NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Naval Station Norfolk held a cake cutting ceremony Wednesday morning to celebrate its 100th birthday.
President Woodrow Wilson bought the land for the base back in 1917 after the United States entered World War I.
Wilson issued a proclamation June 28, 1917, setting aside $1.2 million for 474 acres of land — 367 acres of which were the old Jamestown Exposition grounds.
Now, it’s the world’s largest naval station, covering 6,200 acres and employing more than 67,000 people.
The base supports more than 59 ships, 187 aircraft and 18 squadrons. The Navy says Naval Station Norfolk has a significant economic impact on Hampton Roads.
Capt. Rich McDaniel, the base Commanding Officer, took part in the cake cutting.
“It’s a great day for the Navy. It’s a great day for Naval Station Norfolk. It’s a great day for the City of Norfolk. Naval Station Norfolk has always been the heartbeat behind the U.S. fleet. We’re the home to the east coast fleet, we have a prominent role in our nation’s history, so it’s pretty special to be celebrating the birthday today.” McDaniel told 10 On Your Side.
MORE NSN CENTENNIAL COVERAGE ON WAVY.COM:
- Naval Station Norfolk brings new glory to historic old ball field
- Meet the sailor who made it possible for women to serve on ships
- Navy veteran reflects on decades of change for women
- Reflecting on 100 years of leadership at Naval Station Norfolk
- Gallery: Naval Station Norfolk Centennial Celebration
- The relationship between Norfolk and Naval Station Norfolk