Anacostia in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Neighborhood Oasis
An East-of-the-River View
—Anacostia Heritage Trail —
In 1914, after years of citizen requests, Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to "improve" the Anacostia River by scraping soil from the river bed and depositing it into the "flats," the marshes lining the banks. The improvement would eliminate mosquito-breeding ground and provide new land for parks. Construction on Anacostia Park started in 1923. Later Anacostia Citizens Association President George C. Havenner marveled: "Where is there another such town with a $4,000,000 park in its front yard with its homes sitting on hills like box seats in an amphitheater!"
The dramas that played out on that stage were not always pretty. In the hot summer of 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, some 15,000 ragged World War I veterans and their families known as the Bonus Army, set up camp in the park. They were part of a group of 45,000 that had come to Washington to try to collect — 13 years ahead of schedule — a bonus payment due in 1945. When Congress tabled their request, President Hoover
Violence erupted again in 1949 when the Department of the Interior desegregated the Anacostia Park swimming pool. Since opening in 1937, the pool had been restricted to white patrons. Some of them reacted violently to the arrival of African American swimmers, so officials closed the pool for the summer.
In the mid-1960s, the neighborhood lost a favorite vista when the Anacostia Freeway was constructed along the park's edge.
Erected 2013 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 13.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Anacostia Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 38° 51.97′ N, 76° 59.346′ W. Marker is in Anacostia, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast south of U Street Southeast, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2027 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast, Washington DC 20020, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Big Chair (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Big Chair (about 300 feet away); The World’s Largest Chair Transit and Trade (about 500 feet away); Rose's Row (about 500 feet away); Mother Churches and Their Daughters (about 600 feet away); Booth's Escape (about 600 feet away); Uniontown, DC's First Suburb (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anacostia.
Categories. • African Americans • Charity & Public Work • Civil Rights • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 15, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 109 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 15, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.