Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

Early 20th Century


Ford Model T

North Carolina Digital History

North Carolina in the early 20th century

The first decades of the twentieth century brought many changes to North Carolina. The growth of long-distance transportation and communication, national reform movements, and the First World War linked the state ever more closely to the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. Changing times brought new ideas, new roles for women, new business opportunities, new music and new literature. But many in North Carolina didn’t benefit from these changes, and many stood squarely against them.

Designed for secondary students, part eight of our web-based “digital textbook” combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the early twentieth century:

  • innovations in transportation and communications and their impact on society
  • the reform movements of the Progressive Era
  • the experiences of North Carolinians in World War I
  • the struggle for women’s suffrage
  • the segregation of the Jim Crow era, the Great Migration, and the successes of African Americans in North Carolina
  • the cultural changes of the 1920s — and resistance to them
  • child labor, changes in industry, and growing labor unrest
  • the Loray Mill strike in Gastonia

Image credit

Get started: Table of Contents


More than just a linear narrative, our “digital textbook” is modular and fully searchable. If you need a primary source, a map, some background reading, or a lesson plan, this is the place to start!