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Passenger's injury diverts American Airlines flight to RDU
10/21/2014 07:52 PM
RDUAn American Airlines passenger was hospitalized Tuesday night after his stab wound was reopened mid-flight, causing the plane to make an unscheduled stop at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Raleigh man charged with cell phone peeping
10/21/2014 07:48 PM
Bradley Keenan RansomeA 46-year-old Raleigh man was arrested and charged with using a cell phone to record women's undergarments.

Murder suspect extradited to Fayetteville
10/21/2014 07:37 PM
Ashia Marie SimmonsA woman charged with the February stabbing death of a 67-year-old man was extradited from Baltimore to North Carolina, Fayetteville police said Tuesday evening.

Man charged in Knightdale store robbery
10/21/2014 04:34 PM
Deshawn SmithKnightdale police have arrested a man who they say used a Dunkin' Donuts bag to conceal a gun and hold up a local shop last month.

Former Miss North Carolina brings winning ways to Middle Creek volleyball
10/21/2014 04:05 PM
Adrienne CoreWhether it's coaching the six girls on the court for Middle Creek High or stunning seven judges in one of the world's most prestigious pageants as Miss North Carolina 2010, Middle Creek head volleyball coach Adrienne Core always plays to win.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Campaign for Bicycle Repair Stations in Downtown Raleigh
10/22/2014 02:31 AM
O&S Fundraising Campaign – Bike Repair Stations from Oaks and Spokes on Vimeo. Watch the video for Bicycle Repair Stations in Raleigh on Neighborly. A group of Raleigh bicycle fans want to raise money to install bike repair stations on the greenway and in downtown Raleigh. These are quite common in more bike-friendly cities around […]

Pic of the Week
10/22/2014 02:31 AM
Land is being cleared along Person Street as part of the Blount Street Commons project. Slowly, very slowly, Blount Street Commons seems to be filling in with the planned townhomes, some already showing wood framing up along John Haywood Way. Similar Posts: Crash of the Resident Wave, Peace Street Townes Rises (8/10) (June 20, 2014, […]

Downtown Raleigh Plan Presentation Rundown
10/22/2014 02:31 AM
I’m throwing this post up to kind of go over what was presented a few weeks ago at the 2014 Downtown Plan Presentation. I highly recommend watching the video but going over the high-level concepts here works too. There’s no new content in this post if you have already seen the video. Introduction At the […]

East Cabarrus Green Street Project Brings More Sidewalks, Pavers, Peacefulness
10/22/2014 02:31 AM
East Cabarrus Street Recently, I had the opportunity to dig into the details of the East Cabarrus Green Street Project. The city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan includes a number of streets that have been identified as potential Green Streets and a section of Cabarrus may soon get some green upgrades. A green street, according to the […]

Pic of the Week
10/22/2014 02:31 AM
Raleigh’s first parklet at Salisbury and Hargett Street opened last week during the city’s Wide Open Bluegrass, an event that was part of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. They opened it up with live music and now the parklet is open for use. Come check out @raleighspace and listen to some Kickin' Grass band! pic.twitter.com/Cr514GdtQY […]

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.