xpress Lanes and Country Roads interprets the most dynamic century in North Carolina history.
After 1920, North Carolina made great strides in industrial development—most notably in tobacco, textiles, and furniture—but labor problems remained an issue. A sound government ensured progress in education and highway construction, preservation of natural resources, and development of cultural opportunities. Civil rights and social reforms came too fast for some, too slowly for others.
By 1970, confrontation and compromise had resulted in major accomplishments, but North Carolinians found themselves questioning how they should define progress in the years ahead.
At the beginning of the new century, North Carolinians lived in a state undergoing profound change. Gains by minorities included the election of two African Americans to the U.S. House of Representatives. Women assumed leadership roles at all levels of society. The influx of newcomers, particularly Hispanics, crowded school systems but undergirded the workforce. Foreign competition placed unforeseen pressures on the state's traditional industries.
Today, information technology and the rise of the knowledge economy are having a major impact on the social fabric of everyday life in North Carolina.