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Hampton, Virginia

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Hampton is an independent city located in Virginia. It is on the southern end of the Virginia Peninsula, bordering on Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 146,437; but a 2004 census shows that the city's population is at 159,983.

The current City of Hampton was formed from the incorporated town of Phoebus and Elizabeth City County, Virginia in 1952. It essentially incorporates the boundaries of Elizabeth City County which was created in 1643 from Elizabeth River Shire, one of the eight original shires of 1634 in colonial Virginia.

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Newport News, Virginia

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Newport News is an independent city located in Virginia. It is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending to its mouth Hampton Roads. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 180,150. A more recent 2005 estimate indicates the city's population has grown to 195,347.

The name of Newport News has long been a puzzle to those curious about the origin of place names. To this day nobody really knows how the city got its name. Several versions are recorded. One popular explanation holds that when the first Jamestown, Virginia colonists left to return to England after the Starving Time of 1610, they encountered Captain Christopher Newport's ship in the James River off Mulberry Island, and learned that reinforcements of men and supplies had arrived, and that the colonists need not abandon Jamestown. Thus the city was named for Newport's good news. Less dramatically, the city may have derived its name from an old English word "news" meaning "new town." Another theory is that the original name was New Port Neuce, named for a person with the name Neuce and the town's place as a new seaport. That the name was formerly written as Newport's News is verified by numerous early documents and maps, and by local tradition. The change to Newport News apparently was brought about by usage, for by 1851 the Post Office Department sanctioned New Port News as the name of the first post office, and in 1866 it approved the name as Newport News.

Newport News was originally located in Warwick River Shire, one of eight created in colonial Virginia in 1634. During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607, English settlers and explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. By 1634, the English colony of Virginia consisted of eight shires or counties with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants.

Warwick River Shire became Warwick County in 1637. By 1810, the county seat was at Denbigh. Virginia has had an independent city political subdivision since 1871, and Newport News became independent of Warwick County in 1896 by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. Independent city status guarantees protection against annexation of territory by adjacent communities. Walter A. Post served as the city's first mayor. In 1952, Warwick County became the independent City of Warwick, and in 1958, was consolidated with the independent city of Newport News, assuming the better-known name, and forming the third largest city population-wise in Virginia with a 65 square mile area. The boundaries of the City of Newport News today are essentially the boundaries of the original Warwick River Shire and those of Warwick County for most of its existence.

The city was essentially founded by Collis P. Huntington, builder of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and its coal piers and Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, the world's largest shipyard. His famous saying is:

We shall build good ships here. At a profit - if we can. At a loss - if we must. But always good ships.
Huntington began acquiring land in Warwick County in 1865, and developed the coal piers and the shipyard during the next 20 years. Huntington Park, near the northern terminus of the James River Bridge, is named in his honor. His son, Archer M. Huntington, developed the Mariners' Museum, one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world.

Newport News is the location of Fort Eustis, an important U.S. Army base built in Warwick County on Mulberry Island at the mouth of the Warwick River in beginning in 1918. The city is also famous as the birthplace of legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, author William Styron, New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks who attended Ferguson High,Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and brother Marcus Vick who both attended Warwick High, played football, and Michael was honored by the school in 1999 by retiring his football jersey. Rapper 50 Cent mentions Newport News in his song "Ski Mask Way", refering to the city as "Bad News, VA". The Mariners' Museum, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and Christopher Newport University are located in Newport News.

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Jamestown, Viginia

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Jamestown was a village by the James River in Virginia, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of where Richmond, Virginia, is now. Both the river and the 1607 settlement there were named for King James I who had recently ascended to the English throne. The Jamestown Settlement was the first permanent English colony in the United States to survive (following the failure of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island to the south).

Jamestown was founded in 1607 by the London Virginia Company. After sailing across the Atlantic Ocean from England, the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery with their crews of 104 men and boys, made landfall at Cape Henry on April 26, 1607. The party explored the area, named the cape, and set up a cross near the site of the current Cape Henry Memorial.

They then proceeded in their ships into the Chesapeake Bay to Hampton Roads and up the James River, where they arrived at Jamestown on May 14, where they began the first permanent English settlement in the United States.

The settlers consisted mainly of English farmers and Polish woodcutters, hired in Royal Prussia. Upon landing, secret orders from the Virginia Company were opened which named John Smith as one of the councilors. Smith had been arrested on the voyage over by Admiral Christopher Newport for mutiny and scheduled to be hanged, but was freed upon the opening of the orders.

Despite the fact that Jamestown Island is a swamp, the men of the Virginia Company chose to settle there because they felt it was far enough inland to avoid contact and conflict with the Spanish fleet while the river was deep enough to permit them to anchor their ships yet have an easy and quick departure if necessary. They had only been at Jamestown for less than a fortnight when they were attacked on May 26 by Paspahegh Native Americans, who succeeded in killing one of the settlers and wounding eleven more. By June 15, the settlers finished the initial triangle fort at Jamestown and a week later, Newport sailed back for London on the Susan Constant with a load of pyrite and dirt.

