By Michael Maynor
North Carolina stands alone among the other 49 states for an exceptional reason. Granted North Carolina has many reasons that make it a stand out state, but for this article, we will focus on the one thing this state has the others do not. That is a state toast. The toast was originally a poem called “The Old North State,” written by Leonora Monteiro Martin. It was commissioned for a banquet hosted by the North Carolina Society of Richmond in 1904 and first read aloud at the dinner by Rev. Walter W. Moore. It was later set to music, and in 1957, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted it as the official state toast. Today it is simple know as ” A Toast” and you can read the full text below Cheers!
Here’s to the land of the long leaf pine,
The summer land where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,
Here’s to “Down Home,” the Old North State!
Here’s to the land of the cotton bloom white,
Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,
Where the soft southern moss and jessamine mate,
‘Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State!
Here’s to the land where the galax grows,
Where the rhododendron‘s rosette glows,
Where soars Mount Mitchell‘s summit great,
In the “Land of the Sky,” in the Old North State!
Here’s to the land where maidens are fair,
Where friends are true and cold hearts rare,
The near land, the dear land, whatever fate,
The blessed land, the best land, the Old North State!