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New London, Connecticut facts for kids

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City of New London
New London skyline from Fort Griswold
New London skyline from Fort Griswold
Official seal of City of New London
The Whaling City
Mare Liberum
Location in New London County, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut is located in the United States
New London, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut
Location in the United States
New London, Connecticut is located in Connecticut
New London, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut
Location in Connecticut
State  Connecticut
County New London
Metropolitan area New London
Settle 1646 (Pequot Plantation)
Named 1658 (New London)
Incorporated (city) 1784
 • Type Mayor–council
 • City 10.61 sq mi (27.47 km2)
 • Land 5.62 sq mi (14.56 km2)
 • Water 4.99 sq mi (12.91 km2)
 • Urban
123.03 sq mi (318.66 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • City 27,367
 • Density 4,868/sq mi (1,879.6/km2)
 • Metro
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-52280
GNIS feature ID 0209237
Airport Groton–New London Airport
Major highways I-95.svg Connecticut Highway 32.svg Connecticut Highway 85.svg
Commuter Rail SLE logo.svg
Website City of New London

New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States, located at the mouth of the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut. It was one of the world's three busiest whaling ports for several decades beginning in the early 19th century, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. The city subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but it has gradually lost most of its industrial heart.

New London is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, and The Williams School. The Coast Guard Station New London and New London Harbor is home port to the Coast Guard Cutter Coho and the Coast Guard's tall ship Eagle. The city had a population of 27,367 at the 2020 census. The Norwich–New London metropolitan area includes 21 towns and 274,055 people.


2013-07-28 Fort Trumbull - Thames Baseball Club
Fort Trumbull, originally built on this site in 1777. The present structure was built between 1839 and 1852.
New London
New London in 1813
New London old station and Parade 1883
The Parade in 1883, with a railroad station built in 1864 at right (replaced by New London Union Station in 1887) and ferryboats in the river
Part of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center

Colonial era

The area was called Nameaug by the Pequot Indians. John Winthrop, Jr. founded the first English settlement here in 1646, making it about the 13th town settled in Connecticut. Inhabitants informally referred to it as Nameaug or as Pequot after the tribe. In the 1650s, the colonists wanted to give the town the official name of London after London, England, but the Connecticut General Assembly wanted to name it Faire Harbour. The citizens protested, declaring that they would prefer it to be called Nameaug if it couldn't be officially named London. The legislature relented, and the town was officially named New London on March 10, 1658.

American Revolution

The harbor was considered to be the best deep water harbor on Long Island Sound, and consequently New London became a base of American naval operations during the Revolutionary War. Famous New Londoners during the American Revolution include Nathan Hale, William Coit, Richard Douglass, Thomas & Nathaniel Shaw, Gen. Samuel Parsons, printer Timothy Green, and Samuel Seabury.

New London was raided and much of it burned to the ground on September 6, 1781 in the Battle of Groton Heights by Norwich native Benedict Arnold in an attempt to destroy the Revolutionary privateer fleet and supplies of goods and naval stores within the city. It is often noted that this raid on New London and Groton was intended to divert General Washington and the French Army under Rochambeau from their march on Yorktown, Virginia. The main defensive fort for New London was Fort Griswold, located across the Thames River in Groton. It was well known to Arnold, who sold its secrets to the British fleet so that they could avoid its artillery fire. After overrunning New London's Fort Trumbull, Ft. Griswold, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Ledyard, was attacked by the British, who suffered great casualties before eventually storming the fort and slaughtering many of the militia who defended it, including Colonel Ledyard. All told, more than 52 British soldiers and 83 militia were killed, and more than 142 British and 39 militia were wounded, many mortally. New London suffered over 6 militia killed and 24 wounded, while Arnold and the British and Hessian raiding party suffered an equal amount.

Connecticut's independent legislature made New London one of the first two cities brought from de facto to formalized incorporations in its January session of 1784, along with New Haven.

19th Century

During the War of 1812, torpedoes were employed in attempts to destroy British vessels and protect American harbors. In fact, a submarine-deployed torpedo was used in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy HMS Ramillies while in New London's harbor. This prompted British Capt. Hardy to warn the Americans to cease efforts with the use of any "torpedo boat" in this "cruel and unheard-of warfare", or he would "order every house near the shore to be destroyed."

For several decades beginning in the early 19th century, New London was one of the three busiest whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture.