Edward Maria Wingfield was named the first president of the colony and would remain in that position until September, when he was found guilty of libel and deposed. John Ratcliffe was elected to take his place. A year later, John Smith was elected to replace Ratcliffe. He would remain as President until wounded in 1609, when Ratcliffe became President again, although Ratcliffe was captured by Chief Powhatan, whose native name was Wahunsunacock, and tortured to death by women of the Powhatan tribe while on a trade mission shortly after being elected. The winter of 1609-1610 became known as the starving time in Jamestown.

The settlers who came over on the initial three ships were not well equipped for the life they found in Jamestown and many suffered from saltwater poisoning which led to infection, fevers, and dysentery. Smith was wounded when his powder bag exploded and he was sent back to England, where he wrote A True Relation about his experiences in Jamestown and a second book, The Proceedings of the English Colony of Virginia. The publication of this book sparked a resurgence in interest in the colony and, with plans being made to abandon Jamestown in 1610, a new governor, Lord de la Warr, arrived and forced the remaining 90 settlers to stay.

While president of the colony, Smith led a food-gathering expedition up the Chickahominy River. His men were set upon by Native Americans and when his men were killed, Smith strapped his Native American guide in front of him to use as a shield. Captured by Opchanacanough, Chief Powhatan's half-brother, Smith gave him a compass, which made the Native American decide to let Smith live. When Smith was brought before Chief Powhatan, however, the chief decided to execute him, a course of action which was stopped by the pleas of Powhatan's young daughter, Pocahontas, who was originally named Matoaka, but whose nickname meant "Playful one."

Although Pocahontas's life would be tied to the English after this first meeting, she is not tied to Smith, except in his report in his books. During the winter of 1608, after Jamestown was destroyed by flames, Pocahontas brought food and clothing to the colonists. She later negotiated with Smith for the release of Native Americans who had been captured by the colonists during a raid to gain English weaponry. Pocahontas converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca in 1613 under the tutelage of Reverend Alexander Whitaker, who arrived in Jamestown in 1611 to found the first Presbyterian Church in Virginia. She married a settler, John Rolfe on April 24, 1614. They married in hopes of trying to improve relations between the Powhatan's and the settlers. This uneasy peace was ruined when the Powhatan's attacked the settlers for taking the Indian lands. Within two years, they left for London, where Pocahontas died at Gravesend on March 17, 1617.

Rolfe arrived in Jamestown in 1609 following the shipwreck of the Sea Venture, which may have inspired William Shakespeare's "The Tempest", through a log of the events kept by Captain Samuel Jordan. Wedged in a reef off Bermuda, the 150 on board built ships from the wreckage and sailed the two boats, known as the Deliverance and the Patience up to Jamestown, where they found the colony in ruins and practically abandoned until de la Warr arrived the following year.

Later Colonial Era

Governor Berkeley confronts BaconIn 1634, the English Crown created eight shires (i.e. counties) in the colony of Virginia, with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. James City Shire was established and included Jamestown. About 1642-43, the name of the James City Shire was changed to James City County.

In the 1670s, the governor of Virginia was Sir William Berkeley, serving his second term in that office. Berkeley had previously been governor in the 1640s and was a scholar and playwright, as well as a veteran of the English Civil War and in his seventies. In the mid 1670s, a young cousin of his, through marriage, Nathaniel Bacon, Jr. arrived in Virginia, sent by his father in the hope that he would mature. Although lazy, Bacon was intelligent and Berkeley provided him with a land grant and a seat on the Virginia Colony council.

In July 1675, the Doeg Indians raided the plantation of Thomas Mathews in order to gain payment for several items Mathews had obtained from the tribe. Several Doegs were killed in the raid and the colonists then raided the Susquehanaugs in retaliation. This led to large scale Indian raids. Berkeley tried to calm the situation, but many of the colonists refused to listen to him and Bacon disregarded a direct order and captured some Appomattox Indians.

Following the establishment of the Long Assembly in 1676, war was declared on all hostile Indians, and trade with Indian tribes was regulated, often seen by the colonists to favor those friends of Berkeley. Bacon opposed Berkeley and led a group in opposition to the governor. Bacon and his troops set themselves up at Henrico until Berkeley arrived and Bacon and his men fled, upon which time Berkeley declared them in rebellion and offered a pardon to any who returned to Jamestown peaceably.

Bacon led numerous raids on Indians friendly to the colonists in an attempt to bring down Berkeley. The governor offered him amnesty, but the House of Burgesses refused, insisting that Bacon must acknowledge his mistakes. At about the same time, Bacon was actually elected to the House of Burgesses and attended the June 1676 assembly, where he was captured, apologized, and pardoned by Berkeley.

Bacon demanded a commission, but Berkeley refused. Bacon and his supporters surrounded the statehouse and threatened to start shooting the Burgesses if Berkeley did not receive the commission as General of all forces against the Indians. Berkeley eventually acceded and then left Jamestown. He attempted a coup a month later, but was unsuccessful. In September, however, Berkeley was successful and Bacon dug in for a siege, which resulted in his burning Jamestown to the ground on September 19, 1676. Bacon died of the flux and lice on October 26, 1676 and his body is believed to have been burned. Berkeley hanged the major leaders of the rebellion and was relieved of his governorship and returned to London, where he died in July 1677.

