Timeline: Events that shaped the Triangle and the Indy | News Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Timeline: Events that shaped the Triangle and the Indy 

click to enlarge Click for larger image - Our first issue

  • The North Carolina Independent launches April 15
  • N.C. State University wins the NCAA men's basketball championship
  • N.C. Museum of Art opens its present facility in Raleigh
  • Haw River is dammed in Chatham County to create Jordan Lake. The resulting reservoir provides drinking water for 100,000 people


  • U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms defeats Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt, in what was the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history
  • N.C. unemployment rate rises to 7.3%
  • First execution in N.C. since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1977


  • Republican Jim Martin is elected governor
  • Raleigh beltline is completed; I-40 opens between RTP, Durham and Chapel Hill
  • N.C. State Centennial Campus expansion begins


  • Erwin Mills closes in Durham

click to enlarge 186084_bull-durham-posters.gif

  • American Tobacco factory in Durham closes
  • The KKK marches through Hillsborough and Chapel Hill
  • Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant begins operating in Wake County
  • Bull Durham is filmed at the historic Durham Athletic Park


  • Weaver Street Market opens in Carrboro


  • The Raleigh Times publishes its last edition
  • Independent goes from a biweekly to a weekly publication


  • Erwin Square in Durham rises on the skyline
  • NEA chief vetoes grants to four performance artists following a campaign by Jesse Helms to eliminate taxpayer funding for supposedly immoral art
  • After resorting to the infamous "white hands" commercial, Helms beats Democrat Harvey Gantt, an African American and former Charlotte mayor

click to enlarge 4.9-25th-jim-martin-article.gif

  • The Durham Morning Herald and The Durham Sun merge to become The Durham Herald-Sun
  • Broccoli? Yams? No, says the Indy, the real state vegetable is Gov. Jim Martin


  • Duke wins the NCAA men's basketball tournament
  • Durham's county and city school systems merge
  • Whole Foods buys Wellspring
  • Hillsborough gets its first adult bookstore, Adam & Eve
  • Indy exposes how developers' campaign contributions pave the way for new road


  • UNC Tar Heels win the NCAA men's basketball tournament
  • The News & Observer acquires The Chapel Hill News
  • Democrat Jim Hunt is elected governor after having served two terms in the 1970s and '80s
  • Carolina Theatre reopens


  • Money magazine rates the Triangle the best place to live in the country
  • UNC women's basketball team wins national championship. Marion Jones, future disgraced track star, is starting guard on the team


  • The $16 million Durham Bulls Athletic Park opens downtown
  • The News & Observer is sold to McClatchy Newspapers of Sacramento, Calif., for $373 million, ending 101 years of Daniels family ownership
  • Bob Young and Marc Ewing co-found open-source software company Red Hat in Raleigh
  • Wake County conservatives slash taxes and school funding, launching an era of classroom trailers and fights over year-round schools


  • Raleigh conservatives bring the law down on cross-dressing performers at Legends. Over at Memorial Auditorium, the N.C. Theater responds by dumping La Cage Aux Folles from its schedule, replacing it with Annie
  • Jolene Strickland fails to unseat Gov. Jim Hunt. Enthusiasm for Strickland wanes when she's proven to be the Indy's fictional creation
  • The federal Defense Information Agency and AT&T deactivate Chatham County's "Big Hole" south of Fearrington Village. The underground communications bunker had been a source of speculation for more than 30 years


  • The Village Companies (now Vilcom) sells local talk radio station WCHL 1360 AM to the Raleigh-based Curtis Media Group
  • Raleigh author Charles Frazier wins National Book Award for Cold Mountain
  • Raleigh and NCSU decide against a downtown location for the new sports arena, and put it on an I-40 exit ramp instead. Walkable? Only to the nearby gas station
  • Spectator sold to Creative Loafing Inc., a Tampa-based company


  • Democrat John Edwards beats incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth to become senator
  • Schizophrenic Wendell Williamson sues his psychiatrist three years after a Franklin Street shooting spree


  • Mike Nelson elected mayor of Carrboro, the youngest mayor in the town's history
  • Groundbreaking on the controversial Meadowmont development


