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Chesapeake History, Virginia

Chesapeake was developed as anew and independent city in Virgina in 1963 when South Norfolk became part of Norfolk County.  The city's name and consolidation were approved by the voters from every community by referendum.  Chesapeake joined the current ranks of Seven Cities of Hampton Roads.  Norfolk County originally included all cities of the area, but with the added territory to the cities via annexations post 1871, the area reduced frequently. 

South Norfolk was a relatively small city, becoming an incorporated town during 1919, but later, in 1922, it became independent.  It was also a motivation to make changes that would place South Norfolk on an equal level with the much bigger cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk.  During the later years of the 1950s, the more recent suit against Norfolk County by Norfolk would have taken the whole county, including the land neighboring South Norfolk.  These changes are what created Chesapeake and part of a changing wave in the local government's structure in the southeast part of Virginia, which happened from 1952 to 1976.

Until later in the 1980s and the early part of the 1990s, a lot of Chesapeake was rural or suburban, serving as a commuter town for the cities of Virgina Beach and Norfolk with residents traveling to those locations.  Starting from the late 1980s to the 1990s, though, Chesapeake witnessed a major growth that attracted several major businesses and industries of its own.  The exploding growth led to municipal infrastructure strains, ranging from saltwater intrusion into the water supply of the city to the congestion of schools and roads.

In 2003, the city made national headlines when they hosted the first convicted murder trial, under court-order, of Lee Boyd Malvo, the Beltway sniper, for a terrorist-style attack the year prior.  The jury didn't give him a death sentence, but choose to put him in prison for life without parole.  John Allen Muhammed, Malvo's older partner, was sentenced to death for a different attack in Virginia Beach.

A painting was removed from the Chesapeake Public Library in 2005, following complaints.  The painting, “Morning Dreamer” by Karen Kinser, displaying a bare breasted female, was taken off the walls of the Central Branch.  This decision caused a lot of controversy due to some seeng it as an attack to intellectual liberty.  Commentators quickly noted that the flag of the state also displays the same figure.

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