Gulfport is the second-largest city in Mississippi
after the state capital, Jackson
. Along with Biloxi
, Gulfport is the other county seat
of Harrison County
and the larger of the two principal cities of the Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area
, which is included in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi Combined Statistical Area
. As of the 2010 census
, the city of Gulfport had a total population of 67,793, with nearly 400,000 in the metro area as of 2018. It is also home to the US Navy
Atlantic Fleet Seabee
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This area was occupied by indigenous cultures for thousands of years, culminating in the historic Choctaw
encountered by European explorers. Along the Gulf Coast, French colonists founded nearby Biloxi
, and Mobile
in the 18th century, well before the area was acquired from France by the United States in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase
. By the Indian Removal Act
of 1830, the United States completed treaties to extinguish Choctaw and other tribal land claims and removed them to Indian Territory
, now Oklahoma. In that period, the other four of the Five Civilized Tribes
in the Southeast were also removed, to make way for white settlers to take over the lands and develop them for agriculture, especially cotton.
An early settlement near this location, known as Mississippi City
, appeared on a map of Mississippi from 1855. Mississippi City was the county seat of Harrison County from 1841 to 1902, but is now a suburb in east Gulfport.
Gulfport was incorporated on July 28, 1898. The city was founded by William H. Hardy
, who was president of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad
(G&SIRR) that connected inland lumber mills to the coast. He was joined by Joseph T. Jones
, who later took over the G&SIRR, dredged the harbor in Gulfport, and opened the shipping channel to the sea. In 1902, the harbor was completed and the Port of Gulfport became a working seaport. On April 28, 1904 the Treasury Department changed the port of entry for the district of the Pearl River from Shieldsboro to Gulfport. It now accounts for millions of dollars in annual sales and tax revenue for the state of Mississippi.
In 1910, the U.S. Post Office and Customhouse was built here. This Gulfport Post office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
In March 1916, Mayor George M. Foote
announced that the Andrew Carnegie
foundation was going to aid in construction of a Carnegie Library
in Gulfport. The city had agreed to providing matching funds for the construction as well as committing to provide operating funds. In the 20th century, the city developed as an important port; as it was served by railroads from the interior, it stimulated town growth by providing a way to get products to markets.
The city's location on the coast made it vulnerable to hurricanes and it weathered several. But on August 17, 1969, Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast were hit by Hurricane Camille
. Measured by central pressure, Camille was the second-strongest hurricane to make U.S. landfall in recorded history. The area of total destruction in Harrison County was 68 square miles (180 km2).1
The total estimated cost of damage was $1.42 billion (1969 USD, $9 billion 2012 USD).2
Camille was the second-most expensive hurricane in the United States, up to that point (behind Hurricane Betsy
The storm directly killed 143 people in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
In December 1993, the City annexed north of Gulfport, making it the second-largest city in Mississippi.
On August 29, 2005, Gulfport was hit by the strong eastern side of Hurricane Katrina
. Much of the city was flooded or destroyed in one day by the strong, hurricane-force winds, which lasted more than 16 hours, and a storm surge
exceeding 28 feet (9 m) in some sections.
[Gary Tuchman, Transcript of "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" (2006-08-29) 19:00 ET, ''CNN'', CNN.com web]
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN Correspondent: Responds to Anderson Cooper "that it felt like it would never end, saying winds were at least 100 miles per hour in Gulfport for seven hours, between about 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For another five or six hours, on each side of that, they ulfporthad hurricane-force winds over 75 miles per hour; much of the city of 71,000 was then under water."
Hurricane Katrina damaged more than 40 Mississippi libraries, gutting the Gulfport Public Library, first floor, and breaking windows on the second floor, beyond repair. It required total reconstruction.
Although Katrina's damage was far more widespread, it was not the fiercest hurricane to hit Gulfport. Katrina, a Category 3 storm at landfall, was dwarfed by Hurricane Camille
, a Category 5 storm, which had hit Gulfport and neighboring communities on August 17, 1969 with 175 mph sustained winds compared to Katrina's 120 mph sustained winds.
''The Sun Herald
'' newspaper in Biloxi-Gulfport, under the executive editor Stanley R. Tiner
, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize
in journalism for its Katrina coverage. The local ABC television affiliate, WLOX, won the Peabody Award
for its Hurricane Katrina coverage.
center|thumb|400px| Gulfport, Mississippi (map center) is east of Long Beach
, west of Biloxi
, along the Gulf of Mexico
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the city had a total area of , of which is land and (11.40%) is water.
