Why are North Carolinians known as "Tar Heels?" - The Naval Stores Industry - Free

by  Moores Creek National Battlefield

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Ever wonder why North Carolinians are known as Tar Heels? This program features a discussion of the "naval stores" industry, mainly the production of tar, pitch, and turpentine in colonial America. Why was the longleaf pine North Carolina's number one cash crop? It was because it was useful for the producing of a wide variety of materials used on British ships, as well as everyday life.

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30 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s), Parent, Adult Learners

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Sciences, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out
ZoomWhatever platform works best for the school, works

Naval Stores video - https://youtu.be/YeHHR-bU0l8

Booking Information

Park programs are available Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am until 3 pm.

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Provider's Cancellation Policy

If you are not going to be able to make a scheduled program, please message Adam Credle (adam_credle@nps.gov) to either cancel or reschedule your program within 2 weeks of the scheduled program date.

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Moores Creek National Battlefield

Currie, NC
United States

In the early morning hours of February 27, 1776, Loyalist forces charged across a partially dismantled Moores Creek Bridge. Beyond the bridge, nearly 1,000 North Carolina Patriots waited quietly with cannons and muskets poised to fire. This battle marked the last broadsword charge by Scottish Highlanders and the first significant victory for the Patriots in the American Revolution.

Jason Collins
9102835591 x. 2222

Program Details


The program begins with a brief introduction by a park ranger, followed by a four minute video of a living historian standing in front of a tar kiln explaining the production of tar. After the video, the ranger will come back and discuss the other uses for these raw materials, and their importance in colonial North Carolina.


Students will:
Explore why the longleaf pine was North Carolina's cash crop.
List the three important products produced from the longleaf pine

Standards Alignment

State Standards

8.E.1.2 Explain how industry and trade impact the economy and people of
North Carolina and the nation.
8.G.1.2 Explain how location, resources, and human geography have
influenced the development of North Carolina and the nation.