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No student of Blackbeard can explore the nearly 300-year-old legend of one of history's most notorious brigands long before realizing that it's riddled by exaggeration and invention.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is named in honor of the thousands of shipwrecks that have sunk in the waters off North Carolina’s coast, and is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state’s maritime history and culture with an emphasis on shipwrecks.

Although the Outer Banks is now well known as a vacation destination, that wasn’t always the case. For a long time these islands were considered just an isolated stretch of sand on the easternmost edge of North Carolina. That began to change once the Wright Memorial Bridge was constructed in…

Rodanthe’s Old Christmas in January is a unique Outer Banks holiday tradition that has lasted for at least 100 years.

Nearly everyone who has even the slightest bit of history on the Outer Banks has heard about the Nags Head Casino. But few know about the blue collar beginnings of the building that housed the coastal dance hall.

Blackbeard is perhaps the most well known pirate in history. Made famous by early accounts of his exploits in the Caribbean and along the shores of colonial North America during the 18th century Golden Age of Piracy — not to mention the legions of books and films his life continues to inspir…

In the early 1970s developers threatened the future of Jockey’s Ridge — until one woman came up with a plan.

Virginia Dare’s 350th birthday celebration on August 18, 1937, was a historic milestone that not only captured President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attention but also set the stage for the country’s most long-lasting outdoor drama.   

For nearly three decades a showboat that’s still best known as the James Adams Floating Theatre traveled throughout our region’s waterways bring entertainment to the masses.

By the end of the Civil War, a small Nags Head chapel called All Saints was dismantled to build housing for the freedmen’s colony on Roanoke Island. A half-century later it was reborn as St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea.

Erosion is hardly a new issue on the Outer Banks – in fact, sand-fixation efforts date back to the 1930s when a few of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs provided the manpower needed to create a protective line of oceanfront sand dunes from Corolla to Ocracoke.

Before nighttime entertainment became routine on the Outer Banks, the Circus Tent drew impressively large seasonal crowds of all ages for two decades of fellowship and family-friendly fun.

Coastal North Carolina — and the Outer Banks in particular — has become a hotspot for surfers from all over the world. But unlike other celebrated surfing destinations such as Hawaii, the early history of the sport in this area wasn’t well documented until recently.

More than a century ago this August, the Outer Banks was unexpectedly hit by one of the worst Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history — leaving a wide swath of coastal North Carolina so devastated that some areas never recovered.

The first hotel in Nags Head was a social center for fashionable visitors until their largely decadent way of life began to decline after the American Civil War.

Though it may surprise many longtime visitors and residents who’ve enjoyed the Outer Banks’ unspoiled beauty for decades, in the late 1940s the southern portion of these islands was considered a prime spot for a major nuclear testing ground.

In the 1950s Outer Banks business owners began looking for new ways to promote the area’s springtime beauty. This resulted in the creation of the Dare Coast Pirates’ Jamboree, a rollicking, island-wide festival that took place each year for almost a decade.

Frank Stick took up the call to commemorate and interpret Fort Raleigh in the early 1930s by designing buildings for the ‘Cittie of Ralegh,’ an attraction beloved by many throughout the years.

Creating the Wright Brothers National Memorial was a team effort that included a visit to the Outer Banks by Herbert Hoover, whose plan was entirely different than what we eventually got.

If they pay attention, they’ll leave the drama knowing plenty about Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in the New World. She disappeared – like the rest of the Roanoke Island settlement – in a mystery that remains unsolved.

Croataon Archeological Society is committed to uncovering Hatteras Island’s history and sharing its finds with the community.

The Coastal Carolina Voices oral history project records the stories of Hatteras, Ocracoke and Down East North Carolina.

Hotel D’Afrique in Hatteras, the first Union-protected safe haven for slaves in North Carolina, has been recognized as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.