The New Haven and New London Railroad connected New London by rail to New Haven and points beyond by the 1850s. The Springfield and New London Railroad connected New London to Springfield, Massachusetts by the 1870s.

Military presence

Several military installations have been part of New London's history, including the United States Coast Guard Academy and Coast Guard Station New London. Most of these military installations have been located at Fort Trumbull. The first Fort Trumbull was an earthwork built 1775-1777 that took part in the Revolutionary War. The second Fort Trumbull was built 1839-1852 and still stands. By 1910, the fort's defensive function had been superseded by the new forts of the Endicott Program, primarily located on Fishers Island. The fort was turned over to the Revenue Cutter Service and became the Revenue Cutter Academy. The Revenue Cutter Service was merged into the United States Coast Guard in 1915, and the Academy relocated to its current site in 1932. During World War II, the Merchant Marine Officers Training School was located at Fort Trumbull. From 1950 to 1990, Fort Trumbull was the location for the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory, which developed sonar and related systems for US Navy submarines. In 1990, the Sound Laboratory was merged with the Naval Underwater Systems Center in Newport, Rhode Island, and the New London facility was closed in 1996.

The Naval Submarine Base New London is physically located in Groton, but submarines were stationed in New London from 1951 to 1991. The submarine tender Fulton and Submarine Squadron 10 were at State Pier in New London during this time. Squadron Ten was usually composed of eight to ten submarines and was the first all-nuclear submarine squadron. In the 1990s, State Pier was rebuilt as a container terminal.

Eugene O'Neil

The family of Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) were intimately connected to New London. He lived here for years, and was employed as an adult and wrote his first seven or eight plays in the city. A major O'Neill archive is located at Connecticut College, and a family home in New London is a museum and registered national historic landmark operated by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Dutch's Tavern on Green Street was a favorite watering hole of Eugene O'Neill and still stands today.

Towns created from New London

New London originally had a larger land area when it was established. Towns set off since include:


New London Map 49%
49% of New London's area is water.

In terms of land area, New London is one of the smallest cities in Connecticut. Of the whole 10.76 square miles (27.9 km2), nearly half is water; 5.54 square miles (14.3 km2) is land.

The town and city of New London are coextensive. Sections of the original town were ceded to form newer towns between 1705 and 1801. The towns of Groton, Ledyard, Montville, and Waterford, and portions of Salem and East Lyme, now occupy what had earlier been the outlying area of New London.

New London is bounded on the west and north by the town of Waterford, on the east by the Thames River and Groton, and on the south by Long Island Sound.

Principal communities

Other minor communities and geographic features are: Bates Woods Park, Fort Trumbull, Glenwood Park, Green's Harbor Beach, Mitchell's Woods, Pequot Colony, Riverside Park, Old Town Mill.


New London, like the rest of coastal Connecticut, lies in the transition between a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfa) and humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), as is typical for much of the Tri-State Area (NY/NJ/CT). The city enjoys a sunny climate, averaging 2,600 hours of sunshine annually, and is the mildest large city in Connecticut in winter.

In the summer months, the southerly flow from subtropical high pressure (the Atlantic/Bermuda High) often creates hot and humid weather. Daytime heating produces occasional thunderstorms with heavy but brief downpours. Spring and Fall are mild in New London, with daytime highs in the 55 to 70 F range and lows in the 40 to 50 F range. The seaside geography allows a long growing season compared to areas inland. The first frost in the New London area is normally not until early November, almost three weeks later than parts of northern Connecticut. Winters are cool to cold with a mix of rainfall and snowfall, or mixed precipitation. New London normally sees fewer than 25 days annually with snow cover. In mid-winter, there can be large differences in low temperatures between areas along the coastline and areas well inland, often as much as 15 F.

Tropical cyclones (hurricanes/tropical storms) have struck Connecticut and the New London metropolitan area, although infrequently. Hurricane landfalls have occurred along the Connecticut coast in 1903, 1938, 1944, 1954 (Carol), 1960 (Donna), 1985 (Gloria). Tropical Storm Irene (2011) also caused moderate damage along the Connecticut coast, as did Hurricane Sandy (which made landfall in New Jersey) in 2012.

