On the cusp of a new decade, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is completed in Wilmington. The modern bridge is an icon of the fast-growing city, a connection to the rest of the state, and a promise of big things to come.
Thanks to the grit of its drivers and the thrill of its events, the sport started by moonshiners shifts into high gear. Born on the dirt tracks of the North Carolina Piedmont, stock car racing becomes a national pastime.
On a quiet night in 1961, a plane from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base accidentally releases two thermonuclear bombs near Goldsboro. Only later do North Carolinians learn how close they came to the brink of disaster.