Spring Valley in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Birthplace of the Army Chemical Corps
Soon after the United States entered the First World War in 1917, the American University’s offer of its campus and buildings for war work was accepted.
The permanent buildings and part of campus were turned over to the Bureau of Mines on July 6, 1917, for use as chemical warfare laboratories and proving grounds. McKinley Hall served as one of the first of these laboratories.
On August 30, 1917, the Thirtieth Engineers, later known as the first gas regiment, was organized here. Companies A and B and First Battalion Headquarters marched out of the American University on Christmas Day, 1917 and sailed for France the next day. They were soon followed by Companies C and D, and later by Companies E and F which were organized at Fort Myer.
In June 1918, the chemical warfare organization of the Bureau of Mines was transferred to the War Department as a step toward the creation of the chemical warfare service, now the U.S. Army Chemical Corps.
Erected 1960 by Veterans of the First Gas Regiment.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education Science & Medicine • War, World I. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1918.
Location. 38° 56.159′ N, 77° 5.358′ W. Marker is in Spring Valley in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker can be reached from Nebraska Avenue Northwest south of New Mexico Avenue Northwest, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4400 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jeju Jeong-nang (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Eliza Graydon (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); School of International Service (about 400 feet away); Jeju Dolhareubang (about 500 feet away); Korean Cherry Trees (about 500 feet away); Battelle Memorial Building (about 600 feet away); John Fletcher Hurst (about 600 feet away); U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spring Valley.
More about this marker. The marker is located on the right side of the entrance to the McKinley Building, on the American University Campus.
Also see . . . Hazardous Waste and History Mix On D.C. Tour. Yamiche Alcindor's Washington Post article (9/21/2009) article on hazardous waste spots in the District, with a highlight on birthplace of the Chemical Corps and the leftover chemicals and munitions problem: "...During World War I, 661 acres of forested land around (Submitted on August 4, 2010.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,248 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.