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

Howard University Sets the Standard

City Within a City


—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —

"Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
1. "Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker
To the north and east of the U Street corridor rises the tower of Founders Library at Howard University - an institution created in 1867 that has trained and inspired generations of African American leaders and has been a lodestar for its own community.

The highest value was placed on educational achievement in this historic neighborhood. Divisions 10 through 13 of the DC Public Schools, the “colored schools” as they were known in pre-1954 segregated segregated Washington, were considered the best in the nation. Teachers were looked up to as community leaders, mentors, and role models.

The former Grimke Elementary School, the Colonial Revival structure just south of U Street on Vermont Avenue, was part of this system. It was named for Achibald Grimke, born to a [Black] slave mother and a [free] white father, who became a prominent Washington lawyer and civil rights leader. Garnet-Patterson Junior High School, still a center of community activity, is located today on Vermont Avenue between U and V Streets. All of the city’s high schools for African Americans were located in this vicinity.

Among the achievers in this community was Lillian Evans Tibbs, known professionally as Madame Evanti –the first internationally known African American opera singer. She lived in the house at 1910
"Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
2. "Howard University Sets the Standard" Marker - photo on reverse
Howard University professors pose in front of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, built in 1895, on the Howard University campus.
Vermont Avenue. The grand space at Tenth and U Streets was a gathering place for the community with Sunday concerts held in a bandstand where the African American Civil War Memorial is now located.

This sign is dedicated to the late Princess M. Bowman, a professional harpist who created the first African American trail from Howard University through this neighborhood in the 1980s.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5 of 14.)
Location. 38° 54.938′ N, 77° 1.556′ W. Marker is in Shaw, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of T Street, NW and Vermont Avenue, NW, on the left when traveling east on T 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. African American Civil War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sailors / With Freedom Came the Greater YOU (about 300 feet away); Pioneers / With Freedom Came Their Community (about 400 feet away); Frelinghuysen University/Jesse Lawson and Rosetta C. Lawson (about 400 feet away); Cavalry / With Freedom Came Their Schools (about 400 feet away); Musicians / With Freedom Came Their Businesses (about 400 feet away); Artillery / With Freedom Came Their Cultural Icons (about 400 feet away); Infantry / With Freedom Came Their Churches (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shaw.
More about this marker.
[Caption, top photo]:
Founders Library at Howard University.

[Caption, center top portrait]:
Archibald Grimke.

[Caption, upper right photo]:
Students at Armstrong Technical High School, 1940s, once located at 1st and O Streets, NW.

[Caption, class photo across center]:
Dunbar graduating class of 1927 photographed by Addison Scurlock on the campus of Howard University.

[Caption, lower left photo]:
The marching band of Cardozo High School at 13th and Clifton Streets in the 1970s.

[Caption, lower center photo]:
Opera singer Lillian Evans Tibbs, professionally known as Madame Evanti.

[Caption, lower right photo]:
Grimke Elementary School classroom, in the 1940s.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .  Greater U Street Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on March 25, 2009.)
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEducationNotable Persons
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,272 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on April 24, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on March 20, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on March 21, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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