"Jimsonweed" is a corruption of "Jamestown weed," named for the village after some British soldiers sent to quell Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 failed in their mission after being fed leaves of the plant, which grew wild in great quantity there. They were intoxicated for about a week and claimed afterward to have no memory of that period.

The first phase of Jamestown's history ended in 1699, when a decision was made not to rebuild the statehouse which had burned down in 1698, but instead accept a proposal by students of the College of William and Mary to move the capital of Virginia to higher ground about 12 miles (20 km) away where their school was located at Middle Plantation, which would soon be renamed Williamsburg.

18th century
Due to the movement of the capital to Williamsburg, Jamestown began to slowly disappear above ground. By the 1750s the land was owned and heavily cultivated primarily by the Travis and Ambler families.

19th century
During the American Civil War, in 1861, Confederate William Allen, who owned the Jamestown Island, occupied Jamestown with troops he raised at his own expense with the intention of blockading the James River, and therefore protecting Richmond, from the Union Navy. He was soon joined by Lieutenant Catesby ap Roger Jones, who directed the building of batteries and conducted ordnance and armor tests for the first Confederate ironclad warship CSS Virginia (formerly known as the Merrimac) at the site. By the end of 1861, Jamestown had a force of 1200 men, which was augmented in early 1862 by an artillery battalion. With the Union forces landing at Yorktown under General George B. McClellan, in April, however, the peninsula was abandoned by the Confederates.

Once in Federal hands, Jamestown became a meeting place for runaway slaves, who burned the Ambler house, an eighteenth century plantation which, along with the old church, were the few remaining signs of Jamestown. When Allen sent men to assess damage in late 1862, they were killed by the former slaves. For the most part, Jamestown did not have an active role in the Civil War, although both sides used it for feints. Following the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the oath of allegiance was administered to former Confederate soldiers at Jamestown.

20th century

Jamestown Exposition of 1907
The Jamestown Exposition of 1907 was one of the many world's fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States early part of the 20th century. Early in the 20th century, as the tercentennial of the 1607 Founding of the Jamestown neared, leaders in Norfolk, Virginia began a campaign to have a celebration held there. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities had gotten the ball rolling in 1900 by calling for a celebration honoring the establishment of the first permanent English colony in the New World at Jamestown, to be held on the 300th anniversary.

No one thought that the actual isolated and long-abandoned original site would be suitable because Jamestown Island had no facilities for large crowds, and the fort housing the Jamestown Settlement was believed to have been long-ago swallowed by the James River.

The decision was made to locate the international exposition on a mile-long frontage at Sewell's Point near the mouth of Hampton Roads. The Jamestown Exposition was held there from April 26, 1907 to December 1, 1907.

Jamestown National Historic Site
Currently, "Jamestown National Historic Site" exists on 22½ acres (91,100 m²) of land at the western end of Jamestown Island. The area was donated to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities in 1893, before which time, it had seen settlement, rebellion (in 1676), and battle (during the Civil War). In 1934, Colonial National Historical Park obtained the remaining 1500 acre (6.1 km&sup2) island and partnered with the APVA to preserve the area and present it to visitors in an educational manner.

Jamestown Festival Park
Jamestown Festival Park was established at Jamestown Island in 1957 to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Settlement. At the National Park Service site, the reconstructed Glasshouse, the Memorial Cross and the visitors center were completed and dedicated. Full-sized replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery were constructed at a shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, and docked at Jamestown. Other events included army and navy reviews, air force fly-overs, ship and aircraft christenings and even an outdoor drama at Cape Henry, site of the first landing of the settlers. This celebration continued from April 1 to November 30 with over a million participants, including dignitaries and politicians such as the British Ambassador and U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon. The highlight for many of the nearly 25,000 at the Festival Park on October 16, was the visit and speech of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her consort, Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth II loaned a copy of the Magna Carta for the exhibition.

Although the 1957 celebration is long past, many of the attractions remained and some have been enhanced in the years since. There is now a working reconstruction of the settlement. The original replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery which had been constructed at a shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia have been rebuilt, and are still very popular with tourists, especially school groups.

APVA archaeological campaign
Starting in 1994, a major archaeological campaign at Jamestown has been conducted by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, in preparation for the quadricentennial of Jamestown's founding. The original goal of the archaeological campaign was to locate archaeological remains of "the first years of settlement at Jamestown, especially of the earliest fortified town; [and the] the subsequent growth and development of the town".

Early on, the project discovered the remains of the 1607 settlement. This was something of a surprise, as it had been widely thought that the original site had been entirely lost, due to erosion by the James River. However, only one corner of the first triangular fort (which contained the original settlement) turned out to have been destroyed.

