Raleigh, North Carolina, was built as a planned capital city in the 1790s and named after English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), who had settled the North Carolina coast in the early 1600s.
Aside from being the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh became a center of education for the state. Two women's colleges were established in the second half of the 1800s: Peace College (1857) and Meredith College (1891). Raleigh also became home to historically black colleges, like Shaw University (1865) and St. Augustine’s College (1867). North Carolina State University was established as a land-grant institution in 1887 and originally called North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (North Carolina A & M).
Raleigh, together with Durham and Chapel Hill, is one of the three points of the Research Triangle, simply called "the Triangle" by most locals, with three renowned universities: the aforementioned North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The region houses Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest research park in the United States, housing an abundance of tech companies and businesses. RTP was established in the 1950s to attract modern industries to the state and stimulate the economy. It has been a success: Today, RTP has 140 business, including IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, and Cisco Systems, and employs nearly 40,000 people.