In Depth: NC Museum of History Showcases 'Discover Your Governors' Exhibit

RALEIGH, N.C. — The new exhibit Discover Your Governors will introduce kids of all ages to the office of North Carolina’s top elected officials, past and present.

The exhibit will open Saturday, Oct. 22, at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

Kid-friendly graphics, hands-on interactives, artifacts and photographs will help young people learn about the role of governor and explore more than 200 years of gubernatorial history. 

Discover Your Governors will run through Aug. 6, 2017, and admission is free.

Exhibit information also will be available in Spanish.

“This is the first time the Museum of History has aimed a gubernatorial exhibit toward elementary students, and we’re excited about engaging children and helping them learn about civics and history,” said RaeLana Poteat, curator of political and social history.  

Other hands-on activities will give students a chance to vote and take computer quizzes to test their newfound knowledge.

Discover Your Governors showcases intriguing artifacts ranging from personal items and inaugural gowns to political campaign materials.

For example, see the inkwell that Gov. Zebulon Vance used in the State Capitol during the Civil War or the swearing-in Bible that Gov. James G. Martin used in 1989.

Among several First Ladies’ inaugural gowns is the yellow dress that “First Kid” Merle Umstead, daughter of William B. Umstead, wore at age 10 to her father’s Inaugural Ball in 1953.

Also on view, small pieces of Apollo 11 moon rocks are encased on a plaque presented to Gov. Bob Scott by Pres. Richard Nixon in 1969 to commemorate NASA’s first manned mission on the moon.  

Sixty-eight individuals have served as governor since North Carolina became a state in 1776. 

The exhibit delves into various topics on the state’s leader, from Lords Proprietors during colonial days to the accomplishments of contemporary governors.