Editorial – Celebrating Suffolk’s 50th anniversary

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On Jan. 1, 1974, 50 years ago, the two-square-mile town of Suffolk and Nansemond County officially merged to become the 430-square-mile City of Suffolk. Inside today’s edition, we look back at the events that led up to the merger and talk with a few city officials about its impact on their departments. You will hear from Suffolk Fire and Rescue, Suffolk Police Department, and a few other city departments, who talk about the merger, its impact, and how they plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary throughout the year. 

A special thank you goes out to Kermit Hobbs, who graciously and thoroughly researched the merger’s history and contributed a detailed description of the years and months leading up to it. 

Many of us were not born when the merger happened or were very young — too young to have understood or taken an interest in what was happening. However, through the years, we have all heard opinions passed down from family, friends, and former political leaders. No matter what those opinions are, the fact is the city we all know and love recently turned 50, and we should all celebrate where it came from and where it is heading — even if you don’t fully agree with its current trajectory. We also have a story in this edition that shows the city has experienced the largest percentage of growth in all of Hampton Roads cities from Jul 1, 2022, through July 1, 2023, proving people are finding more and more reasons to migrate to our city — that likely would not happen without the foresight of those before us to see what this vast land area could be. 

Email newsletter signup

Thank you to everyone who helped the section come to life, and we hope you find your own way to celebrate the 50th anniversary.