Coastal Connecticut (including New London) is the broad transition zone where so-called "subtropical indicator" plants and other broadleaf evergreens can successfully be cultivated. New London averages about 90 days annually with freeze, about the same as Baltimore, Maryland. As such, Southern Magnolias, Needle Palms, Windmill palm, Loblolly Pines, and Crape Myrtles are grown in private and public gardens. The growing season is quite long in New London, like much of coastal Connecticut and Long Island, NY, averaging 210 days from April 8 to November 5.

Climate data for Groton–New London Airport (GON) (1981-2010), snow data from Norwich, Connecticut (1981-2010).
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
Average high °F (°C) 37.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 29.5
Average low °F (°C) 21.6
Record low °F (°C) −14
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.27
Average snowfall inches (cm) 8.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.05) 6 5 6 7 8 8 6 6 6 7 7 7 79
Average snowy days (≥ 0.05) 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 5,150
1810 3,238 −37.1%
1820 3,330 2.8%
1830 4,335 30.2%
1840 5,519 27.3%
1850 8,991 62.9%
1860 10,115 12.5%
1870 9,576 −5.3%
1880 10,537 10.0%
1890 13,757 30.6%
1900 17,548 27.6%
1910 19,659 12.0%
1920 25,688 30.7%
1930 29,640 15.4%
1940 30,456 2.8%
1950 30,551 0.3%
1960 34,182 11.9%
1970 31,630 −7.5%
1980 28,842 −8.8%
1990 28,540 −1.0%
2000 25,671 −10.1%
2010 27,620 7.6%
2020 27,367 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
New London Population
Population since 1810

Recent estimates on demographics and economic status

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, non-Hispanic whites made up 54.6% of New London's population. Non-Hispanic blacks made up 14.0% of the population. Asians of non-Hispanic origin made up 4.6% of the city's population. Multiracial individuals of non-Hispanic origin made up 4.3% of the population; people of mixed black and white ancestry made up 1.7% of the population. In addition, people of mixed black and Native American ancestry made up 1.0% of the population. People of mixed white and Native American ancestry made up 0.7% of the population; those of mixed white and Asian ancestry made up 0.4% of the populace. Hispanics and Latinos made up 21.9% of the population, of which 13.8% were Puerto Rican.

The top five largest European ancestry groups were Italian (10.5%), Irish (9.7%), German (7.4%), English (6.8%) and Polish (5.0%)

According to the survey, 74.4% of people over the age of 5 spoke only English at home. Approximately 16.0% of the population spoke Spanish at home.

In 2012, the population reached 27,700. The median household income was $44,100, with 20% of the population below the poverty line.

Arts and culture


U.S. Coast Guard Band 2013
The United States Coast Guard Band in 2013

New London has a respected symphony orchestra, a military wind ensemble, and a local tradition of R&B and rock-n-roll. Notable artists and ensembles include:

Sites of interest

Garde Arts Center New London from southwest
The Garde Arts Center in 2013



New London Union Station
New London Union Station, designed by H.H. Richardson

Downtown New London is served by regional Southeast Area Transit buses, the Estuary Transit District public transit service between the New London transportation center and Old Saybrook, and interstate Greyhound Lines buses. Interstate 95 passes through New London.

New London has frequent passenger rail service. New London Union Station is served by Amtrak's Northeast Regional and Acela Express regional rail services, plus Shore Line East (SLE) commuter rail service. The Providence & Worcester Railroad and the New England Central Railroad handle freight.

The city is also served by Cross Sound Ferry to Long Island, the Fishers Island Ferry District, and the Block Island Express ferry. New London is also visited by cruise ships.

The Groton-New London Airport, a general aviation facility, is located in Groton. Scheduled commercial flights are available at T. F. Green and the much smaller Tweed New Haven Regional Airport. The larger Bradley International Airport is 75 minutes driving time.

