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City Guide: Newport News

Newport News is a maritime city steeped in history, dating back to the early 1600s, when it was first settled.

Legend has it that it was named after explorer Capt. Christopher Newport, who sometime about 1610 sailed on the James River to return to the Jamestown colony with food supplied from England.

Newport News incorporated in 1896, becoming a separate city from Warwick County. In 1958, the two merged, becoming modern-day Newport News, which is 22 miles long and 4 miles wide.

Newport News is also known for the "Battle of Hampton Roads" which included the first-ever battle of ironclad ships off of its shores — the USS Monitor versus the CSS Virginia (Merrimack). The two fought to a standstill on March 9, 1862. The Mariners' Museum in Newport News displays recovered Monitor parts, including the turret.

Other historical landmarks: End View Plantation , Lee Hall Mansion and Newsome House, Hilton Village and the Victory Arch in downtown, which celebrates the return of World War I soldiers.

Modern-day Newport News showcases City Center, a high-end retail and hotel development that mimics a traditional downtown, and Port Warwick, another New Urbanism shopping center.

Local industries include the Northrup Grumman shipyard, Canon, Jefferson Lab and the soon-to-be-built Areva. The city is also home to Fort Eustis, a U.S. Army base.

Newport News Population: 193,172 Area: 69.2 square miles Incorporated: 1896 Median age: 33.3 Mayor: Joe S. Frank, (757) 926-8618 , mayorsoffice@ nngov.com County website: www.nngov.com

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