The extended archaeological campaign has made many discoveries, including retrieving hundreds of thousands of artifacts, a large fraction of them from the first few years of the settlement's history. In addition, it has uncovered much of the fort, the remains of several houses and wells, a palisade wall line attached to the fort, and the graves of several of the original settlers, including one thought to be that of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, one of the most important figures in the English settlement of the New World.

Archaeological work at the site continues, and is greatly expanding knowledge of what happened at Jamestown in its earliest days.

21st century
Plans are underway for "Jamestown 2007", which will celebrate the quadricentennial of the founding of the Jamestown Settlement.

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Virginia Beach, Virginia

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Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the South Hampton Roads area in the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the 40th largest city in the US, with a total population of 440,098.[1]

Virginia Beach is best known as a major resort, with miles of beaches and dozens of hotels, motels, and restaurants. It is also home to several state parks, several long protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, and two universities.

The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world and at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the longest bridge-tunnel complex in existence.

Cape Henry: first landing
The first landfall of the Jamestown colonists in 1607 was at Cape Henry, in the northeastern part of today's city, however the settlers left the area due to the inability to grow food. Today, the site is within the boundaries of Fort Story, a U.S. Army installation used for training by the Army, Navy, and Marines. A memorial cross near the landing site and the historic Cape Henry Lighthouse are accessible to the general public. First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) nearby was named to commemorate this event.

1634 to 1963 shire to county
During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. In 1634, the King of England directed the formation of eight shires (or counties) in the colony of Virginia. One of these was Elizabeth City Shire, which included land area on both sides of Hampton Roads.

In 1636, New Norfolk County was subdivided from it, including all the area in South Hampton Roads now incorporated in the five independent cities located there in modern times. The following year, in 1637, it was divided into into Upper Norfolk County and Lower Norfolk County. In 1691, Lower Norfolk County was in turn divided to form Norfolk County and Princess Anne County. Princess Anne, the easternmost county in South Hampton Roads, extended northward from the North Carolina border to Cape Henry at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and included the area fronting the Atlantic Ocean.

Incorporated as town in 1908, city in 1952
Beginning in the late 19th century, the small resort area of Virginia Beach grew in Princess Anne County, particularly after 1888 with the arrival of rail service and electricity. A passenger station at Cape Henry built in 1902 and served by the original Norfolk Southern Railway was restored late in the 20th century and is used as an educational facility by Fort Story. Another railroad station near 18th street was torn down. Part of the original railroad from Norfolk near the Oceanfront is now used as a pedestrian and bicycle path.

The growing resort of Virginia Beach was incorporated as a town in 1906 and became a city politically independent from Princess Anne County in 1952.

However, in the mid 20th century, the western borders of Princess Anne County lost territory to annexation suits by the City of Norfolk which adjoined it after annexing all of the northern portion of Norfolk County. A merger with the tiny city of Virginia Beach became seen by leaders and residents of Princess Anne County as a way to prevent the independent City of Norfolk from annexing more (or potentially all) of the county.

1963: consolidation with Princess Anne County
In 1963, after approval by referendum of the voters of both the City of Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County, and with the approval of the Virginia General Assembly, the two political subdivisions were consolidated as a new, much larger independent city, retaining the better-known name of the Virginia Beach resort. About the same time, at similar risk of annexations, the remaining portion of Norfolk County took similar action, consolidating with the small independent City of South Norfolk and forming another new city. The City of Chesapeake became Virginia Beach's new neighbor to the southwest.

Today, most of the area formerly in Princess Anne County when it was formed in 1691 is now located within the City of Virginia Beach. The only exceptions are some territory of the northwestern portion which became part of the City of Norfolk through annexation and a land swap agreement between the two cities in 1988.

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1989: "Greekfest" riots
Over the Labor Day weekend in 1989, Virginia Beach experienced the worst civil disturbance in its history, which resulted in over 500 arrests and citations and millions in property damage, not to mention the damage to the city's reputation, which lingered for years afterward.

Although problems between the needs, expectations, and behavior of vacationing college students and those of older families and retired persons have occurred in many other beach resorts such as Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Daytona Beach, Florida, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, usually during Spring Break holidays, a 1989 conflict of these groups and police in Virginia Beach seemed to add connotations of racism, and turned into a riot situation.

The problem had been brewing for several years. An increasing number of African-American college students had been converging on Virginia Beach for the Labor Day Weekend each year. In 1988, a concert at the Virginia Beach Pavilion led to $6,000 in property damage and an assault on a female security guard when 3,000 people could not get in. Managers afterward felt the number of attendees simply overwhelmed Virginia Beach's capacity for large events. Organizers of the event were told that they could not rent the public facilities again.

Nevertheless, in 1989, thousands of students arrived again on Labor Day Weekend for "Greekfest", so named for the Greek alphabet used by the fraternities and sororities involved in the festival. Many of the young people, with no events to attend, became intoxicated, and rioted in the streets, breaking windows, looting shops, and vandalizing property.

Many people predicted a riot weeks in advance, and this came to pass. Casual observers suggested that the city went out of its way to make the students feel unwelcome; that the students rioted not out of anger, but out of a simple desire for the clothing displayed in the shops along the Boardwalk; and that the police were out of control, attacking anyone who was black, looter or not. It took M-16 toting National Guard troops to restore order after two days of rioting. Property damage took several years to repair; some small businesses were destroyed and were unable to reopen.

