About December 16 In North Carolina History

---Learn Every Day: NC Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nc To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 16, 1774, a group of North Carolinians met at Johnston County Courthouse to express their grievances about British rule and discuss ways to achieve independence from Great Britain. This was one of the earliest known meetings of the type that would later become the Continental Congress.

2. In 1821, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law establishing the state's first state-funded and state-chartered university, which would later become the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Today, UNC is one of the top-ranked public universities in the United States.

3. On December 16, 1899, the Goldsboro tornado, one of the deadliest tornadoes in US history, struck the city of Goldsboro, North Carolina, killing at least 11 people and causing widespread damage. The tornado had a path of destruction nearly a mile wide and was estimated to have been an F4 on the Fujita scale.

4. In 1944, the first flight of the Bell XP-83 jet fighter took place at Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) in California. The XP-83 was designed by the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Buffalo, New York, but was initially built at a secret facility near Hendersonville, North Carolina, because of its remote location and access to skilled labor.

5. On December 16, 1985, the North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats 82-69 in the inaugural game at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. The arena, named after legendary UNC coach Dean Smith, has since become one of the most iconic sports venues in the country, hosting countless memorable games and events.
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