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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Adams Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Building a Better Neighborhood

Roads to Diversity

 

—Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —

 
Building a Better Neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 20, 2017
1. Building a Better Neighborhood Marker
Inscription.
Front
Across the street you can see the Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center. It opened in 1977 on the former sites of Morgan Community School and Happy Hollow Playground.

Both the Adams and Morgan elementary schools became "community schools" in the 1960s. Their curricula and policies were controlled by locally elected residents with the cooperation of the D.C. School Board. The schools also provided important social services. The new Reed Center followed suit with a public health clinic, child care center, adult education, and swimming pool. Its name honors Bishop Marie H. Reed (1915-1969), founder of Sacred Heart Spiritual Center and leader of the community school movement.

The original Morgan School was named after City Commissioner Thomas P. Morgan, whose Oak Lawn estate was on the site of today's Washington Hilton. At first Morgan School served white children. Then in 1929, when the John Quincy Adams School was built for them on 19th Street (Adams once owned land along Rock Creek), African American students were given the old Morgan School. By the 1950s, Washington's black schools were overcrowded and run down, while white schools were under-enrolled due to "white flight" to the suburbs.

When the Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional in 1954, Washington's
Building a Better Neighborhood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 20, 2017
2. Building a Better Neighborhood Marker
schools were ordered to desegregate immediately as a model for the nation. Here, black and white community members had already laid the groundwork for better schools and improved race relations. In 1955 school officials and residents created the Adams Morgan Better Neighborhood Conference—and the Adams Morgan name stuck.

Back
The Adams Morgan story begins with its breezy hilltop location, prized by Native Americans, colonial settlers, freedom seekers, powerful Washingtonians, working people, and immigrants alike. Unlike most close-in neighborhoods, Adams Morgan has never been dominated by any of these groups. Today's rich diversity is the legacy of each group that has passed through.

Follow the 18 signs of Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail to discover the personalities and faces that shaped a community once known simply as "18th and Columbia." Along the way, you'll learn how school desegregation led to the name Adams Morgan, and you'll meet presidents and paupers, natives and immigrants, artists, activists and authors.

Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail, a booklet capturing the trail's highlights is available at local businesses. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, check out City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail, beginning at 16th and U streets, and visit: www.CulturalTourismDC.org
Building a Better Neighborhood Marker from a couple feet away image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 20, 2017
3. Building a Better Neighborhood Marker from a couple feet away

 
Erected 2005 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 16.)
 
Location. 38° 55.073′ N, 77° 2.505′ W. Marker is in Adams Morgan, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 18th Street NW and California Street NW, on the right when traveling south on 18th Street NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Urban Renewal Era (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); You are in the "Strivers' Section" (approx. 0.2 miles away); President Reagan Assassination Attempt (approx. ¼ mile away); McClellan Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Charles Hamilton Houston Residence (approx. ¼ mile away); The Artistic Life (approx. ¼ mile away); Mrs. Henderson's Legacy (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Roots of Reed-Cooke (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adams Morgan.
 
Also see . . .  Roads to Diversity Pamphlet. (Submitted on October 21, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Civil RightsEducation
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 21, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 21, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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