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Mother of slain prison guard wants more officers behind bars
05/29/2017 07:39 AM
Meggan CallahanThe mother of a guard who authorities say was killed by an inmate in a North Carolina prison hopes her daughter's death shows the need for more guards and better training.

Organizer: Over 100,000 attended Balloon Fest 2017
05/29/2017 07:29 AM
WRAL Freedom Balloon FestThe WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest comes to a close Monday with hot air balloon competition flights and a flag ceremony to honor military members.

Late-day rain won't mess up most Memorial Day plans
05/29/2017 07:15 AM
WRAL Freedom Balloon FestivalWeather cooperated for events at the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest on Sunday night, and conditions should remain pleasant for morning events on the final day of the festival.

Grandmother, child called 911 in fatal officer-involved shooting
05/29/2017 04:51 AM
Shaquian Tyrone JohnsonA man suspected in a Sunday morning burglary on Firetree Lane in Cary died after being shot by an officer who was attempting to take him into custody, according to police.

Pilot soars to new heights with homemade hot air balloon
05/28/2017 07:30 PM
Pilot soars to new heights with homemade hot air balloonNearly 40 balloons are participating in the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest. About a dozen of those were built in a factory in western North Carolina, but one balloon has a more unique creation that the pilot describes as a labor of love.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Pic of the Week
05/26/2017 03:00 AM
Rendering of 510 Glenwood Work has already begun on some exterior renovations to the ground-floor facade of 510 Glenwood. Less columns and a more defined outdoor seating space seems to the be at the core of the plans. The original design made the entrance ways darker and less inviting, in my opinion, and I bet […]

First National Bank Announces Plans to Anchor 22-Story FNB Tower at 501 Fayetteville Street
05/24/2017 03:31 AM
Announced on Tuesday May 23, First National Bank will be the anchor tenant of FNB Tower, the former Charter Square north project that we have been tracking here on the blog. Jump straight to the press release for full details. The key points to pull out from the release are: 22-story development called FNB Tower […]

Pic of the Week
05/18/2017 04:00 AM
The convenience store king of downtown Raleigh, Taz, has opened up Oak City Market House of Fresh in the Skyhouse tower. The shop is part deli, part grocer with a wide selection of produce, meats, and other essentials. What I like about this one is that the items are packed in there, as an urban […]

Rezoning Request for 400 Dawson Street Hints at Possible New Tower
05/16/2017 04:00 AM
Corner of Dawson and Davie Streets, May 2017. A rezoning request has popped up for 404 and 406 South Dawson Street, the lots at the corner with Davie Street. The empty lot next to Crank Arm Brewing is currently used as parking but will definitely change as the rezoning request asks for a higher height […]

Hard Hat Tour From The Top of the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown
05/09/2017 04:00 AM
View from the upcoming rooftop bar at the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown. A big thanks goes out to Summit Hospitality, a local development group behind the Residence Inn hotel on Salisbury Street, for inviting me along one of their recent hard hat tours of the building. The hotel is nearing completion and should be welcoming […]

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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.