The incident brought widespread publicity and public outcry from many factions. Two slogans commonly heard in the following weeks were: "It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand" and "It's a cop thing; we'll make you understand." The incident was immortalized by Public Enemy in their song "Welcome to the Terrordome" from their album Fear of a Black Planet (1990).

One tourist recalls "I was there that weekend attempting to enjoy the long weekend. We met with belligerent attitudes and observed several incidents of inappropriate behavior and language. Many of those in our group were over 60 years of age. I, with my two-year son in his stroller, was forced off the sidewalk several times."

Community leaders struggled in the aftermath to find a balance for the future. The city established a Labor Day Task Force Commission, which assumed the chores of figuring out what led to the 1989 riots and how to prevent a repeat of that spectacle. Videotape of the incident showed clips of police brutally striking students who disobeyed police orders intermixed with shots of rioting students kicking in store windows and looting businesses. Neither situation is one that anyone wanted to see repeated.

Over the years, a series of measures were implemented, ranging from increased police patrols to the 'Beach Behavior Campaign,' and increased surveillance measures, some of which were quite controversial and raised legitimate civil liberties questions.

Today, the city hosts the American Music Festival and the Rock and Roll Half-Marathon on Labor Day Weekend with great success and no major public safety issues. The city is actively pursuing about 20 multicultural conventions at the moment and has either booked or tentatively booked several of them. However, officials have cautioned that large groups of disorderly persons will not be welcomed.

Beltway Sniper trial
Virginia Beach made national headlines in 2003 when it hosted the first trial of convicted Beltway sniper murderer John Allen Muhammed. The area was selected due to a court order for a change of venue. His trial began in October 2003, and the following month, he was found guilty of capital murder in one of the series of shootings and extortion attempts. Four months later, the judge agreed with the jury's recommendation, and he was sentenced to death. In April 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed local court 's ruling and the death sentence. Muhammed is awaiting execution in Virginia, as well as facing possible trials in other states with additional murder charges pending.

Current redevelopment projects
Real estate, defense, and tourism are major sectors of the Virginia Beach economy, but the city has begun to run out of clear land available for new construction above the Green Line, an urban growth boundary dividing the urban northern and rural southern sections of the city.

As such, while Virginia Beach does not have a redevelopment authority, local public and private groups have maintained a vested interest in real-estate redevelopment, resulting in a number of joint public-private projects such as commercial parks. Some of these, such as new hotels and convention centers built on public land along the Oceanfront and the New Urbanist Town Center development in the Pembroke area, have come under question due to the use of public funds and eminent domain in the interest of private economic development.

Infill and development of residential neighborhoods has placed a number of operating constraints on Oceana Naval Air Station, a major fighter jet base for the U.S. Navy. While the airbase currently enjoys wide support from Virginia Beach at large, the Pentagon Base Realignment and Closure commission has proposed closure of Oceana within the next decade.

Museums and Cultural Arts

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse postal stamp United States Postal ServiceThe city is home to several points of interest in the historical, scientific, and performing arts areas, and has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. The Virginia Marine Science Museum is a popular aquarium near the oceanfront that features the 300,000-gallon Norfolk Canyon Aquarium, containing sand tiger, nurse and brown sharks, as well as stingrays and other large open-ocean dwellers. There is also a 70,000-gallon sea turtle aquarium, sea turtle hatchling laboratory, hands-on ocean exploration exhibits, jellyfish and octopus aquariums, and even a life-size model of a humpback whale. Other features include the Owls Creek salt marsh and a nature trail.

The Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheather features a wide variety of popular shows and concerts, ranging from Kenny Chesney to Gretchen Wilson to Coldplay. The city is also planning to build a 1200-seat performing arts theatre in the Virginia Beach Town Center by 2007.

Virginia Beach also is home to many sites of historical importance, and has 18 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Such sites include the Adam Thoroughgood House (one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia), the Francis Land House (a 200 year old plantation), the Cape Henry Lighthouse and nearby Cape Henry Light Station (a second tower), Bayville Farm, DeWitt Cottage, Ferry Farm Plantation, Dr. John Miller-Masury House, Keeling House, Old Donation Church, Pembroke Manor, Pleasant Hall, Shirley Hall (Devereaux House), Thomas Murray House, U.S. Coast Guard Station (Seatack), Upper Wolfsnare (Brick House Farm), Weblin House, and Wishart Boush House.

Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Virginia Beach is home to 208 city parks, encompassing over 4,000 acres (16 km²), including neighborhood parks, community parks, district parks, and other open spaces. Each park is unique and offers something for everyone, from wide open spaces to playgrounds, picnic shelters, and ballfields.

Perhaps one of the most well-known parks is the world-renowned Mount Trashmore Park, clearly visible from I-264 as you're traveling to the oceanfront. The park is 165 acres (668,000 m²). The mountain is 60 ft (18 m) high and over 800 ft (240 m) long, and was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil. The park also features two lakes: Lake Windsor and Lake Trashmore. Lake Trashmore is stocked with fish for fishing. A new skate park has also been opened here as well.

