1. On January 4, 1923, the Duke Power Company officially opened the Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station on Lake Norman, becoming the largest hydroelectric power station in the Southeast.
2. On January 4, 1948, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill welcomed its first African American graduate student, Henry Owl. He was enrolled in the School of Public Health and became a champion for Native American health rights.
3. On January 4, 1958, the North Carolina General Assembly named the North Carolina Zoo as the official state zoo. The zoo, located in Asheboro, is home to over 1,800 animals and covers 2,600 acres.
4. On January 4, 1967, James Henry Harris was sworn in as the first African American mayor of a U.S. town, Bessemer City in Gaston County, North Carolina.
5. On January 4, 2005, then Governor Mike Easley established a moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina after several inmates on death row were proven to be innocent. The moratorium was lifted in 2007, but no executions have taken place since 2006.
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