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The History of Newport News
Historians agree that Newport News was named after Captain Christopher Newport, the commander of the flagship of the English fleet that landed in Jamestown in 1607. The origin of the second portion of the name, however, is a debatable issue.
Some scholars believe that the word refers to the letters and news from England that Newport brought the colonists on his visits to Jamestown, but others argue that the word originates from an Old English word for “point.” Several old maps show the location as “Newport Ness,” which would have meant Point Newport, and it is possible that the phrase simply became Newport News over time.
The first written records mentioning the community as Newport News are from 1619. In those records, the Virginia Company spelled it Newport Newes, Newportes Newes, and Newports Newes. It officially became Newport News when the first official Post Office required a name in 1851.
The Virginiana Collection, a collection of records of the Old Dominion Land Company, contains documents that trace the development of Newport News from 1886, when the Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Company was granted a charter by the Virginia General Assembly, through its name change to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in 1890.
The area underwent a warship construction boom during World War I. The shipyard received contracts for the construction of seven of Roosevelt’s 16 warships, and it is still a leading location of U.S. warship construction.
Newport News Demographics
Newport News is an independent city in Virginia. There are only 41 independent cities in the United States, and all except Baltimore, St. Louis and Carson City are located in Virginia.
U.S. Census Data for Newport News shows the population to be 180,918. Approximately 24 percent of the population is under 18 years of age, and only 11.2 percent of the population is 65 or older. Nearly 52 percent of the total population is female.
There were 77,062 housing units in Newport News in 2012, and 51.5 percent of home occupants owned their home. The median value of owner-occupied homes was $205,800. The Median Household Income in Newport News was $50,744, but 14.5 percent of the residents lived at or below the poverty level.
Things To Do While In Newport News
The Mariners’ Museum, located at 100 Museum Drive, is a world-class nautical museum that houses the guns, gun turret, engine and other relics from the salvage of the USS Monitor as well as many other fascinating displays. Visitors can even see fossils and reconstructed skeletons of savage marine dinosaurs at the museum.
Newport News is also the location of other military-themed museums. The U.S. Army Transportation Museum, The Virginia War Museum, and the USS Monitor Center are all located in Newport News.
Harvest Faire, one of the oldest Renaissance Fairs in the region, is held in Newport News each October.
The Climate of Newport News
The climate of Newport News is moderate for most of the year. Temperatures peak in the low 90s during the summer months of June, July and August, and precipitation peaks slightly later during July, August and September. Newport News receives 45 inches of rain per year, and snowfalls are rare.
Air Conditioning Services in Newport News, VA
When summer temperatures hit the 90-degree mark, you depend on your AC system to keep you comfortable. Scheduling preventative air conditioning service now can keep you cool and comfortable all summer long. Regularly scheduled service is designed to catch small issues before they become full-blown air conditioning repair problems. Call Kearney & Sons, Inc. today for assistance with all your heating and air conditioning needs!