Newport News is rich with history since the English settlers arrived in 1607. Captain Christopher Newport’s expedition landed at the future site of Newport News Point in search of fresh water. Tobacco cultivation in the early 1600s led to the settlement and establishment of Warwick County by 1634. The Carys, Harwoods, and Mathews families had strong imperial ties and held important offices for the Crown and the colony. The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 history of Newport News is less familiar than the Civil War. Newport News had a significant role in the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 with over 150,000 Union and Confederate soldiers facing each other along the Warwick-Yorktown Line (Newport News Park). The Union and Confederate forces also deployed balloons, ironclads, and landmines during the Peninsula Campaign. The Post-Civil War era into the twentieth century saw great economic change. Collis P. Huntington’s Chesapeake and Ohio Railway completion from Richmond to Newport News Point led to increased financial opportunities and laid the foundation for the establishment of the City of Newport News in 1896. Huntington founded the Newport News Shipyard, in 1886, which today is the Commonwealth’s largest private employer and the nation’s only shipyard building nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Beyond the Shipyard, Newport News has been a crucial component of the military industrial complex in both World Wars with the establishment of military bases and the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation. All these local stories had a large impact on Virginia’s History and influenced world events since the Revolutionary War.
Newport News has taken a leadership role in historic preservation on the Virginia Peninsula since the early 1990s. The City has world-class museums and important historic sites for future generations to enjoy.
While there are currently no events listed specifically for City of Newport News, search the VA250 Statewide Calendar of Events for a comprehensive listing of programs across the state.