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Hampton Roads
   Hampton Roads, Virginia is a prime mid-Atlantic region located in Southeastern Virginia. The region encompasses two areas linked by the Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula. The South Hampton Roads region includes the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. These cities are often referred to as the Tidewater area. The Peninsula consists of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg and the counties of Gloucester, James City, and York. Williamsburg, James City County, and York County are often referred to as the Historic Triangle because they played host to many important events in American history. In 1992, the Office of Budget and Management added the Isle of Wight County, Virginia and Currituck County, North Carolina to the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) due to commuting patterns between the two counties and the existing MSA 
   The term 'Hampton Roads' is a centuries-old reference that originated when the region was a struggling British outpost nearly 400 years ago. Designated in the 17th century as the name of the largest natural harbor where the James, Nansemond and Elizabeth Rivers pour into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Signifying the safety of a port, "roads" in nautical terminology means "a place less sheltered than a harbor where ships may ride at anchor".
    Since 1983, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has recognized Hampton Roads as a group of communities having economic and social integration. At that time, the two areas that constitute Hampton Roads - South Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula were combined to form the (MSA). Hampton Roads has grown from just over one million residents and the nation's 34th largest market in 1983 to the country's 28th largest metro area with over 1.4 million people.
    Unlike many of the metropolitan areas across the country, Hampton Roads' population nucleus is not confined to one central city, but is spread among several growing cities of significant size. Therefore, Hampton Roads has come to refer not only to its contiguous communities but also to the entire metropolitan area.

   It's the hub for Hampton Roads, with more than 100 attractions within arms reach. But modern day frolickers were not the first to discover Hampton's easy accessibility. Its banks once served as a hub for New World traders and pirates. In fact, the freshly severed head of Blackbeard was stuck on a stick and left at the harbor entrance in 1718.
   During the Civil War, the iron-clads Merrimac and Monitor exchanged futile cannon fire over this Confederate stronghold.   
   Hampton takes pride in being known as "America's First." It was the first point of land touched by the English colonists who continued up river to settle Jamestown. Hampton was later settled in 1610 and became America's first continuously English-speaking settlement. Many other firsts followed, such as America's first free education has its roots here and America's first astronauts were trained at the NASA Langley Research Center. The city was also the site of America's first Christmas, America's first continuous Anglican church, America's first formal trading post, America's first national seafood festival, and the first site for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Newport News 
   Newport News, located on the James River where it joins the Hampton Roads, became a permanent settlement in 1621, just 14 years after the first settlers came to America and landed at Jamestown Island on May 13, 1607. The city that started out as a tiny fishing village has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The original Newport News covered four square miles of land, but after consolidation with Warwick County in 1958 the city grew to encompass 69.2 square miles of land and 1.3 squares miles of water.
   Newport News, along with Norfolk and Portsmouth, constitutes the Port of Hampton Roads, which is part of the State Port Authority. The city is internationally known as home of Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest private employer in the state. The shipyard, established in 1886, can build large civilian liners and a variety of military vessels from large nuclear powered aircraft carriers down to relatively small nuclear submarines. 
   It is also the seaboard terminus for the CSX railroad, with dock and loading facilities for coal and a variety of bulk and container cargo. Other industries include seafood processing, manufacture of automotive parts, windows for homes and offices, electronic parts and photocopiers.
   Newport News is named after Captain Newport who is said to have come ashore during one of his trips up the James to visit the Jamestown colonists. The first ironclad naval engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac took place March 9, 1862 off the shores of Newport News. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel connecting Newport News with Portsmouth has been built near the site and named in honor of the historic battle.

   With its odd assortment of neat new homes and old white farm houses complete with long wooden front porches, Poquoson is a curious blend of families who have lived in the area for generations and newcomers wanting to escape from big city living. Poquoson, pronounced pa-KO-sen, is actually an Indian word that means low, flat swampland. The city, with its many inlets, creeks and streams is believed to be one of the oldest English-speaking settlements that has kept its original name.
   Since the first settlers arrived in the 1630s, Poquoson has continued to attract newcomers. Many residents are seagoing fishermen, oystermen and crabbers. However, a large influx of professionals is rapidly moving to the city. With a steady population of 11,100, Poquoson is a community-oriented city that has something for both young and old.

York County 
   York County is composed of many tiny communities, offering a melting pot of residents and activities. Dare, Seaford, Grafton, Dandy, Lackey, Yorktown, Tabb, and the Bruton District are all part of the 108 square miles that form York County. York County is one of Virginia's original shires and was founded in 1634 as Charles River County. The county and Charles River were renamed York around 1643 in honor of England's Duke of York, who later became King James II.
   With Revolutionary War battlefields, waterways for boating and fishing, and miles of scenic Colonial Parkway, York County lends itself to outdoor activities. A casual walk through historic Yorktown will find quaint shops, the Yorktown Monument, and antiquated homes that can be toured. One such house, the Moore House, is the site where the Articles of Confederation were drawn up. Nearby is Surrender Field where General George Washington acknowledged the surrender of British troops under General Cornwallis at the 1781 Battle of Yorktown ending the Revolutionary War.

   Williamsburg is best known for the restored and reconstructed buildings that make up Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area, but it is also a modern city whose residents enjoy all the latest conveniences, including parks and recreation activities, libraries, shopping centers and, in many areas, underground wiring. Colonists from Jamestown founded the city in 1633 as Middle Plantation. Its name was changed to Williamsburg in 1699 when it became Virginia's capital.
   The College of William and Mary, named for King William and Queen Mary of England, received its charter in 1693. After the Revolution, Williamsburg remained the political, social and cultural center of the entire colony until the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780. Thereafter the city became a small college town. During the Civil War it briefly became the headquarters for both sides. In 1926, John D. Rockefeller Jr. took the first step in making the dream of the Rev. W.A.R. Goodwin become reality when he began to restore, reconstruct, and preserve what is now the Historic Area.