It was appropriate to dub Hampton Roads as America‚Äôs First Region for many reasons, the primary of which was the establishment of the first permanent English-speaking colony in North America in 1607. These other ‚Äúfirsts‚ÄĚ were recorded in Southeastern Virginia.
- Establishment of first permanent English-speaking colony in North America;
- Creation of the first Protestant church in North America;
- Establishment of the rule of law in North America;
- Arrival of the first Africans;
- First system of justice maintained by courts and juries;
- First legislative assembly in the New World;
- First transfer of English social, political and economic systems to the New World;
- Development of the first free enterprise system in the New World;
- First political revolution ‚Äď ‚Äėremoval of Governor Sir John Harvey‚Äô;
- First slave revolt ‚Äď white and black indentured servants and slaves riot in Gloucester County;
- First armed rebellion against civil authority ‚Äď Bacon‚Äôs Rebellion;
- First interaction between European, African and Indian cultures in North America;
- First continuous English-speaking community established (Hampton);
- First take-off of an airplane from a ship (USS Birmingham) in the Norfolk Navy Yard (November 14, 1910); and
- Nation's First civilian aeronautics lab (present day NASA Langley Research Center) where the original seven astronauts trained.
From advancing space exploration to retail development, from transportation infrastructure to academic research, people and institutions in Hampton Roads have accomplished many firsts over the centuries. A signature goal of America‚Äôs First Region is to bring together our collective brainpower and resources to accomplish even more "firsts" for the Hampton Roads regions, i.e., our community of communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia and our Nation.