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Racism alleged after Pizza Inn coupon mix-up
04/26/2018 04:05 PM
Pizza InnA Pizza Inn restaurant in Rocky Mount is defending itself against charges of racism after a manager refused to accept a coupon from a black customer but later accepted the same coupon from the black man's white roommate.

Suspect in custody after man shot in downtown Raleigh, police say
04/26/2018 04:05 PM
Downtown Raleigh shootingPolice were investigating after a man was wounded Thursday afternoon during a brazen daylight shooting in downtown Raleigh, authorities said.

650 Durham teachers take off May 16, request school be canceled to demand better conditions
04/26/2018 04:03 PM
Student, class, school, writingThe Durham Association of Educators announced Thursday evening that more than 650 teachers have requested personal leave on May 16 to advocate for Durham Public Schools in Raleigh.

NC researchers make groundbreaking strides in E. Coli testing
04/26/2018 03:55 PM
NC researchers make groundbreaking strides in E. Coli testingResearchers at Atlantic Beach are making groundbreaking progress in making E. Coli testing faster and more accurate.

Jury hits pork giant for $50M for hog operation's nuisance
04/26/2018 03:38 PM
hog farm genericA federal jury on Thursday awarded more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of an industrial hog operation found responsible for intense smells, noise and other disturbances so bad people couldn't enjoy their rural homes.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Davie Street Presbyterian Church Expansion High-Level Plans
04/26/2018 03:00 AM
I found myself walking down Person Street one day and saw an excavator hacking at the Davie Street Presbyterian Church. As I do, I was curious what work was going on at this corner of east downtown. From submitted plans on the city’s website, it looks like the church is adding to their location. With […]

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Pic of the Week
04/24/2018 03:00 AM
The storage facility being built on West South Street. It could be worse. Similar Posts: Pic of the Week (August 28, 2017, 21 Comments) New Site Plans Show 42 New Residential Units for South Street (May 3, 2017, 6 Comments) A Walk up South Street (May 3, 2017, 35 Comments) The blog has over 10 […]

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Quick One Glenwood Update
04/19/2018 03:00 AM
Char-Grill on Hillsborough Street. April 2018. I’ve been enjoying the new feel on Hillsborough Street with all the steel going up at One Glenwood. This block will hopefully see an increase in pedestrian activity and pump more lunch seekers on the southern end of Glenwood South. The former empty lot to tower conversion is some […]

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Pic of the Week
04/16/2018 03:00 AM
The photo above shows the site of Peace (unofficially Smokey Hollow), the 12-story apartment building planned at the corner of Peace and West Streets. Foundation work has been going strong for awhile and recently, I noticed the foundation for a tower crane pop up. Seems like we’ll be seeing this project rise up soon. Similar […]

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Taking a Peek at the Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility Plans
04/11/2018 03:00 AM
Possible rendering of the Raleigh Union Station Bus Facility With a ribbon cutting date set (April 30 at 9:30 am by the way) for Raleigh Union Station, it is never too early to take a look at a new project nearby. For years, plans have been light about integrating buses near Union Station that there […]

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Welcome to RaleighFree!

Our goal is to provide you with information about the wide variety of free things to do in Raleigh, NC. With the many parks, museums, and other attractions, there's enough to keep most people busy and happy for quite a while. Browse our links, and check back soon, more content is coming online quickly.

History of Raleigh

Oak Tree Raleigh is also known as the "City of Oaks," mainly because of the numerous oak trees that adorn the entire city. Yet aside from these functions, the city is also North Carolina's capital and Wake County's seat. According to a count for July 2006, Raleigh's population is estimated to be around 353,604, thus making the capital one of America's rapidly expanding cities. In fact, Raleigh ranks fourth in the "List of Best Big Cities in 2006" by Money Magazine. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the city's history is not at all surprised by such a remarkable development. Since Raleigh is among the selected US cities intentionally developed to be a state capital, it can easily be said that the city is destined for expansion and progress.

Long before becoming a state capital, the city was called as the "Wake Crossroads," a name that gives a clear idea regarding the city's geographical function. At that time, Raleigh served as a place where travelers from either north or south could rest and maybe have a drink in one of its taverns. The place was eventually chosen to be North Carolina's capital in 1788. According to some accounts, "Wake Crossroads" was selected since it was within a 10-mile radius of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a place popular among legislators at that time. But it was in 1792 when Raleigh was formally established as North Carolina's capital.

Sir Walter Raleigh That same year, the North Carolina General Assembly bought a lot from a local businessman and started making plans for Raleigh, which was by the way, modeled after Philadelphia, the US capital state at that time. The city got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who sponsored the Colony of Roanoke. The aforementioned assembly held its first meeting in the capital in December 1794. A month after that, the legislative body officially granted Raleigh a charter along with an "Intendant Police" (Mayor) and seven commissioners. John Haywood was Raleigh's first "Intendant Police."

Although Raleigh was lucky to be spared from destruction during the Civil War, the city remained little in size until streetcar lines were introduced in the 1920s. Since then, Raleigh began to grow, eventually transforming into one of the state's commercial hubs. A railroad was also constructed to link the city to neighboring communities. By the end of the Second World War, Raleigh had undergone many significant developments, particularly in its infrastructure. What used to be a rural community evolved into a bustling urban center. The development of the city's infrastructure is largely attributed to the founding of the North Carolina State University School of Design in 1948. But the construction and existence of the Research Triangle Park in the 1959 also brought big changes to the city. With a 7,000 acre land area, the RTP is the world's biggest research park, comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. With its high-tech facilities, the RTP is also among the global leaders in scientific research and development.

As education is essential to any improvement of a city, Raleigh also has many universities and colleges. Aside from the North Carolina State University, other schools in the capital include Shaw University, St. Augustine's College, Meredith College, Wake Tech Community College, and Peace College. Both St. Augustine's and Shaw were founded towards the end of the 1860s, as schools for the freed slaves after the Civil War. Shaw was the premier university founded for that particular purpose in the country. In 1874, the Estey Hall was added to provide higher learning to women of African-American ethnicity.