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Hillary Clinton, Hagan to rally NC Democrats
10/25/2014 04:40 AM
Hillary Clinton Democratic FundraiserFormer Secretary of State of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is coming to Charlotte to campaign for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

UNC president pledges to do more to prevent academic fraud
10/24/2014 08:09 PM
University of North Carolina System President Tom RossDays after an outside investigation revealed the breadth of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina System's flagship university, System President Tom Ross assured leaders that "we will do more" to prevent future cases in the 16-campus network.

NC Board of Elections completes citizenship audit
10/24/2014 06:28 PM
@NCCapitolThe NC Board of Elections completed an audit Friday of more than 10,000 voters whose citizenship status had been questioned by a so-called voter watchdog group.

Sanford man wins $1M in lottery game
10/24/2014 04:51 PM
North Carolina Education Lottery A Sanford man plans to use the $1 million prize he won after playing the $1,000,000 Jackpot game to bay bills and save for his son's education.

UNC medical worker plans to help fight Ebola in Africa
10/24/2014 03:42 PM
John StraderJohn Strader, a physician's assistant at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, plans to go to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

Weekend Listen, Jarrett Walker
10/25/2014 11:07 AM
Raleigh NC: Happy to be kicking off an update of the Wake Co Transit Plan, with @KimleyHorn Look forward to spending more time there. — Jarrett Walker (@humantransit) September 11, 2014 Jarrett Walker and his transit consulting company were recently hired to be a part of the update to the Wake County Transit Plan. Below […]

301 Hillsborough, A Review
10/25/2014 11:07 AM
The parking lot at 301 Hillsborough Street This story is as old as the blog itself so it is kind of exciting to revisit an “old” development. Articles in the news have reported that the city is in talks with interested developers to build on top of the city-owned property at 301 Hillsborough Street. From […]

Campaign for Bicycle Repair Stations in Downtown Raleigh
10/25/2014 11:07 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
10/25/2014 11:07 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
10/25/2014 11:07 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 […]

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.