Facts & Figures
- Newport News is located in the eastern part of Virginia, midway between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach.
- English colonists began settling in what is now Newport News as early as 1622. Newport News became an independent city in 1896 and in 1958, merged with Warwick County.
- Population: 180,150 (2000 U.S. Census); 185,200 residents (2003 Newport News estimate). The city is approximately 69 square miles in area; 23 miles long and 3 miles wide.
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- Newport News is home to one of the largest municipal parks (8,065 acres) in the United States. Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, archery and camping are all available in the park.
- Newport News Park features 188 campsites spaciously arranged throughout natural woodlands. All campsites have electrical and water hookups, picnic table, grill and a parking pad. Each campsite loop has a centrally-located facilities building with heated showers, flush toilets and a centralized sewage disposal station.
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What's In a Name?
- No one knows for sure where Newport News got its name, but "Newportes Newes" first appears in the Virginia Company records in 1619, making it one of the oldest place names in the New World. The most widely accepted folktale is that our city is the namesake of Captain Christopher Newport, commander of Susan Constant, flagship of the three ship English fleet that landed on Jamestown Island in 1607. He made several voyages to Newport News in the early days of the Jamestown Colony, bringing "good news" of supplies and settlers.
"We Shall Build Good Ships"
- Collis P. Huntington, a Northern railroad tycoon from Connecticut, brought two magnet industries to Newport News: the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Now known as Northrop Grumman Newport News, the shipyard, chartered in 1886, has built aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy since the 1930s, including the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Enterprise, and is today the sole builder of all the U.S. Navy's carriers. For the record, the first vessel built by the yard was the tugboat Dorothy!
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