They took the statue of Eric the Red which used to stand outside the Mariner's Museum and replaced it with a sphere, and brought old Eric inside - he's much less impressive inside.
I always thought that Gildersleeve was just a fictional character. But it turns out that some people really have that name, and there are a number of schools who are named after those people.
The primary thing I remember about Newport News (which is part of the Hampton Roads area) is the Mariner's Museum. I made frequent trips from Norfolk to Baltimore (whenever my husband's squadron went out to sea, I went home). We visited the museum- otherwise we didn't stop off at Newport News.
Population 180,150 (2000 census)
School enrollment 33,000
Area 69.2 square miles
Incorporated 1896 (Consolidated with Warwick County in 1958)
From the FAQ on Newport News:
"Newport News is located on the world's greatest natural harbor, Hampton Roads, and is home to one of the largest military complexes in the world. Newport News, long known as one of the world's major shipbuilding centers, is emerging into a high-tech future with such attractions as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and Canon Virginia. Newport News Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States offers a variety of recreational activities."
"The Newport News city seal was adopted in July 1958. The city seal depicts the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery inserted in a silhouette of the Court Elm. The ships symbolize discovery of the area by Captain Christopher Newport and the tree recognizes the history of Warwick. (Times-Herald, May 20, 1958, p. 13)
The Court Elm (Court House Elm or Charter Elm) is standing at Richneck. "For the major portion of the seventeenth century there was no court house in Warwick where the commissioners might sit. For their monthly meetings they were accustomed to assemble at the home of one or another of the commissioners.""In summer the commissioners are said to have gathered under the shade of a huge elm tree to carry on county business." (Jester, Annie Lash. Newport News, Virginia, 1607-1960. 1961. p.28) "