Hull was an early theatre of battle in the English Civil Wars. Its 18th-century Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, played a key role in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.
The city is unique in the UK in having had a municipally owned telephone system from 1902, sporting cream, not red, telephone boxes.
After suffering heavy damage during the Second World War (the 'Hull Blitz'), Hull weathered a period of post-industrial decline, during which the city gained unfavourable results on measures of social deprivation, education and policing. During the early 21st-century spending boom (before the late 2000s recession) the city saw large amounts of new retail, commercial, housing and public service construction spending.
Established tourist attractions include the historic Old Town and Museum Quarter, Hull Marina and The Deep, a city landmark. The redevelopment of one of Hull's main thoroughfares, Ferensway, included the opening of St. Stephen's Hull and the new Hull Truck Theatre. Spectator sporting activities include Premier League football and Super League Rugby. The KC Stadium houses the Hull City football club and Hull FC rugby club and Craven Park is home to rugby club Hull Kingston Rovers. Hull is also home to the Elite Ice Hockey League Hull Stingrays.
In November 2013, it was announced that Hull had won the UK City of Culture 2017 award