© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

FAQ City: The Rivalry Between Charlotte And Raleigh

How is the relationship between Charlotte and Raleigh? Are we good? Charlotte is North Carolina's largest city, while Raleigh is the state capitol. Seems like tensions between the two have been simmering on and off for decades.

The local press tends to keep the feud going, be it in newspaper columns or talk show tirades. For example, a Raleigh News and Observer columnist once described Charlotte as a "high rise truck stop just west of Monroe ... a souless sprawl of over-priced suburbs filled with people who pretend to like Charlotte, but who'd really rather be going to prom with her big sister, that slatternly Atlanta."

A Charlotte Observer columnist later fired back by calling Raleigh a suburb of Cary, where, simply, there's nothing to do save for "driving out to a cow pasture on the edge of town to watch professional Canadians skate around with curved sticks and beat each other up."

And then there's the ongoing power struggle between Charlotte city leaders and lawmakers in the Raleigh statehouse. Look no further than when Raleigh tried to wrestle control of the Charlotte airport or override the Charlotte city council with House Bill 2, a.k.a the "Bathroom Bill."

All this has WFAE listener Daniel De Graaf wondering, what started the feud anyway?  

jim_williams__historian_.jpg
Credit Nick de la Canal/ WFAE
/
Charlotte historian Jim Williams.

On this episode of FAQ City, we talk to local historian Jim Williams, who says the sour relationship dates back to at least the 1840s, when Charlotte wanted a railroad that Raleigh kept failing to deliver. And later, we travel to the state capitol to find out what the every day people of Raleigh think about Charlotte, and it's ... nicer than we expected?

Special thanks to local historian Jim Williams, and to John Hood of the John William Pope Foundation for sharing their insights.

And if you're hungry for more Raleigh-bashing, check out Fox 46's full seven-minute tirade against the state capitol, apparently in response to a resident of Raleigh who made a "Raleigh > Charlotte" t-shirt. Not sure if it makes us look better or worse.

john_hood_0.jpg
Credit Nick de la Canal/ WFAE
/
John Hood

If you have a question about Charlotte you'd like us to investigate, let us know! Submit your question in the box below, and we may be in touch.

Also, be sure to subscribe and rate/review the podcast on Apple PodcastsNPR One, and Google Play, and wherever else you listen to podcasts.

_

Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. He work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal