Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Memorial Pool
Casualties of Segregation
From 1926 to 1951, the city had a municipal pool for white residents only. African Americans often swam in the Potomac River or on Hunting Creek for relief on hot summer days. Although the city provided transportation to a swimming pool in Washington, D.C. once a week during this time, this was not enough for some African American youth; walking two or three blocks to the Potomac River or Hunting Creek was too tempting to pass up.
As a result, accidents and drownings were bound to happen, and did. The Charles Houston Recreation Center Pool is named "The Memorial Pool" in honor of African American youth who perished in the Potomac and local creeks during segregation, when they were not permitted to use the city pool.
In 1952, the city opened the Johnson Memorial Pool, named for two brothers who had drowned the year before, for African American residents to use.
Dedicated February 27, 2010
Location. 38° 48.765′ N, 77° 2.893′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Wythe Street and North Patrick Street (U.S. 1), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 Wythe Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert Robinson Library -1940 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Saint Joseph's Church (about 500 feet away); James Bland Homes (about 600 feet away); The Hump: Open Lots For Blocks (about 600 feet away); Alexandria and Fredericksburg Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Parker-Gray High School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Smoot Lumber Company Planing Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colross-Alexandria's Urban Phoenix (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Also see . . . History of the Johnson Memorial Pool and Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery. Alexandria Biker on Twitter. (Submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights •
More. Search the internet for The Memorial Pool.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 652 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 15, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.