Gulfport Formation, here named in Harrison Co., southeastern MS, described as barrier ridge composed of white, medium- to fine-grained sand, yellow-orange near surface. Thickness ranges form 5.0 to 9.5 m. Overlies Biloxi Formation. Age is late Pleistocene.
Gulfport Formation is limited to a 1- to 3-km-wide discontinuous barrier ridge belt that borders the Gulf mainland shore. Commonly overlies Prairie Formation (alluvium) landward and Biloxi Formation (shelf deposits) near shore. Grades upward from poorly to moderately sorted shoreface sands to foreshore sand and dunes. Fig. 1 shows unit extending from Gulfport, MS, eastward to the mouth of the Ochlockonee River, Franklin Co., FL. Deposited during the Sangamonian.
Gulfport has a humid subtropical climate
, which is strongly moderated by the Gulf of Mexico
. Winters are short and generally mild; cold spells do occur, but seldom last long. Snow flurries are rare in the city, with no notable accumulation occurring most years. Summers are generally long, hot and humid, though the city's proximity to the Gulf prevents extreme summer highs, as seen farther inland. Gulfport is subject to extreme weather, most notably tropical storm
activity through the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the census
of 2010, there were 67,793 people living in the city. The population density
was 1,191.4 people per square mile (459.9/km). The city had 50,825 or 74.97% of its population at the age of 18 and above. The racial makeup of the city was 56.86% White
, 36.07% African American
, 0.39% Native American
, 1.69% Asian
, 0.14% Pacific Islander
, 2.13% from other races
, and 2.73% from two or more races. Results show that 5.19% of the population was Hispanic
of any race.
There were 31,602 housing units at an average density of 555.4 per square mile (214.4/km) with 83.24% of housing units occupied and an average of 2.57 persons living in each occupied housing unit.
Comparing the 2000 and 2010 Census, the population of the city went down while the total number of housing units rose. This can be attributed to Hurricane Katrina
, which destroyed housing and displaced people. New housing development has continued with a mixture of redevelopment from hurricane damage, though not all of the displaced population returned.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 26,943 households, out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples
living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.07.
In Gulfport, the population dispersal was 26.0% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $32,779, and the median income for a family was $39,213. Males had a median income of $29,220 versus $21,736 for females. The per capita income
for the city was $17,554. 17.7% of the population and 14.1% of families were below the poverty line
. Out of the total population, 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 13.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Gulfport is the location of Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport
. The airport suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Katrina. A major renovation project is for the most part completed and it has resumed commercial air service.
According to Gulfport's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city were:
From its beginnings as a lumber port, Gulfport evolved into a diversified city. With about 6.7 miles (10.7 kilometres) of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico
, Gulfport has become a tourism destination, due in large part to Mississippi's coast casinos. Gulfport has served as host to popular cultural events such as the "World's Largest Fishing Rodeo," "Cruisin' the Coast" (a week of classic cars), “Black Spring Break” and "Smokin' the Sound" (speedboat races). Gulfport is a thriving residential community with a strong mercantile center. There are historic neighborhoods and home sites, as well as diverse shopping opportunities and several motels scattered throughout to accommodate golfing, gambling, and water-sport tourism. Gulfport is also home to the Island View Casino
, one of twelve casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
The City of Gulfport is served by the Gulfport School District
and the Harrison County School District
. The Harrison County Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
is also located in Gulfport.
Before Hurricane Katrina, William Carey University
had a satellite campus in Gulfport. In 2009, the university moved to its new Tradition Campus, constructed off Mississippi Highway 67
in north Harrison County.
The Gulf Park Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi
is located in Long Beach
, just west of Gulfport. In 2012, repairs and renovations to campus buildings were still in progress following extensive damage in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.
Gulfport's local newspaper is The Sun Herald
. It is also served by two television stations, the ABC
, the Fox
Digital signal on Channel 25.2 as NBC 25 NBC
affiliate, and WXXV
Digital signal on Channel 25.3 as The Gulf Coast CW CW+
affiliate. There are also seven radio stations in the Gulfport area.
Gulfport/Biloxi and the Gulf Coast area is served by the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport
The Gulfport Police Department has 160 sworn personnel and 80 civilian staff.
U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard operates 9 boats out of the port of Gulfport 4 of which are Patrol Boats. The Gulfport station has 110 members which include Active, Reserve and Coast Guard Auxiliary who respond to an average of 300 search and rescue cases annually.
