Newport News Trivia and Fun Facts
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.
Newport News has one of the largest municipal parks (7,500 acres) east of the Mississippi River and one of the largest private parks in the United States.
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!
J. Clyde Morris Boulevard was named for Warwick County's first and only manager. When Warwick County became a city in 1952, Mr. Morris served as the city manager until 1958, when Warwick and Newport News consolidated.
What county is Newport News in? None. Newport News is an independent city and therefore not part of any county. For the record, Virginia has 95 counties and 40 independent cities.
Hampton Roads, one of the world's largest natural harbors, is formed by the merging of the James, Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers with the Chesapeake Bay.
The U.S. Army designated Newport News as a Port of Embarkation during both World War I and World War II. After World War I, over 441,000 troops found their way back home through Newport News. And over a million troops passed through the port between 1942 and 1945.
Historic Hilton Village, a neighborhood of 500 English cottage-style homes, was the first government-subsidized "planned community." It was constructed between 1918 and 1920 to provide wartime housing for shipyard workers.
Warwick River was named for Robert Rich, the second Earl of Warwick (1587-1658), a prominent member of the Virginia Company. Warwick Boulevard was originally called the "Great Warwick Road to Williamsburg."
The Battle of Dam No. 1 Civil War battlefield site, the James A. Fields House, Greenlawn Cemetery, Hilton Village, Lee Hall Mansion, The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center, the North End-Huntington Heights neighborhood and the Historic Smith Pharmacy are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.