Notable people

Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, designed by Charles A. Platt
Harry Daghlian, a New London native who was the first person to die as the result of a radioactive criticality accident. A small memorial to Daghlian sits in a New London park.
  • Eliphalet Adams (1677–1753), clergyman
  • Theresa Andrews (born 1962), winner of two Olympic gold medals
  • Peter C. Assersen (1839–1906), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • James Avery (1620–1700), politician and military commander
  • Nathan Belcher (1813–1891), congressman
  • Augustus Brandegee (1828–1904), judge, congressman, abolitionist
  • Frank B. Brandegee (1864–1924), congressman and senator
  • Amy Brenneman (born 1964), actress
  • Valerie Azlynn (born 1980), actress
  • Henry Burbeck (1754–1848), brigadier general
  • Daniel Burrows (1756–1858), congressman
  • John Button (soldier) (1772–1861),
  • William Colfax, Canadian soldier and settler
  • Frances Manwaring Caulkins (1795–1869), historian, genealogist, author
  • Thomas Humphrey Cushing (1755–1822), brigadier general in the War of 1812 and collector of customs
  • Harry Daghlian (1921–1945), physicist at Los Alamos National Lab, first person to die as a result of a criticality accident
  • A. J. Dillon (born 1998), American football running back
  • David Dorfman (born 1955), choreographer
  • Richard Douglass (1746–1828), cooper and soldier
  • Grace L. Drake, Ohio state legislator
  • Doug DuBose (born 1964), NFL player
  • Kris Dunn (born 1994), point guard for the Chicago Bulls
  • Larry Elgart (born 1922), musician
  • John Ellis (born 1948), baseball player
  • Elsie Ferguson (1883–1961), stage and film actress
  • Richard P. Freeman (1869–1944), congressman
  • William Goddard (publisher) (1740-1817) Co-founded US Post Office with Benjamin Franklin
  • L. Patrick Gray (1916–2005), lawyer and Watergate figure
  • Nathan Hale (1755–1776), schoolmaster and patriot
  • Doc Hammer (born 1967), multimedium artist and co-creator of the Venture Brothers
  • Matt Harvey (born 1989), MLB pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds
  • Glenne Headly (1955–2017), actress
  • Barkley L. Hendricks (born 1945), painter
  • Linda Jaivin (born 1955), Australian author
  • Sarah Kemble Knight (1666–1727), diarist, teacher and businesswoman
  • Madeline Kripke (1943–2020), book collector
  • John Law (1796–1873), congressman
  • Bryan F. Mahan (1856–1923), congressman
  • Richard Mansfield (1857–1907), actor
  • John McCain (1936–2018), senator and Republican presidential nominee (lived in New London as a child when his father, John S. McCain, Jr., worked at the naval submarine base)
  • Thomas Minor (1608–1690), founder and early New England diarist
  • Casey Neistat (born 1981), filmmaker
  • James R Newby (born 1844) was a Civil War veteran who served in the first regiment of volunteer African Americans in the United States and a 19th-century African-American missionary to present-day Nigeria, Cameroon, and Liberia.
  • James O'Neill (1847–1920), actor, father of Eugene O'Neill
  • Eugene O'Neill (1888–1953), playwright
  • Walter Palmer (1585–1661), founder
  • Elias Perkins (1767–1845), congressman
  • Mary Philips (1901–1975), actress
  • Edward Clark Potter (1857–1923), sculptor
  • Ellen Culver Potter (1871–1958), physician, public health official
  • Renee Prahar (1879–1962), sculptor
  • Art Quimby (1933–2010), basketball player
  • Jordan Reed (born 1990), tight end for the Washington Redskins
  • Tim Riordan (born 1960), gridiron football player
  • Dawn Robinson (born 1965), singer
  • Dudley Saltonstall (1738–1796), naval officer
  • "Magic Dick" Salwitz (born 1945), musician
  • Thomas R. Sargent III (1914–2010), Vice Admiral in the United States Coast Guard
  • C. John Satti (1895–1968), Secretary of the State of Connecticut
  • Samuel Seabury (1729–1796), bishop
  • Benjamin Stark (1820–1898), senator
  • Sigmund Strochlitz (1916–2006), activist and Holocaust survivor
  • Dana Suesse (1909–1987), composer, songwriter, musician
  • Ron Suresha, author and editor
  • Flora M. Vare, (1874–1962), Pennsylvania State Senator from 1925 to 1928
  • Cassie Ventura (born 1986), singer
  • John T. Wait (1811–1899), former U.S. Representative for Connecticut
  • Thomas M. Waller (1839–1924), Mayor of New London and 51st Governor of Connecticut
  • Mary Way (1769–1833), portrait miniaturist
  • John Winthrop the Younger (1606–1676), statesman and founder
  • Tyson Wheeler (born 1975), former Denver Nuggets basketball player
  • Abisha Woodward (1752–1809), early American lighthouse builder
  • Scott Barlow Professional Baseball Pitcher for the Kansas City Royals
  • Jedediah Huntington (1743 - 1818), Revolutionary War General and New London Customs Collector

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: New London (Connecticut) para niños

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