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5 Fun Facts About February 20 In North Carolina History

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

1. On February 20, 1865, the Battle of Wilmington began in North Carolina during the American Civil War. Union forces, led by General Alfred Terry, seized a key fort in the city, ultimately leading to the capture of Wilmington and the closing of its port, a major Confederate supply line.

2. On February 20, 1792, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a bill to establish the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, making it the first public university in the United States. The university opened its doors to students in 1795.

3. In 1960, four African American students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro—Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil—sat down at a Woolworth's lunch counter in downtown Greensboro and began a sit-in protest against segregation. The protest gained national attention and sparked similar demonstrations throughout the country. February 20 has since been designated as a day to honor the "Greensboro Four" and their contributions to the civil rights movement.

4. Raleigh, North Carolina's state capital, was officially established on February 20, 1792. Originally named Wake Courthouse, the city's name was changed to honor Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer who tried to establish a colony in the area in the late 16th century.

5. February 20 marks the anniversary of the founding of the North Carolina Symphony, which was established in 1932 as the country's first state-supported symphony orchestra. The orchestra has since performed throughout North Carolina and has been recognized for its commitment to music education and community outreach.
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