Its known for its Bacon (as in Nathaniel), its ham (as in Smithfield), its presidents (more than just George slept here), its submarines (the first and probably the most recent), its battlefields, its warriors, its singers and writers and sportsmen — oh, just read the list!
PEOPLEPrincess Pocahontas, Capt. John Smith and Chief Powhatan were all in Jamestown and environs in 1607.
Nathaniel Bacon led a revolt against Virginia's royal governor in 1676.
The pirate Blackbeard's head was put on a pole in Hampton after he was killed in 1718.
Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg before founding the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Patrick Henry, George Wythe and John Marshall all took part in political debate in Williamsburg, the Colonial capital of Virginia.
George Washington's victory at Yorktown cemented him as the man who would go on to become our first president.
William Henry Harrison and John Tyler— you know, "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!"— became presidents. Both hailed from Charles City County.
Ben Butler, the Federal commander at Hampton's Fort Monroee early in the Civil War, declared that runaway slaves could be kept as "contraband of war" (and, presumably, then be freed). His decision led the Union on its way to emancipation.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis was jailed at Fort Monroe after the Civil War.
Edgar Allen Poe served a stint as soldier at Fort Monroe during his checkered life.
James Daniel Gardner, awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War, was born in Gloucester. He was a member of Co. I, 36th Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops.
Booker T. Washington studied and later taught at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) before going on to lead Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University).
Robert R. Moton, who followed Booker T. Washington as head of Tuskegee, retired to a home on the banks of the York River in Gloucester, where his wife was reared.
Walter Reed, an Army physician from Gloucester, discovered that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes.
Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey, both world-renowned entertainers, were born in Newport News in 1918.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur is entombed in a Norfolk memorial and the man Marines hail as their most-decorated, Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, is buried in Middlesex.
William Styron, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, grew up in Newport News and used the area for some of his books' locales.