Five Interesting Facts About Durham

North Carolina Central University was the nation's first publicly supported liberal arts college for African Americans.

It’s always fun to learn something new about the place you call home, and Durham is certainly no exception. Today we thought it would be fun to share some facts about our wonderful city, so here are five interesting facts about Durham!

  • Durham is called the City of Medicine, USA, because healthcare is a major industry in the area. There are more than 300 medical and health-related companies and practices that combine for an annual payroll of over $1.5 billion.
  • Duke University was originally called Trinity College. Trinity College moved to Durham in 1887 and money and land was donated by Washington Duke and Julian Carr to help with the move. Duke’s son, James Buchanan Duke, donated $40 million to the college and Trinity College was renamed Duke University in 1924.
  • Research Triangle Park is now the world’s largest university-related research park and is the namesake for the Triangle region that includes 7,000 acres in Southeast Durham. It was created in the 1950s and 60s and is home to over 140 research companies with roughly 39,000 employees.
  • Explorer John Lawson called Durham “the flower of the Carolinas” in 1701 when he chronicled the region’s beauty.
  • North Carolina Central University was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard in 1910 as the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African Americans in the nation.

Did you learn something new about our wonderful hometown Durham? You can learn more interesting information about Durham at

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