  • Capitol Broadcasting Company purchases WRAZ-TV, which becomes Fox50
  • The last cigarette is produced at the Liggett factory in Durham
  • Coker Towers development in Raleigh is defeated, setting stage for Charles Meeker to be elected mayor


  • Duke's Blue Devils win the NCAA men's basketball tournament
  • Democrats nominate Erskine Bowles for the U.S. Senate race; he's thumped by prodigal Republican Liddy Dole


  • Cary's population exceeds 100,000
  • The Streets at Southpoint opens in Durham
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield announces it may become a for-profit company
  • Indy buys the Spectator from Creative Loafing Inc.
  • Republican-turned-Democrat Bunkey Morgan unseats progressive incumbent Chatham County Commissioner Gary Phillips. Morgan's election and subsequent growth-friendly majority floods Chatham with residential development, including the 1,600-acre, 2,400-home Brier Chapel project, approved in 2005


  • Sen. John Edwards announces his campaign for U.S. president
  • Michael Peterson is convicted for the December 2001 murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson

click to enlarge Starlite Drive-In
  • Starlite Drive-In

  • Jim Heavner's Vilcom buys WCHL 1360 AM back from Curtis Media Group, relocates it to Chapel Hill
  • The renovated American Tobacco Historic District opens in downtown Durham
  • Fire destroys Durham's Starlite Drive-In


  • Paxton Media acquires The Herald-Sun in Durham and lays off dozens of staffers
  • Gov. Easley signs laws establishing the N.C. Education Lottery
  • Duke's Nasher Museum of Art opens
  • CIAA basketball tournament abandons Raleigh for Charlotte, stripping the Triangle of its signature event for historically black colleges


  • The Duke lacrosse scandal breaks when dancer Crystal Gail Mangum accuses three team members of raping her at a party. In April 2007, a judge declares the players "innocent"
  • Raleigh Wide Open draws 70,000 visitors for the reopening of a portion of Fayetteville Street
  • Samuel Flippen is the last state inmate to be executed before the de facto death penalty moratorium goes into effect


  • UNC Chancellor James Moeser announces he will leave in 2008
  • Construction begins at Durham Performing Arts Center
  • Raleigh's population hits 370,000, cracking the list of Top 50 cities


  • Greenfire Development announces further plans to renovate downtown Durham with retail and housing
  • Raleigh Convention Center set to open in August
  • UNC Student Body President Eve Carson murdered


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News Feature

Twitter Activity


@Sam M-B, Brian Howe was a freelancer until January 2014.

by Susan Harper, INDY Publisher on Six Months After Becoming Durham’s Mayor, Steve Schewel Has a Lot to Say (News Feature)

Re: "even though no one on the current editorial staff worked here while he owned the paper":

Brian Howe …

by Sam M-B on Six Months After Becoming Durham’s Mayor, Steve Schewel Has a Lot to Say (News Feature)

Most Recent Comments

@Sam M-B, Brian Howe was a freelancer until January 2014.

by Susan Harper, INDY Publisher on Six Months After Becoming Durham’s Mayor, Steve Schewel Has a Lot to Say (News Feature)

Re: "even though no one on the current editorial staff worked here while he owned the paper":

Brian Howe …

by Sam M-B on Six Months After Becoming Durham’s Mayor, Steve Schewel Has a Lot to Say (News Feature)

We are a new organization in Durham working to provide ABA therapy for children. We would love to do a …

by Eineblume on A State Law Orders Insurers to Cover Therapies for Children With Autism, But Many Families Are Still Going Without (News Feature)

One of the Major reasons for Trumps support in Wayne county is the Massive influx of Illegal immigrants and the …

by Timothy Oswald on In Wayne County, N.C., Trump’s America Is Angry (News Feature)

I've actually met John Pavlovitz, and he has a pastor's heart. He demonstrates the fruit of the spirit. He has …

by JCF on How Raleigh’s John Pavlovitz Went from Fired Megachurch Pastor to Rising Star of the Religious Left (News Feature)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation