Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia.As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) on Interstate 64. First opened in 1957, it was the World's first bridge-tunnel, crossing the channel which serves as the gateway to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from the eastern United States' largest ice-free harbor and its tributary rivers. Hampton traces its history to 1610. The city's Old Point Comfort, home of Fort Monroe for almost 400 years, was named by the voyagers of 1607 led by Captain Christopher Newport on the mission which first established Jamestown as a British colony. Since 1952, Hampton has included the former Elizabeth City County and the incorporated town of Phoebus, consolidating by mutual agreement. After the end of the American Civil War, historic Hampton University was established here, providing an education for many of the newly freed former slaves. In the 20th century, the area became the location of Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Hampton features many miles of waterfront and beaches.