kids encyclopedia robot

Bedford, Virginia facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Bedford, Virginia
Incorporated town
Bedford County Courthouse
Bedford County Courthouse
Official seal of Bedford, Virginia
Seal
Nickname(s): 
The World's Best Little Town
Motto(s): 
Life. Liberty. Happiness.
Location in Virginia
Location in Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Bedford County
Government
 • Type Town Council
Area
 • Total 8.75 sq mi (22.67 km2)
 • Land 8.72 sq mi (22.59 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
Elevation
1,004 ft (306 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 6,657
 • Density 760.8/sq mi (293.65/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
24523
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code 51-05544
GNIS feature ID 1498450
Website http://www.bedfordva.gov

Bedford is an incorporated town and former independent city located within Bedford County in the U.S. state of Virginia. It serves as the county seat of Bedford County. As of the 2020 census, the population was 6,657. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Bedford County surrounds the town and has the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north, Smith Mountain Lake to the south, Lynchburg to the east, and Roanoke to the west.

History

Bedford was originally known as Liberty, "named after the Colonial victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown." Founded as a village in 1782, Liberty became Bedford County's seat of government, replacing New London which had become part of the newly formed Campbell County. Liberty became a town in 1839 and in 1890 changed its name to Bedford City. In 1912, Bedford reverted to town status, it resumed city status in 1968, and once more it reverted to a town in 2013.

Bedford is home to the National D-Day Memorial (despite the "National" in its name, the memorial is owned and operated by a non-governmental, non-profit, education foundation). The United States Congress warranted that this memorial would be the nation's D-Day Memorial and President Bill Clinton authorized this effort in September 1996. President George W. Bush dedicated this memorial as the nation's D-Day memorial on June 6, 2001. Bedford lost more residents per capita in the Normandy landings than any other American community. Nineteen of the thirty-four Virginia National Guard soldiers from Bedford who were in Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division were killed on D-Day, and three other Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign. With a 1944 population of about 3,200, proportionally this community suffered the nation's most severe D-Day losses.

Bedford was designated as an independent city in 1968, but remained the county seat of Bedford County. Its status as an independent city was ended on July 1, 2013, returning to a town within Bedford County.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.9 square miles (18 km2), of which 6.9 square miles (18 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Bedford sits at the foot of the Peaks of Otter.

Demographics

D-Day National Memorial
The D-Day National Memorial, as viewed from the nearby visitor center
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 722
1870 1,208 67.3%
1880 2,191 81.4%
1890 2,897 32.2%
1900 2,416 −16.6%
1910 2,508 3.8%
1920 3,243 29.3%
1930 3,713 14.5%
1940 3,973 7.0%
1950 4,061 2.2%
1960 5,921 45.8%
1970 6,011 1.5%
1980 5,991 −0.3%
1990 6,073 1.4%
2000 6,299 3.7%
2010 6,222 −1.2%
2020 6,657 7.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2012

2020 census

At the 2020 census there were 6,657 people in the town. There were 3,163 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 74.4% White, 16.8% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 6.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9%.

Economy

Top employers

Bedford County Court House
The cupola atop the Bedford County Court House was built in 1866.

According to the town's 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the top employers in the town are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital & Centra Medical Group 364
2 Bedford County Public Schools 315
3 Walmart 301
4 Sam Moore Furniture LLC 237
5 Smyth Companies Bedford 132
6 Cintas 130
7 Bedford Weaving Mills 123
8 Lowe's 117
9 English Meadows 70
10 Food Lion 63

Education

Bedford is served by Bedford County Public Schools. Public school students residing in Bedford are zoned to attend Bedford Elementary School, Liberty Middle School, and Liberty High School.

Central Virginia Community College operates a branch campus in Bedford.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by mild, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bedford has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Bedford, Virginia (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1893–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
(27)
79
(26)
89
(32)
95
(35)
100
(38)
102
(39)
104
(40)
101
(38)
100
(38)
99
(37)
87
(31)
73
(23)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 46.9
(8.3)
49.9
(9.9)
58.1
(14.5)
69.7
(20.9)
74.7
(23.7)
82.4
(28.0)
86.4
(30.2)
85.2
(29.6)
78.9
(26.1)
68.7
(20.4)
58.8
(14.9)
49.5
(9.7)
67.4
(19.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 37.3
(2.9)
39.2
(4.0)
47.1
(8.4)
57.4
(14.1)
64.3
(17.9)
72.1
(22.3)
76.5
(24.7)
74.9
(23.8)
68.7
(20.4)
57.5
(14.2)
48.1
(8.9)
40.4
(4.7)
57.0
(13.9)
Average low °F (°C) 27.8
(−2.3)
28.5
(−1.9)
36.0
(2.2)
45.1
(7.3)
53.8
(12.1)
61.8
(16.6)
66.7
(19.3)
64.7
(18.2)
58.6
(14.8)
46.2
(7.9)
37.3
(2.9)
31.3
(−0.4)
46.5
(8.1)
Record low °F (°C) −10
(−23)
−6
(−21)
4
(−16)
20
(−7)
28
(−2)
36
(2)
43
(6)
42
(6)
29
(−2)
21
(−6)
8
(−13)
−6
(−21)
−10
(−23)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.62
(92)
3.01
(76)
3.45
(88)
3.85
(98)
4.60
(117)
4.71
(120)
4.29
(109)
3.81
(97)
4.37
(111)
3.59
(91)
3.27
(83)
3.74
(95)
46.31
(1,176)
Source: NOAA

Transportation

U.S. Route 221 runs through the town; and U.S. Route 460 circumvents the main part of town. State routes 43 and 122 converge onto the town.

Until the late 1960s, there were three different Southern Railway/Norfolk & Western Railroad trains operating daily at Bedford station.

  • Birmingham Special—New York City to Birmingham, and branch to Memphis
  • Pelican—New York to New Orleans
  • Tennessean—Washington to Memphis

Amtrak service to Roanoke travels through, but does not make stops in Bedford.

International links

Bedford has a Friendship Treaty with:

Bedford maintains relationships with 11 communities on the Normandy Coast of France. One sister city, Trévières, France, sent Bedford an exact replica of its own World War I memorial statue. The face of the statue was damaged in World War II by artillery fire from US forces retaking the town. The Bedford statue also bears these wounds and is erected on the grounds of the National D-Day Memorial.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bedford (Virginia) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Scientists:
Percy Lavon Julian
Katherine Johnson
George Washington Carver
Annie Easley
kids search engine
Bedford, Virginia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.