Colloquium: July 6, 2010

NACA and the Transformation of Hampton: From Log Canoes to Outer Space

Michael Cobb

TUESDAY: July 6, 2010 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium


old photograph of a bunch of peopleThe siting and building of Langley airfield and the NACA facility rescued Hampton’s economy and brought not only fame – from the aeronautical and then the space programs – but also interesting and different groups of people to the local community. This offering will tell that story, of the interaction of these individuals – scientists, aviators, engineers, and their families – with families that had been here for generations, and how together they dramatically shaped new worlds for both groups.


Michael Cobb is the curator of the Hampton History Museum, manages the Fort Wool Historic Site, and was instrumental in the development of both the Virginia Air and Space Center and the Hampton History Museum. He is also an advisor to the Federal Area Development Authority (FADA) to plan the development of Fort Monroe once the Army vacates the site in 2011.

His primary areas of scholarly pursuit include the social, political, and military aspects of the history of the South with emphasis on the Civil War, the City of Hampton, and the surrounding region. He has contributed to numerous publications including essays on Fort Monroe, a volume on the comprehensive history of Fort Wool, an invited essay for a Virginia Tech-developed Civil War history, and a pictorial history of Hampton. He is also a frequent lecturer on these are related topics.

Michael received his education from Virginia Wesleyan, Old Dominion University, and the College of William and Mary in history, political science, and American studies. He was the recipient of the Jefferson Davis Gold Medal from The United Daughters of the Confederacy in 2008 for the preservation and interpretation of Confederate history.