Another major park in the city is Great Neck Park, a 70 acre (283,000 m²) park located in the Lynnhaven District. Facilities include five large group shelters, mini-shelters, family picnic tables and grills, three playgrounds, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, vending machines, walking trails, four baseball fields, as well as a gazebo located at the end of a scenic walkway overlooks the Lynnhaven River.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1938, is an 8,000 acre (32 km²) fresh water refuge that borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Back Bay on the west. The barrier islands feature large sand dunes, maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds, ocean beach, and large impoundments for wintering wildfowl. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas within the city's corporate limits as well.

Additionally, the famous three-mile (5 km) boardwalk at the oceanfront is often packed with fascinating entertainment, outdoor cafes, concerts and people.

Sports
Virginia Beach has no major league professional sports teams or spectator sports. Since Norfolk contains the central business district of Hampton Roads, most of the major spectator sports are located there. At any rate, the Hampton Roads area has never been seriously considered as a viable prospect for major-league professional sports, notwithstanding the efforts of regional leaders to obtain Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL franchises in the recent past. The area population of about 1.5 million is marginal at best for major-league sports; the relative lack of major corporations in the area makes it difficult to sell sponsorships and luxury suites (important to modern sports financing in the US); and the region's chronic transportation challenges, notably its dependence on tunnels, make drawing fans from long distances highly problematic.

There are two soccer teams in the United Soccer Leagues - the Virginia Beach Mariners, a men's team in the second-level USL First Division, and the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a women's team in the W-League, the de facto top women's league after the suspension of the Women's United Soccer Association. The Mariners play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. That facility is also the central training site for the U.S. women's national field hockey team. The Piranhas formerly played at the complex, but now play home games at nearby Virginia Wesleyan College on the border between Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

The city is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world's top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America's oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $55,000.

There are also eleven golf courses open to the public in the city, as well as four country club layouts and 36 military holes at NAS Oceana's Aeropines course. Among the best-known public courses are Hell's Point Golf Club and the TPC of Virginia Beach, the latter of which hosts the Virginia Beach Open, a Nationwide Tour event, each April.

Museums and Cultural Arts

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse postal stamp United States Postal ServiceThe city is home to several points of interest in the historical, scientific, and performing arts areas, and has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. The Virginia Marine Science Museum is a popular aquarium near the oceanfront that features the 300,000-gallon Norfolk Canyon Aquarium, containing sand tiger, nurse and brown sharks, as well as stingrays and other large open-ocean dwellers. There is also a 70,000-gallon sea turtle aquarium, sea turtle hatchling laboratory, hands-on ocean exploration exhibits, jellyfish and octopus aquariums, and even a life-size model of a humpback whale. Other features include the Owls Creek salt marsh and a nature trail.

The Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheather features a wide variety of popular shows and concerts, ranging from Kenny Chesney to Gretchen Wilson to Coldplay. The city is also planning to build a 1200-seat performing arts theatre in the Virginia Beach Town Center by 2007.

Virginia Beach also is home to many sites of historical importance, and has 18 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Such sites include the Adam Thoroughgood House (one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia), the Francis Land House (a 200 year old plantation), the Cape Henry Lighthouse and nearby Cape Henry Light Station (a second tower), Bayville Farm, DeWitt Cottage, Ferry Farm Plantation, Dr. John Miller-Masury House, Keeling House, Old Donation Church, Pembroke Manor, Pleasant Hall, Shirley Hall (Devereaux House), Thomas Murray House, U.S. Coast Guard Station (Seatack), Upper Wolfsnare (Brick House Farm), Weblin House, and Wishart Boush House.

Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Virginia Beach is home to 208 city parks, encompassing over 4,000 acres (16 km²), including neighborhood parks, community parks, district parks, and other open spaces. Each park is unique and offers something for everyone, from wide open spaces to playgrounds, picnic shelters, and ballfields.

Perhaps one of the most well-known parks is the world-renowned Mount Trashmore Park, clearly visible from I-264 as you're traveling to the oceanfront. The park is 165 acres (668,000 m²). The mountain is 60 ft (18 m) high and over 800 ft (240 m) long, and was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil. The park also features two lakes: Lake Windsor and Lake Trashmore. Lake Trashmore is stocked with fish for fishing. A new skate park has also been opened here as well.

Another major park in the city is Great Neck Park, a 70 acre (283,000 m²) park located in the Lynnhaven District. Facilities include five large group shelters, mini-shelters, family picnic tables and grills, three playgrounds, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, vending machines, walking trails, four baseball fields, as well as a gazebo located at the end of a scenic walkway overlooks the Lynnhaven River.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1938, is an 8,000 acre (32 km²) fresh water refuge that borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Back Bay on the west. The barrier islands feature large sand dunes, maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds, ocean beach, and large impoundments for wintering wildfowl. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas within the city's corporate limits as well.

