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Triangle WWII veteran turns 102, shares a century worth of memories
08/28/2015 02:15 AM
Triangle's oldest WWII veteran turns 102Jerry Smith was the oldest veteran on the Triangle Flight of Honor back in 2011. The program flew veterans to the nation's capital for free to see the memorial built in their honor. Today, the 102-year-old is sharing more than a century's worth of memories.

Exclusive: Suspect in Durham kidnapping, shooting declares his innocence
08/27/2015 08:02 PM
Quashaun Niajel SladeIn exclusive jailhouse interview with WRAL News, Quashaun Niajel Slade said he's innocent and being accused because of his alleged involvement in a different crime in 2013.

Johnston County teens injured in single-vehicle crash
08/27/2015 07:59 PM
Johnston County teens injured in single-vehicle crashFive Johnston County teenagers are recovering following a single-car crash on Thanksgiving Fire Department Road Thursday afternoon.

Authorities search for Cary man missing at Jordan Lake
08/27/2015 07:54 PM
Missing kayakerChatham County authorities were searching Thursday evening for Tommie Columbus Justice Jr., 69, of Cary, who was reported missing after kayaking on Jordan Lake

Bar owner: 'Confusing' city rule leads to citation for sidewalk seating
08/27/2015 03:42 PM
Bar owner: ‘Confusing’ city rule leads to citation for sidewalk seatingTwo weeks after Raleigh's new rules on sidewalk seating for bars and restaurants took effect, the city has issued 20 warnings and one bar owner is facing a court date.

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Downtown Apartment Buildings in 2015
08/20/2015 04:00 AM
Earlier in the week, I highlighted the next downtown apartment building to open, The Lincoln. Today, I wanted to step back a bit and share some thoughts about the general downtown apartment landscape and the market around them. Here are some quick thoughts on the state of new developments that cater to the rental market. […]

The Lincoln Apartments Now Open
08/18/2015 04:00 AM
The Lincoln Apartments I was fortunate enough to be invited on a tour of The Lincoln Apartments recently. The 224-unit apartment building that is located one block east of Moore Square brings luxury studio, 1, and 2 bedroom apartments with plenty of amenities to keep residents happy. I wanted to write about the tour and, […]

Church on Morgan Builds Community, Literally
08/12/2015 04:00 AM
Rendering of Church on Morgan At the corner of Morgan and Blount Streets, there is a lot of renovation work taking place. The formerly quiet corner is being turned into a church. It’s not just ‘another church’ as some may be quick to judge but rather a space that is dynamic and can be used […]

Municipography, Outdoor Seating, Wilmington Street Hotel, Moore Square, and Stone’s Warehouse
08/06/2015 04:00 AM
Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center […]

Summer 2015 Restaurant Roundup
08/03/2015 04:00 AM
Rooftop seating at Taverna Agora This summer, there have been some big time openings in the downtown Raleigh Eats scene. One of them even puts us in the Guinness Book of World Records. For a complete list of eats, drinks, and coffees in and around downtown, make sure to bookmark the DT Eats page. Try […]

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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.