The Morrill Act becomes law, providing national funding to establish a land-grant college in each state. In North Carolina, this funding first went to the University of North Carolina, but in 1887, the state legislature established the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NC State) as the state's land-grant institution.
Leonidas Polk calls for the establishment of an agricultural school during a speech made at the NC State Fair.
An original land scrip endowment to the University of North Carolina as part of the Morrill Act (lost during the Reconstruction period) is restored. On paper, this creates a College of Agriculture and a College of Engineering and Mechanic Arts at the University of North Carolina.
The Watauga Club met for the first time. The club was formed by progressive-minded young men who were investigating way to strengthen all aspects of North Carolina, including creation of an industrial school.
Colleges to provide agricultural education still have not been created at the University of North Carolina (an obligation upon receiving land-grant funding), and exist only in theory in the university's course catalogs.
The Watauga Club successfully lobbies the North Carolina state legislature, with the sponsorship of Leazar Dixon, to pass a bill for an industrial school separate from the University of North Carolina's land scrip. The legislation doesn't mandate the school, however, and doesn't provide sufficient funding.
Leonidas Polk continues to call for an agricultural school in the first published issue of the Progressive Farmer.
The North Carolina Board of Agriculture accepts a bid to locate an industrial school in Raleigh.
Farmers' organizations in the state of North Carolina, along with the Watauga Club and Colonel Leonidas Polk, successfully lobby the North Carolina state legislature to add an agriculture school to the proposed industrial school in Raleigh. This new school would not be affiliated with the University of North Carolina, and would thus be able to acquire and use the land scrip funds being received (but not used by) the University of North Carolina.
University of North Carolina President Battle unsuccessfully opposes the transfer of the land scrip funds from UNC to the proposed agricultural school in Raleigh; a bill is passed on this date to transfer the funds.
Under the Hatch Act, the federal government provided $15,000 to each state for agricultural experiment stations.
The North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts is established using a combination of the scrip funds reallocated from the University of North Carolina and funds from the Hatch Act of 1886, which had established the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station.
Charles Dabney pens the legislation to create the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. March 7 is still celebrated annually as Founders Day.
The first classes are held at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (the original name of NC State University). Fifty-two students, at the minimum age of 14, attend. Tuition was $20 a session. Students could select from two basic curricula: agriculture and mechanics.
The Agricultural Experiment Station is transferred from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to the North Carolina College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts.
In order to comply with the Second Morrill Act and yet prevent admission of African Americans to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the North Carolina state government creates the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro.
Nineteen students receive degrees during the first commencement ceremony held at A&M College.