American University Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Live on Our Stage!
Top of the Town
—Tenleytown Heritage Trail —
On October 7, 1960, some 70 million viewers watched as NBC broadcast the second televised presidential debate, with candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy facing four reporters. It was widely reported that Nixon used makeup to cover his 5 o’clock shadow, better to compete with the tanned and telegenic young Senator Kennedy.
Also in these TV studios, former University of Maryland student Jim Henson introduced a green puppet named Kermit to the world, leading to a regular show on WRC called Sam and Friends. Over the years, high school whiz kids have competed to answer Mac McGarry’s questions on WRC’s It’s Academic. Here the much-imitated Meet the Press got its start. The radio studios launched “the Joy Boys,” former American University students Ed Walker and Willard Scott, whose antics were beamed regionally and to armed forces stationed around the world.
(Marker reverse, same on all markers in this series)
Tenelytown’s story begins with Native American footpaths that crossed at the highest natural elevation in what became
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail shows you where, during the Civil War, the Union Army created Fort Reno. See where a mostly African American community grew up on—and eventually was erased from—the grounds of the old fort. Discover traces of Tenleytown’s rural past. Witness the neighborhood’s important role in both world wars. And discover where legendary TV and radio personalities got their starts.
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided tour of 19 signs, just under three miles, offers about two hours of gentle exercise.
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail, a free booklet capturing the trail’s highlights, is available in both English and Spanish language editions at local businesses and institutions
Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail is produced by Linda Donavan Harper, Alisha Bell, Laura Brower, Mara Cherkasky, Sarah Fairbrother, Helen Gineris, Elizabeth Goldberg, Carmen Harris, Pamela Jafari, Jane Freundel Levey, Akilah Luke, Yillah Rosenfeld, Leon Seemann, Frank Stewart, and Pat Wheeler of Cultural Tourism DC in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Tenleytown Neighbors Association, the Tenleytown Historical Society, and the Tenleytown Heritage Trail Working Group. Special thanks to Working Group Chair Carolyn Long and Historian Carole Abrams Kolker, and Working Group Members Pat Morders Armbruster, Ed Ashe, Lynn Bergfalk, Cheryl Browning, L.S. "Bill" Chamberlain, Jr., Rev. Dr. Ronald Conner, Gerald Cooke, B.F. Cooling, Jennifer Harry Cullen, Harriet Dwinell, Kenneth Faulstich, Fred Gore, Jean Gore, Frank Haendler Jason Hegy, Sherry Houghton, Donald J. Hunter, Susan Jaquet, Deborah Jaquiss, James Johnston, Karol "Noonie" Keane, Mary Alice and Richard Levine, Aaron Lloyd, South T. Lynn, Bernard McDermott, Jean M. Pablo, the late Matt Pavuk, Dick Randall, Kathryn Ray, Chris Schumann, Sterling Scroggins, Carolyn Sherman, Diane
Thank you also to ANCs 3E and 3F, Jim Anderson, Jean Bathurst, Brian Bowers, Yvonne Carignan, Jane Charter, Dustin Davis, John and Linda Derrick, James Embrey, Kathleen Franz, Pamela Gardner, Matt Glassman, Nicole Goldman, Mark Greek, Ashley Hair, Jeannette Harper, Ron Harvey, Faye Haskins, Mary Herbert, Judith Helm, Bill Jarrett, Joel Kemelhor, Maryanne Ball Kendall, Brian Kraft, Susan and Greg Lewis, Camille Martone, Lisa McCarty, Susan McElrath, Alison McWilliams, Eda Offutt, Elvi Moore, Anne Manoukian Page, Eddy Palanzo, Lewis Parker, Khalim Piankhi, Brian Porto, Bill Reeves, Priscilla D. Ricker, Nelson Rimensnyder, Donna Burrows Rose, Kathryn S. Smith, Barbara D. Tate, Barry Tillman, Rebecca Trachtman, Emma Byrum Weaver, Hayden Wetzel, Jerry Wheat, and Bruce Yarnall.
Photo of Fort Reno Park water towers (1928) on each sign appears courtesy, The Washington Post.
(Marker shows a copyright dated 2010.) Design by Karol A. Keane Design, Map by Bowring Cartographic.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 18.)
Location. 38° 56.473′ N, 77° 4.98′ W. Marker is in American University Park, District of Columbia Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4001 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington DC 20016, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Winning the War (within shouting distance of this marker); For the Children (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); American University (approx. ¼ mile away); General Artemas Ward Monument (approx. ¼ mile away); Transportation Hub (approx. 0.3 miles away); American University September 11 Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); To the Rescue (approx. 0.4 miles away); U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in American University Park.
More about this marker. There are a number of photographs on the marker. Clockwise starting top left, captions read:
♦ The second Kennedy-Nixon debate, left, moderated by Frank McGee, ad the NBC studio here October 7, 1960. ♦ Above, NBC anchors Chet Huntley and David Brinkley prepare to cover President Nixon’s first inauguration, 1969.
♦ “ ‘The Joy Boys,’ Ed Walker and Willard Scott, on air at WRC-radio, 1972. ‘We are the Joy boys of radio, we chase electrons to and fro . . .’ ”
♦ “WRC-TV anchor Jim Vance interviews Rosa Parks, late 1980s.”
♦ “The 1970 Wilson High School It’s Academic team with host Mac McGarry. The how has been produced at WRC in Tenleytown since 1961.” ♦ Alongside is a photograph of Mac McGarry.
♦ “New WRC-NBC studios under construction, ca. 1958”.
♦ The caption on the large photograph on the reverse (common) face of the marker reads, “Jim and Jane Henson with Muppets Sam, Yorick, Kermit and Harry the Hipster, late 1950s.”
Categories. • Communications • Entertainment • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 4, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 800 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 4, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on May 6, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.