Six months before he was killed at Ocracoke Inlet, and not long after brazenly blockading the town of Charleston for almost a week, the infamous pirate Blackbeard lost his flagship Queen Anne's Revenge—an English ship captured first by the French and then by the pirates—in the Beaufort Inlet. Almost 300 years later, artifacts from his ship are on display at the North Carolina Museum of History.
The Story of North Carolina—the museum's ambitious, impressive and largest-ever exhibition—details the incredible changes our state underwent from the antebellum era—when Raleigh had barely 5,000 residents—through the civil rights movement, which included the famous 1960 sit-in at the Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter and the 1957 sit-in at Durham's Royal Ice Cream Company. There are life-size re-creations, such as an American Indian dwelling, an early 20th-century textile mill weaving room and a replica of the 1903 Wright flyer. Audience members can also participate through interactive maps and hands-on activities such as "milking" a replica of a cow and carrying buckets of water in a simulation of archaic farmhouse chores. —Meg Stein