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Hampton is an independent city in Virginiamarker, and therefore not part of any Virginia county. As one of the seven major cities that comprise the Hampton Roadsmarker metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsulamarker, bordering on Hampton Roadsmarker harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.It is the sixth most populous city in Virginiamarker, the most populous settlement with the name, and one of the oldest cities in the United States, tracing its history to the year 1610.

As of the 2000 U.S. census, the city population was 146,437, but the census estimate for 2005 showed that the city's population was down slightly to 145,579.

Hampton hosts Fort Monroemarker, Langley Air Force Basemarker, NASAmarker Langley Research Centermarker, the Virginia Air and Space Center, historic Hampton Universitymarker and features a wide array of business and industrial enterprises, retail and residential areas, historical sites, and miles of waterfront and beaches.


In December 1606, three ships carrying men and boys left England on a mission sponsored by a proprietary company. Headed by Captain Christopher Newport, they sailed across the Atlantic Oceanmarker to North America. After an exceptionally long voyage, they first landed at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay on the south shore at a place they named Cape Henry (for the Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the elder son of their king).

During the first few days of exploration, they identified the site of Old Point Comfort (which they originally named "Point Comfort") as a strategic defensive location at the entrance to what became known as Hampton Roads, which itself is formed by the confluence of the Elizabeth River, the Nansemond River, and the James River, the longest in Virginia.

A few weeks later, on May 14, 1607, they established the first permanent English settlement in the present-day United States about further inland from the Bay along the James River at Jamestown. The area around Old Point Comfort became the site of several successive fortifications during the following 200 years.

Slightly south, near the entrance to Hampton River, the Native American community of Kecoughtanmarker was seized from the natives by colonists under Virginia's Governor, Sir Thomas Gates. The colonists established their own small town, with a small Anglican church building marker, in July 9, 1610, which came to be known as part of Hampton. (That forms the basis for Hampton's claim to the oldest continuously occupied English settlement in the United Statesmarker). Hampton was named for Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, an important leader of the Virginia Company of London, for whom the Hampton River, Hampton Roads, Southampton Countymarker and Northampton Countymarker were also named. The area became part of Elizabeth Cittie [sic] in 1619, Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, and was included in Elizabeth City County when it was formed in 1643.

Shortly after the War of 1812, the Army of the United States built a much more substantial facility of stone at Old Point Comfort to become known as Fort Monroemarker in honor of U.S. President James Monroe. The new installation and adjacent Fort Calhoun on a man-made island across the channel) were completed in 1834.

Fort Monroe, Hampton and the surrounding area played several important roles during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Although most of Virginia became part of the Confederate States of America, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands. It became notable as a historic and symbolic site of early freedom for former slaves under the provisions of contraband policies and later the Emancipation Proclamation. After the War, former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in the area now known as the Casemate Museum on the base.

To the south of Fort Monroe, the Town of Hampton had the misfortune to be burned during both the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. From the ruins of Hampton left by evacuating Confederates in 1861, "Contraband" slaves (formerly owned by Confederates and under a degree of Union protection) built the Grand Contraband Camp, the first self-contained African American community in the United States. A number of modern-day Hampton streets retain their names from that community. The large number of contrabands who sought the refuge of Fort Jeffersonmarker and the Grand Contraband Camp led to educational efforts which eventually included establishment of Hampton Universitymarker, site of the famous Emancipation Oak.

The original site of the Native American's Kecoughtan Settlement was near the present site of a Hampton Roads Transit facility. To the south of present-day Hampton, a small unrelated incorporated town also named Kecoughtan many years later and also located in Elizabeth City County was annexed by the City of Newport Newsmarker in 1927, and now forms part of that city's East End.

Long a town in Elizabeth City County, Hampton became an independent city from Elizabeth City County on March 30, 1908, although it remained the county seat and continued to share many services with the county. On July 1, 1952, following approval of voters of each locality by referendum, the City of Hampton, the incorporated town of Phoebusmarker and Elizabeth City County were all politically consolidated into a single independent city under the name of Hampton. It was the first of a series of political consolidations in the Hampton Roadsmarker region during the third quarter of the 20th century.


Hampton is located at (37.034946, -76.360126) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 352.8 square kilometers (136.2 sq mi). 134.1 square kilometers (51.8 sq mi) of it is land and 218.7 square kilometers (84.4 sq mi) of it (61.99%) is water.

Adjacent counties and cities


Hampton's mild four season climate means outdoor activities can be enjoyed year round. The weather in Hampton is temperate and seasonal. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. The mean annual temperature is , with an average annual snowfall of and an average annual rainfall of . No measurable snow fell in 1999. The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant all year round. The highest recorded temperature was in 1980. The lowest recorded temperature was on January 21, 1985.

Additionally, the geographic location of the city, with respect to the principal storm tracks, is especially favorable, as it is south of the average path of storms originating in the higher latitudes, and north of the usual tracks of hurricanes and other major tropical storms. With the exception of Hurricane Isabel in 2003.


Age distribution in Hampton
As of the census of 2000, there were 146,437 people, 53,887 households, and 35,888 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,828.0 people per square mile (1,091.9/km²). There were 57,311 housing units at an average density of 1,106.8/sq mi (427.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.55% White, 44.68% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 1.84% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 2.39% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 53,887 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.

The age distribution is 24.2% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

Population update: estimated population in July 2002: 145,921 (-0.4% change)Males: 72,579 (49.6%), Females: 73,858 (50.4%) Source

The Census estimate for 2005 shows that the city's population was down slightly to more, 145,579.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,532, and the median income for a family was $46,110. Males had a median income of $31,666 versus $24,578 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,774. About 8.8% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Hampton is served by two airports. The primary airport for the Hampton Roadsmarker area is Norfolk International Airportmarker, on the opposite side of Hampton Roads in Norfolkmarker. The region's secondary airport, Newport News/Williamsburg International Airportmarker, is located on the Virginia Peninsula in Newport Newsmarker.


