New London, city (1990 pop. 24,540), New London co., SE Conn., on the Thames River near its mouth on Long Island Sound; laid out 1646 by John Winthrop, inc. 1784. It is a deepwater port of entry, with shipbuilding, high-technology research and engineering, pharmaceutical research, building materials, fishing, tourism, and other industries. New London survived a partial burning by the British under Benedict Arnold in 1781 and a British blockade during the War of 1812. The city reached the height of its maritime prosperity in the 19th cent., when it flourished as a shipping, shipbuilding, and whaling port. The excellent harbor is used by the U.S. navy as a principal submarine base and by yachters and students of the United States Coast Guard Academy (located in the city). Annual Yale-Harvard boat races are held on the Thames. Connecticut College and Mitchell College are there. The city has a whaling museum, an art museum, and many old buildings, including the Hempsted House (1678) and the old town mill (1650). Old Fort Trumbull, built in 1849, is a state historical park.
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