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

Griffith Stadium

“Lift Every Voice”

 

—Georgia Ave./Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail —

 
Griffith Stadium Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
1. Griffith Stadium Marker
Inscription.
“I used to come home every night, get a quarter from my mother, run to Griffith Stadium, and sit in the bleachers,” Abe Pollin once said. “I would look out at these good seats and say, ‘Some day, maybe I will get a good seat.’ “When Pollin’s MCI Center opened downtown in 1997, the respected real estate developer got himself – and gave his city – thousands of good seats.

Griffith Stadium occupied this block until it was razed in 1965. (Howard University Hospital opened here ten years later.) During the 1940s, Griffith crowds cheered batting superstar Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays, the Negro League team that won more games than any other hometown team. Here ace pitcher Walter Johnson led the all-White Washington Senators to their only World Series victory in 1924. While Griffith was one of DC’s few public venues open to all during segregation, the races sat separately.

Griffith also hosted the Washington Redskins (1937-1961), student cadet competitions, Boy Scout jamborees, National Negro Opera Company performances, and mass baptisms conducted by Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, whose Church of God still stands just across Georgia Avenue. The charismatic Michaux organized affordable housing, had his own radio show, and served bargain meals at the Happy News Café.

In
Griffith Stadium Marker: photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
2. Griffith Stadium Marker: photo on reverse
"This bird’s-eye view of Griffith stadium shows Georgia Ave. with its streetcars at the upper edge of the ball park, 1925. National Archives and Records Administration.
1946 impresario David Rosenberg hired prominent African American architect Albert Cassell to design a music hall at 815 V Street. Soon after, Duke Ellington lent his name to a nightclub there. By 1952 WUST Radio occupied the facility, hosting evangelical broadcasts, jazz, and later, reggae and go-go concerts. After WUST moved to Virginia, the 9:30 Club relocated there from 930 F Street.

[Photo captions:]

Homestead Grays power hitter Josh Gibson at bat. Library of Congress.

Walter Johnson photographed in 1924, the year the Senators won it all. Library of Congress

High School Cadets participated in separate competitive drills at Griffith Stadium, 1940s. White cadets march [above], and a company from the “Colored” schools stands in formation [at left]. The Washington Post * Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Elder Solomon Michaux’s Church of God, 1949, across from Griffith Stadium. Upper right, a baptism begins at Griffith Stadium. Upper left, Elder Michaux welcomes diners in his Happy News Café, 1727 7th St., 1937.
Library of Congress * Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History * Historical Society of Washington, DC.

WUST Radio DJ Steady Eddie was a Howard University senior and member of
Griffith Stadium Marker on Georgia Avenue NW - Howard University Hospital in background image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 27, 2011
3. Griffith Stadium Marker on Georgia Avenue NW - Howard University Hospital in background
the Howard Players, 1952. The WUST building, far left, became the "9:30 Club" in 1996.
The Washington Post * Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.
 
Erected 2011 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5 of 19.)
 
Location. 38° 55.046′ N, 77° 1.309′ W. Marker is in LeDroit Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Georgia Avenue, NW (U.S. 29) south of V Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Griffith Stadium Site (here, next to this marker); Armed Resistance (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dunbar Theater/Southern Aid Society (about 600 feet away); Howard Theatre (was about 700 feet away but has been reported missing. ); Scurlock Studio Site (about 700 feet away); Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (about 700 feet away); Freedmen's Hospital (about 800 feet away); Willis Richardson Residence (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in LeDroit Park.
 
Also see . . .  Homestead Grays. ... During the late 1930s through the 1940s the Grays played their home games at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh
Josh Gibson image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
4. Josh Gibson
Homestead Grays power hitter Josh Gibson at bat.
Close-up of photo on marker
Library of Congress.
Pirates. However, during this same period the club adopted the Washington, D.C. area as its "home away from home" and scheduled many of its "home" games at Washington's Griffith Stadium, the home park of the Washington Senators. (Submitted on January 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicChurches, Etc.Sports
 
Walter Johnson image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
5. Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson photographed in 1924, the year the Senators won it all.
Close-up of photo on marker
Library of Congress
White Cadets March image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
6. White Cadets March
High School Cadets participated in separate competitive drills at Griffith Stadium.
Close-up of photo on marker
“Colored” Cadets Stand in Formation image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
7. “Colored” Cadets Stand in Formation
Close-up of photo on marker
Church of God image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
8. Church of God
Elder Solomon Michaux’s Church of God, 1949, across from Griffith Stadium.
Close-up of photo on marker
Baptism image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
9. Baptism
A baptism begins at Griffith Stadium.
Close-up of photo on marker
Happy News Café image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
10. Happy News Café
Elder Michaux welcomes diners in his Happy News Café, 1727 7th St., 1937.
Church of God image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
11. Church of God
1120 on Your Radio Dial image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
12. 1120 on Your Radio Dial
The WUST building became the "9:30 Club" in 1996.
Close-up of photo on marker
Steady Eddie image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
13. Steady Eddie
WUST Radio DJ Steady Eddie was a Howard University senior and member of the Howard Players, 1952.
Close-up of photo on marker
815 V Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
14. 815 V Street
Formerly WUST now the 9:30 Club
815 V Street image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
15. 815 V Street
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2015
16. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,150 times since then and 83 times this year. Last updated on January 18, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on June 28, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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