Hampton's daily newspaper is the Daily Press. Other papers include the Port Folio Weekly, the New Journal and Guide, and the Hampton Roads Business Journal. Hampton Roads Magazine serves as a bi-monthly regional magazine for Hampton and the Hampton Roadsmarker area. Hampton is served by a variety of radio stations on the AM and FM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roadsmarker area.

Hampton is also served by several television stations. The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TVmarker 3 (CBS), WAVYmarker 10 (NBC), WVEC-TVmarker 13 (ABC), WGNTmarker 27 (CW), WTVZmarker 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBTmarker 43 (Fox), and WPXVmarker 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TVmarker 15. Hampton residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKYmarker broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and WGBS broadcasting on channel 7. Hampton is served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news network. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television in Hampton.



Hampton is home to the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Pilots play at War Memorial Stadiummarker in Hampton. The team began playing in Hampton in 2000.


Primary and secondary schools

Hampton City Public Schools bus.
America's first free public school, the Syms-Eaton Academy, was established in Hampton in 1634. It was later renamed Hampton Academy and in 1852 became part of the public school system. Hampton High School traces its origin to the Syms-Eaton school and thus lays claim to being the oldest public school in the United States. The trust fund created from the Syms and Eaton donations has remained intact since the 17th century and was incorporated into support for the Hampton public school system.Hampton City Public Schools currently operates the following schools.
  • Moton Early Childhood Center
  • Aberdeen Elementary School
  • Armstrong Fundamental Elementary School
  • Asbury Elementary School
  • Barron Elementary School
  • Bassette Elementary School
  • Booker Elementary School
  • Bryan Elementary School
  • Burbank Elementary School
  • Cary Elementary School
  • Cooper magnet Elementary School
  • Forrest Elementary School
  • Kraft Elementary School
  • Langley Elementary School
  • Lee Elementary School
  • Machen Elementary School
  • Mallory Elementary School
  • Mary Peake Elementary School
  • Merrimack Elementary School
  • Phillips Elementary School
  • Phinex prek-8 school(under construction)
  • Smith Elementary School
  • Tarrant Elementary School
  • Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School
  • Tyler Elementary School
  • Wythe Elementary School
  • Eaton Fundamental Middle School
  • Gloria Dei Lutheran School
  • Jefferson Davis Middle School
  • Jones Magnet Middle School
  • Lindsay Middle School
  • Spratley Middle School
  • Syms Middle School
  • Bethel High Schoolmarker
  • Hampton High School
  • Kecoughtan High School
  • Phoebus High School

Private schools include:

Colleges and universities

Hampton Universitymarker provides a private collegiate education. Thomas Nelson Community College serves as the community college. Located in the north side of Hampton and in nearby Williamsburg, Thomas Nelson offers college and career training programs. Newport News contains Christopher Newport Universitymarker, a public university. Other nearby public universities include Old Dominion Universitymarker, Norfolk State Universitymarker and The College of William and Marymarker.

Defunct schools

  • the original Phenix High Schoolmarker on the campus of Hampton Universitymarker became Phenix Hall.
  • A replacement Phenix High School, which was renamed Pembroke High School with the end of segregation closed in 1980 and the building is now the Hampton Family YMCA and social services of Hampton VA.
  • Y.H. Thomas Middle School is now the Adult Education Center and a community center.
  • sin clare elementary later torn down is now a site for hotels
  • Syms-Eaton elementary school Was torn down in the 1970s or 80s is now a pervillion and a site for town homes in dowtown hampton
  • The First hampton high school became John M. Willis elementary which closed in 1974.
  • The second Hampton high school became Thorpe Jr. High school which was closed in 1976. The area where these two schools were is now the site of the Charles H. Taylor Memorial library and Darling Memorial stadium

Major neighborhoods

The old "lighthouse" at Buckroe Beach was built as a part of the amusement park.

Points of interest


Hampton is served by two airports. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airportmarker, located in Newport News, and Norfolk International Airportmarker, in Norfolk, both cater to passengers from Hampton Roads. The primary airport for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The Airport is experiencing a 4th year of record, double-digit growth, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In January 2006, the airport reported having served 1,058,839 passengers.Norfolk International Airportmarker , serves the region. The airport is located near Chesapeake Bay, along the city limits of Norfolkmarker and Virginia Beachmarker. Seven airlines provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations. ORF had 3,703,664 passengers take off or land at its facility and 68,778,934 pounds of cargo were processed through its facilities. The Chesapeake Regional Airportmarker provides general aviation services and is located on the other side of the Hampton Roads Harbor.

Transportation within the city, as well as with other Seven Cities of Hampton Roads is served by a regional bus service, Hampton Roads Transit.

Notable Hamptonians

American history





Sister cities

Hampton has four sister cities:

Notes and references

  1. Hampton city QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  2. WMCAR - Historic Kecoughtan
  3. Climate information from NOAA.
  4. Maximum and minimum temperatures from Yahoo! Weather
  5. Information from NOAA.
  6. Holmes, Gary. " Nielsen Reports 1.1% increase in U.S. Television Households for the 2006-2007 Season." Nielsen Media Research. September 23, 2006. Retrieved on September 28, 2007.
  7. " Map and directions." Hampton Christian Schools. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  8. Christopher Newport University
  9. College of William and Mary
  10. Old Dominion University
  11. Norfolk State University
  12. Hampton University
  13. Thomas Nelson Community College
  14. Hampton Roads Transit
  15. Sister Cities designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI). Retrieved on August 18, 2006.

See also

External links

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