North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States, and is one of the original 13 states. Located on the Atlantic coast halfway between New York and Florida, it is bordered to the north by Virginia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by South Carolina and Georgia, and to the west by Tennessee. North Carolina's terrain is among the wettest in the country, with vast marshes in the coastal tidal zone and numerous lakes in the Piedmont and Appalachian regions. These three physical regions represent much of the diversity of lifestyles and cultures within the boundaries of the state.
North Carolina is proud to have been the first in the nation to address learning standards, student testing and school responsibility simultaneously. With 53 colleges and universities, including 17 public universities, as well as a strong community college system, North Carolina is a renowned research and technology center. But what really gives North Carolina its charm is its small-town community feel and unique personality. North Carolina's beginnings were closely linked to the first attempts at English colonization of North America.
In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to start a new colony on the North American continent; this would generally establish the borders of North Carolina. The state had no printing or printing press until 1749, when the North Carolina Assembly commissioned James Davis, of Williamsburg, Virginia, to act as its official printer. North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina in the south, Georgia in the southwest, Tennessee in the west, Virginia in the north, and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. It also has minor league teams in other team sports such as soccer and ice hockey, most notably North Carolina FC and Charlotte Checkers who play in their respective sports' second tier.
A major American victory during the Revolutionary War took place at King's Mountain along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina; on October 7th 1780 a force of 1000 mountaineers from western North Carolina (including what is now Tennessee) and southwest Virginia crushed a force of about 1000 British soldiers directed by Major Patrick Ferguson. Mount Mitchell at 6684 feet (2037 m) is also located here and is considered to be highest point in North America east of Mississippi River. Music and arts are an important part of North Carolina culture; from dancing at Carolina Beach Music Festival to enjoying fine art exhibitions at North Carolina Museum of Art. Forests cover nearly 60 percent of North Carolina making wood an important natural resource that helped it become one of nation's largest furniture producers.
National forests include Uwharrie National Forest in central North Carolina, Croatan National Forest in eastern North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest in western mountains and Nantahala National Forest in southwestern part of state. The state also has two other high-level professional teams in less prominent sports: Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse and North Carolina Courage of National Women's Soccer League. The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction is secretary of State Board of Education but board rather than superintendent has most legal authority to formulate public education policies.