Additionally, the famous three-mile (5 km) boardwalk at the oceanfront is often packed with fascinating entertainment, outdoor cafes, concerts and people.

Sports
Virginia Beach has no major league professional sports teams or spectator sports. Since Norfolk contains the central business district of Hampton Roads, most of the major spectator sports are located there. At any rate, the Hampton Roads area has never been seriously considered as a viable prospect for major-league professional sports, notwithstanding the efforts of regional leaders to obtain Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL franchises in the recent past. The area population of about 1.5 million is marginal at best for major-league sports; the relative lack of major corporations in the area makes it difficult to sell sponsorships and luxury suites (important to modern sports financing in the US); and the region's chronic transportation challenges, notably its dependence on tunnels, make drawing fans from long distances highly problematic.

There are two soccer teams in the United Soccer Leagues - the Virginia Beach Mariners, a men's team in the second-level USL First Division, and the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a women's team in the W-League, the de facto top women's league after the suspension of the Women's United Soccer Association. The Mariners play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. That facility is also the central training site for the U.S. women's national field hockey team. The Piranhas formerly played at the complex, but now play home games at nearby Virginia Wesleyan College on the border between Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

The city is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world's top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America's oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $55,000.

There are also eleven golf courses open to the public in the city, as well as four country club layouts and 36 military holes at NAS Oceana's Aeropines course. Among the best-known public courses are Hell's Point Golf Club and the TPC of Virginia Beach, the latter of which hosts the Virginia Beach Open, a Nationwide Tour event, each April.

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Tampa, Florida

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Tampa is a city located in Hillsborough County on the west coast of central Florida in the United States. Easily accessible by Interstate 4 and Interstate 75, it is the largest city in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area which is composed of roughly 2.6 million residents, making it the second largest MSA in the state behind the new Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach MSA, and third largest MSA in the south. It is also the third largest city in the state following Jacksonville (Duval County consolidated) and Miami. It is also the county seat of Hillsborough County6. The Population within the city limits in 2004 according to the U.S. Census Bureau is 321,772. The area code served by the city is 813. Other cities in Hillsborough County include Temple Terrace, FL and Plant City, FL.

The word "Tampa" is an American Indian word used to refer to the area when the first European explorers arrived in Florida. Its meaning, if any, has been lost to the ages, though it is sometimes claimed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe. Other historians claim the name refers to "The place to gather sticks". "Sticks of fire" may also relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months. The name first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), the author of which had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town.

Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez was the first European known to have visited the Tampa area, on April 8, 1528. Hernando DeSoto arrived a year later to rescue the only remaining living member of de Narváez's expedition. A peace treaty was conducted with the local Indians and a short-lived Spanish outpost was established, but this was abandoned when it became clear that there was no gold in the area, and that the local Indians were not interested in converting to Catholicism and were too skilled as warriors to easily conquer.

When England acquired Florida in 1763, the bay was named Hillsborough Bay, after Lord Hillsborough, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Spain transferred Florida to the United States in 1821 (see Adams-Onis Treaty). An Indian reservation was established in what is now north Tampa. As part of efforts to firmly establish United States control over southern Florida, then a vast swampy wilderness with sparse Seminole Indian population, a military outpost ("Cantonment Brooke") was established at what is now the Tampa Convention Center in downtown Tampa in 1823 by Colonels George Mercer Brooke and James Gadsden. In 1824, the post was renamed Fort Brooke. It was a vital military asset in the Seminole Wars. The village of Tampa began to grow up around the fort, which was decommissioned in 1883. Except for two cannons now on the University of Tampa campus, all traces of the fort are gone.

Tampa was incorporated in 1849 with 185 inhabitants (excluding military personnel stationed at Fort Brooke). The town's first census came in 1850 when Tampa-Fort Brooke accounted for 974 residents. Tampa was reincorporated as a town on December 15, 1855, and Judge Joseph B. Lancaster became the first Mayor in 1856. During the Civil War, Fort Brooke was occupied by Confederate troops, and martial law was declared in Tampa. In 1862, a Union gunboat shelled the city during the Battle of Tampa. Union forces took Fort Brooke in May of 1864, and occupied the town for the next year.

Phosphate was discovered in the area in 1883. Tampa is now one of the world's leading phosphate exporters. Henry B. Plant's railroad reached the town shortly thereafter, enabling the commercial fishing industry to thrive.

In 1885, the Tampa Board of Trade persuaded Vincente M. Ybor to move his cigar manufacturing operations to Tampa from Key West. The Ybor City district was built to accommodate the factories and their workers. Tampa soon became a major cigar production center. Thousands of Italian (the majority coming from Alessandria Della Rocca and Santo Stefano, two small Sicilian towns which Tampa maintains strong ties with) and Cuban immigrants came to Tampa to work at the factories.

Henry Plant built a lavish luxury hotel in the city in 1883, which is now the campus of the University of Tampa.

Tampa was an embarkation center for American troops during the Spanish-American War. Luitenant Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were part of the 30,000 troops stationed in Tampa for training.

