North Carolina was one of the original Thirteen Colonies, originally known as Carolina. Joara, a native village near present-day Morganton, was the site in 1567 of Fort San Juan, the first Spanish colonial settlement in the interior of what became the United States. A colony was later established at Roanoke Island, the first attempt by the English to found a settlement in the Americas. On May 20, 1861, North Carolina was one of the last of the Confederate states to declare secession from the Union, to which it was restored on July 4, 1868. The state was the location of the first successful controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, by the Wright brothers, at Kill Devil Hills, about 6.4 miles from Kitty Hawk in 1903. Today, it is a fast-growing state with an increasingly diverse economy and population. As of July 1, 2008, the population was estimated to be 9,222,414 (a 14.5% increase since April 1, 2000). Recognizing eight Native American tribes, North Carolina has the largest population of Native Americans of any state east of the Mississippi River.
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