Hampton | United States
Hampton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 137,436.
As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula.
Hampton traces its history to the city's Old Point Comfort, the home of Fort Monroe for almost 400 years, which was named by the 1607 voyagers, led by Captain Christopher Newport, who first established Jamestown as an English colonial settlement. Since consolidation in 1952, Hampton has included the former Elizabeth City County and the incorporated town of Phoebus, consolidating by mutual agreement.
After the end of the American Civil War, historic Hampton University was established opposite from the town on the Hampton River, providing an education for many newly-freed former slaves and for area Native Americans. In the 20th century, the area became the location of Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Hampton features many miles of waterfront and beaches.
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 Monroe and the Grand Contraband Camp led to educational efforts which eventually included establishment of Hampton University, site of the famous Emancipation Oak.
Hampton's daily newspaper is the Newport News-based Daily Press. Other papers include Norfolk's The Virginian-Pilot, 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 Roads area. Hampton Roads Times serves as an online magazine for all the Hampton Roads cities and counties. Hampton is served by a variety of radio stations on the AM and FM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads 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-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. Hampton residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and WGBS-LD broadcasting on channel 11. Hampton is served by Verizon FiOS and Cox Cable.
In the Hampton Roads region, water crossings are a major issue for land-based transportation. The city is fortunate to have a good network of local streets and bridges to cross the various rivers and creeks. Many smaller bridges, especially those along Mercury Boulevard, were named to honor the original NASA astronauts, who had trained extensively at NASA's Langley facilities.
The city is located contiguously to the neighboring independent cities of both Newport News and Poquoson. Many roads and streets are available to travel between them. Likewise, Williamsburg, Yorktown and the counties of James City and York are also located nearby in the Peninsula subregion, and many roads lead to them.
To reach most of its other neighbors in the South Hampton Roads subregion, it is necessary to cross the harbor and/or the mouth of the James River. There are 3 major motor vehicle crossings. Among these are the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT), each forming part of the Hampton Roads Beltway. The HRBT is located on Interstate 64 near downtown Hampton and the MMMBT is a few miles away on Interstate 664 near downtown Newport News. (These two major interstates converge in Hampton near the Hampton Coliseum). The third crossing option is the James River Bridge, also in Newport News, which connects to Isle of Wight County and the town of Smithfield.