In 1904, local civic association Ye Mystic Krewe "invaded" the city for the first time, establishing the yearly Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

Illegal bolita lotteries became very popular among the Tampa working classes, especially in Ybor City, where many gambling parlors sprang up. Profits from the bolita lotteries and Prohibition-era bootlegging led to the development of several organized crime factions in the city. The first boss of Tampa's organized crime world was Charlie Wall, but various power struggles culminated in consolidation of control by Sicilian mafioso Santo Trafficante, Sr. and his faction in the 1950s. After his death in 1954 from cancer, control passed to his son Santo Trafficante, Jr., who established alliances with families in New York and extended his power throughout Florida and into Batista-era Cuba.

The University of South Florida was established in 1956, sparking development in northern Tampa and nearby Temple Terrace.

The biggest development of the city was the development of New Tampa that started in 1988 when the city annexed a 24-square mile (mostly rural) area between I-275 and I-75. Today, the district boasts over 22,000 inhabitants.

With the advent of air conditioning, thousands of new residents have arrived in Tampa from the northern United States. The population continues to grow rapidly, and construction is proceeding rapidly on new housing developments around Tampa.

In the musical scene, Tampa is famous as the city where Death metal, also called Florida death metal, was born.

On January 5, 2002, just four months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 15-year-old amateur pilot Charles Bishop flew a Cessna plane into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa. Bishop died, but there were no other injuries (because the crash occurred on a Saturday, when few people were in the building). A suicide note found in the wreckage expressed support for Osama bin Laden. Bishop had been taking a prescription medicine for acne called Accutane that may have had the side effect of depression or severe psychosis. His family later sued Hoffman-La Roche, the company that makes Accutane, for $70 million; however, an autopsy found no traces of the drug in the teenager's system.

The most famous landmark is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Being Florida's largest bridge, and being the worlds longest Cable-Strayed Bridge, It is the most well known landmark in Tampa. Most residents of Tampa say that the nearby city St. Petersburg, Florida steals the glory for owning the bridge but in fact...The Hillsborough County line extends throughout the bay and to the gulf...thereby, Tampa owns most of the bridge. The current bridge replaced a cantilever bridge that fell when a freighter collided into it.

Attractions and points of interest
Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures offers hot air balloon rides.
Hyde Park is an upscale district in South Tampa. There are many fine shops and restaurants in the area as well as a movie theatre.
Malibu Grand Prix is an entertainment complex with two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a gameroom, and two race tracks.
Seminole Gaming Palace - Seminole reservation, casino, Hard Rock Cafe
The Skatepark of Tampa is a world-famous skatepark, with many professional skateboarders flocking to it in January for the Tampa Am, and in March, for the Tampa Pro.
Tampa Union Station is an historic train station between downtown and Ybor City.
Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark District near downtown. It is a hotspot at night (especially on the weekends due to the many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues in the area). Ybor City and Tampa in general were an integral part of the Florida death metal scene.
West Tampa south of Raymond James Stadium, includes many Cuban and Spanish businesses, along Columbus Drive. Columbus Drive is also known as Boliche Boulevard after a famous Cuban dish. La Teresita, La Ideal, Lincoln Restaurant, The Italian American Club, and the Letter Carriers Hall are some of the well known local gathering places in Tampa. The "Brothers to the Rescue" Corner monument is in West Tampa at Dale Mabry Highway and COlumbus Drive.

Tampa is home to four major professional sports teams and a number of minor league teams.

Major League Baseball: Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida
National Football League: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
National Hockey League: Tampa Bay Lightning: St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa
Arena Football League: Tampa Bay Storm: St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa
Major League Soccer: Tampa Bay Mutiny: defunct
Florida State League (Single-A baseball): Tampa Yankees: Legends Field in Tampa
Additionally, the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball play spring training games at Legends Field.

Sister cities
Tampa is a sister city with Agrigento, Italy, Barranquilla, Colombia, Córdoba, Argentina, Granada, Nicaragua, Izmir, Turkey, Le Havre, France, Oviedo, Spain and Camarines Sur, Philippines.

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Middleburg, Florida

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Middleburg is a census-designated place and an unincorporated town located in Clay County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, Middleburg had a total population of 10,338.

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Guttenberg, New Jersey

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Guttenberg is a Town located in Hudson County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 10,807.

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Hawthorne, New Jersey

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Hawthorne is a borough located in Passaic County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the borough had a total population of 18,218. The Borough of Hawthorne is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.

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West Orange, New Jersey

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West Orange is a township located in Essex County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 44,943. West Orange shares a border with the South Mountain Reservation.

The area that is now West Orange broke from Orange in 1863 as the Township of Fairmount.

Thomas Edison bought a property known as Glenmont in 1886 as a wedding gift for his bride. It occupies 13.5 acres (55,000 m²) in the Llewellyn Park district. The remains of Thomas and Mina Edison are now buried there. Glenmont maintained by the National Park Service as the Edison National Historic Site.

The first ever movie cinema opened in West Orange.

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West New York, New Jersey

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West New York is a Walsh Act town located in Hudson County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 45,768.

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