Celebrating 135 Years

Celebrating 135 Years

Published January 26, 2021

Thursday, Jan. 28, will mark Newport News Shipbuilding’s 135th anniversary. On that date in 1886, the Virginia General Assembly approved the company’s charter, which provided authorization to acquire land, build a dry dock and build ships of all dimensions.

Founded as Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Co. by Collis P. Huntington, NNS has since grown into the largest industrial employer in Virginia.

For generations, shipbuilders have worked side-by-side along the James River to build ships – from tugboat Dorothy, delivered in 1891, to the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines that help the U.S. Navy secure America’s freedom today.

“We are fortunate to carry on Newport News Shipbuilding’s proud legacy. For the past 135 years, shipbuilders have risen to meet every challenge. Our company’s longevity is a testament to that resolve,” said Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin. “Moving forward, we must remain committed to one another and to the work we do for our nation.”

A quote attributed to Huntington has served as a reminder of the company’s commitment to quality throughout its history: “We shall build good ships here; at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good ships.”

Banners commemorating NNS’ 135th anniversary are on display at shipyard gates.