Raleigh is the capitol of the state of North Carolina. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city. According to the U.S Census Bureau 2012, Raleigh is the 42nd most populous city in the United States and also one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare county.
Raleigh is home to North Carolina State Univeristy and is part of the Research Triangle area, together with Durham (home of Duke University) and Chapel Hill (home of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The "Triangle" nickname originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located partway between the three cities and their Universities.
Raleigh is an early example in the United States of a planned city, chosen as the site of the state capital in 1788 and incorporated in 1792. The city was origianlly laid out in a grid pattern with the North Carolina State Capitol in Union Square at the center. In the United States Civil War the city was spared from any significant battle, only falling in the closing days of the war, though it did not escape the economic hardships that plagued the rest of the American South during the Reconstruction Era. The twentieth century saw the opening of the Research Triangle Park in 1959, and with the jobs it created the region and city saw a large influx of population, making it one of the fastest growing communities in the United States by the early 21st century.
Raleigh is home to numerous cultural, educational and historic sites. The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in DownTown Raleigh features three theater venues and serves as the home for the North Carolina Symphony. Walnut Creek Amphitheatre is a large music amphitheater located in Southeast Raleigh. Museums in Raleigh include the North Carolina Museum of Art in West Raleigh, as well as the North Carolina Museum of History and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences located next to each other near the State Capitol in Downtown Raleigh. Several major Universities and colleges call Raleigh home, including North Carolina State Univeristy, the largest public University in the State, and Shaw University. Shaw University, the first historically black University in the American South and site of the foundation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an important civil rights organization of the 1960s. One United States president, Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh.
Learn More at: http://www.raleighnc.gov/
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