Fire protection and EMS
Gulfport Fire Department
The Gulfport Fire Department was founded in 1908 and currently provides fire suppression, HAZMAT response, and technical rescue services within the city limits of Gulfport, Mississippi . The GFD operates out of 11 active stations and is staffed by professional firefighters. The GFD works in conjunction with American Medical Response
for EMS related emergencies.
* Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
, former NBA
point guard for the Denver Nuggets
, Sacramento Kings
and Vancouver Grizzlies
* Stacey Abrams
, American politician, lawyer, and author
* Bidwell Adam
, Gulfport lawyer and Democratic politician; Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi
from 1928 to 1932
* Thomas H. Anderson, Jr.
, Ambassador of the United States
, St. Lucia
, St. Vincent
, and St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
from 1984 to 1986, was born in Gulfport
* Tommy Armstrong, Jr.
, quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers
* Jerome Barkum
, former wide receiver and tight end for the New York Jets
from 1972 to 1983 in the National Football League
* Milton Barney
, 1990 AFL Ironman of the Year
* William Joel Blass
* Timmy Bowers
, professional basketball player
* Rod Davis
, professional football player, played for the Minnesota Vikings
* Brett Favre
, quarterback in the National Football League
for the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, born in Gulfport
* Aiden Flowers
, American Actor
* Gregg Giuffria
, rock musician and also co-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
* Karen Ann Graham
, model and fly fishing expert
* William H. Hardy
, co-founder of the city of Gulfport
* Josh Hayes
, professional motorcycle roadracer
, AMA Superbike Championship
* William Gardner Hewes
, politician and Mayor of Gulfport
* Jonathan Holder
, Major League Baseball pitcher
* Boyce Holleman
, attorney, politician and actor
, original member and drummer of the Allman Brothers Band, grew up in Gulfport
* Joseph T. Jones
, co-founder of the city of Gulfport
* Ronald Jones
, football player
* Matt Lawton
, former Major League Baseball
player best known for his stint with the Minnesota Twins
* Matt Luke
, former head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels football team
of the University of Mississippi
* Stanford Morse
(1926-2002), member of the Mississippi State Senate
, 1956–1964; Republican candidate for lieutenant governor
* Brittney Reese
, long jump
er, Olympic gold medalist
* John C. Robinson
(1905-1954), “The Brown Condor”, aviator and civil rights activist
* Stuart Roosa
, Colonel, US Air Force
, Apollo 14 astronaut
, Command Module Pilot. Brought seeds to moon that germinated in space
* Tavis Smiley
, talk show host
* Tiffany Travis
, former WNBA Basketball
player, played for Charlotte Sting
* Natasha Trethewey
, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, former Poet Laureate of the United States, and Professor at Emory University
, born in Gulfport
* Gee Walker
, MLB All-Star outfielder for 1935 World Series
champion Detroit Tigers
, born in Gulfport
* Hub Walker
, outfielder for 1945 World Series
champion Detroit Tigers
, born in Gulfport
* Lamar Williams
, bassist of Allman Brothers Band from 1973 to 1976, born and raised in Gulfport
* Tim Young
, professional baseball player, played for the Montreal Expos
and the Boston Red Sox
Filmed in Gulfport
* ''Precious Cargo
'', 2016 film starring Bruce Willis
, Mark-Paul Gosselaar
, and Claire Forlani
* ''The Astronaut Wives Club
'', TV series.
* ''Christmas in Mississippi'', 2017 TV movie starring Jana Kramer
*Grass Lawn (Gulfport, Mississippi)
*Gulf and Ship Island Railroad
*Gulf Coast Military Academy
*Gulfport Army Air Field Hangar
*Gulfport Veterans Administration Medical Center Historic District
*Historic Grand Hotels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
*List of Mayors of Gulfport, Mississippi
*Mississippi City, Mississippi
*National Register of Historic Places listings in Harrison County, Mississippi
*Old Gulfport High School
*Turkey Creek Community Historic District
*United States Post Office and Customhouse (Gulfport, Mississippi)
* United States container ports
City of Gulfport Official website
Category:Cities in Mississippi
Category:Cities in Harrison County, Mississippi
Category:County seats in Mississippi
Category:Cities in Gulfport–Biloxi metropolitan area
Category:Port cities and towns of the United States Gulf Coast
Category:Populated coastal places in Mississippi