North Carolina became the twelfth state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1789. Its founders named the state after Charles I. Carolus means Charles in Latin. The state’s nicknames are the Tar Heel State and Old North State. Raleigh is the state capital. The state ranks 28th in size and 9th in population. In colonial times the state raised rice and tobacco. Leading sources of income today are tobacco, textiles, and furniture. The Wright Brothers flew their first airplane in Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Children could learn more at: North Carolina. They could also find out what a tar heel is.