Historic Arlington Events

Historic Arlington Events

The Center for Local History

The Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library (formerly the Virginia Room) is dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Arlington community. The Research Room is located on the first floor of the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington. Visit http://library.arlingtonva.us/center-for-local-history. Phone: 703-228-5966.

Arlington at 150

Arlington National Cemetery will host a series of special events from May through June designed to honor the traditions, remember the sacrifice and explore the history of the cemetery as it commemorates its 150th anniversary. Selected “Arlington at 150” events:

  • May 13: Wreath Laying Ceremony at the grave of Pvt. William Christman, the first military burial at Arlington.

  • May 13: Arlington National Cemetery 150th Anniversary Book Release Reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

  • June 13: “Arlington at 150” Observance Program: A tribute to Arlington’s Past, Present and Future,” which will feature historical vignettes and musical performances. The event is free and open to the public.

  • June 15: Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. To learn more, visit www.arlingtoncemetery.mil.

New Exhibit: ‘George McQuinn: Arlington’s All-Star First Baseman’

The Washington Nationals have reported to Florida for spring training, and in anticipation of the upcoming baseball season, the Arlington Historical Society has opened a new exhibit, “George McQuinn: Arlington’s All-Star First Baseman.”

Born in a small home in the Ballston area in 1910, George McQuinn was a member of the Washington-Lee High School class of 1929, and later a major leaguer for 12 years and a seven-time All-Star. He helped win two American League pennants, including the only one the St. Louis Browns ever won. In 1947, his next-to-last season, McQuinn earned a world championship ring as the unlikely hero of the 1947 Yankees. The Yankees that year beat the Brooklyn Dodgers four games to three to win the World Series. It was also the year that Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers and became the first African American player in major league baseball.

After the 1947 season, McQuinn opened a sporting goods store in Clarendon, a site that has been recently preserved as part of a major development on N. Highland Street at 11th Street. He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, and died a few months later on Christmas Eve.

Included in the exhibit are original baseball cards, a 1944 World Series program, a McQuinn model bat and gloves, and photos of McQuinn and his career. The exhibit will be on display from Feb. 28 through April 27, at the Arlington Historical Museum at the Hume School. The museum at 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road is open from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Fort Ethan Allen Project

Fort Ethan Allen was one of 68 earthen forts that ringed the national capital during the Civil War — and one of 20 that stood in Arlington. The fort helped protect the strategically vital Chain Bridge. Remnants of the fort still stand, and Arlington County is developing a major upgrade of interpretive signage to improve the visitor experience to Ft. Ethan Allen Park. Join the County Board and the Old Glebe community for the unveiling of the Fort Ethan Allen interpretive project and ribbon cutting on Sunday, March 23. The new permanent outdoor exhibits include three new viewing areas with interpretive signs, a scaled bronze model of the original Civil War fort, and a replica 20-pounder Parrot rifle. The day will include Civil War reenactor demonstrations by members of the 28th Massachusetts, Company B, period music by the New-Old Time String Band. People can see the new exhibits and hear about Fort Ethan Allen’s role in the Civil War, as well as hike between Arlington Forts.