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Gov. Cooper, President Trump meet in NC to assess Florence damage
09/19/2018 03:34 PM
Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina Wednesday morning to tour areas affected by Hurricane Florence.

Firefighters work to feed residents trapped in Southport after Florence destroys main road
09/19/2018 03:34 PM
Tropical_Weather_North_Carolina_46634Beach towns are slowly reopening to residents, but most are still closed to tourists following Hurricane Florence.

Lagoons of pig waste are overflowing after Florence. Yes, that's as nasty as it sounds.
09/19/2018 03:25 PM
Tropical_Weather_North_Carolina_42608The record-breaking rains that started with Hurricane Florence are continuing to strain North Carolina's hog lagoons.

Police: Man stole elderly woman's purse while helping her at Hurricane Florence shelter
09/19/2018 03:18 PM
Ronald Robinson Jr.Fayetteville police are searching for a man accused of robbing an elderly woman at a Hurricane Florence shelter.

Hurricane Florence and another flood could mean end to Seven Springs
09/19/2018 03:08 PM
Flooding in Seven Springs"Matthew was catastrophic. Floyd was disaster. Now this is devastating," said Seven Springs resident Chuck Stancil.

WRAL.com Weather


Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

The Three-Speed City
09/17/2018 03:00 AM
Ever since the electric scooter company, Bird, deployed in Raleigh everyone seems to have an opinion on this new form of personal mobility. Raleighites seem to be all over the spectrum but a recent survey run by the Raleigh DLA shows strong evidence that a majority of downtown residents and workers support e-scooters in downtown […]

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Pic of the Week
09/06/2018 03:00 AM
The building at 107 West Hargett Street is being partially demolished. Covered in detail here, we can see that the rear, one-story section has been removed and will now have a five-story building that incorporates the brick, street-facing building that sits on the same property. I’m a big fan of this project and would love […]

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Waiting on the Blount and Person Street Phase I Makeover
09/05/2018 03:00 AM
Blount Street. September 2018. A bike lane is planned to be installed this Fall. With planning going back to 2013, the first phase of the makeover for the Blount and Person Street duo should be starting soon. Design work for Phase 1 of the corridor has been completed and last I heard, the construction bids […]

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Pic of the Week
08/30/2018 03:00 AM
The last time we checked in on FNB Tower, the crane had just showed up and things were getting started. Now, almost three months later it looks like the tower is making some real upward momentum with a floor being produced almost once per two weeks. Next, we’ll have to take a look at how […]

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Pic of the Week
08/23/2018 03:00 AM
The Morgan Street Food Hall is now open! There are plenty of dining options for lunch and dinner throughout with a little retail on the side as well. Make sure to check out the vendors on their website ahead of time to avoid getting stuck in the crowds when it’s busy. Lunch and dinner have […]

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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.