History: Alexandria

History: Alexandria

Loving Panels Installed

The Office of Historic Alexandria announced the installation of two new panels commemorating the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision legalizing interracial marriage throughout the United States, and the Law Firm of Cohen, Cohen, and Hirschkop, which represented the Lovings. The panels are located at the corner of King and Royal streets; the law firm was located at 110 N. Royal Street at the time of this momentous decision.

Recording Local Response to Pandemic and Quest for Racial Justice

The City of Alexandria continues two initiatives to recognize and record the Alexandria community’s response to two ongoing, historic events: the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25. The City’s Office of Historic Alexandria will gather oral histories and collect selected memories, objects, photographs and documents that capture these unprecedented moments in history. These initiatives reach out to residents, businesses, schools, healthcare workers, faith communities and civic organizations to tell these national stories at the local level.

For the first initiative, “Chronicling the Pandemic,” the community is encouraged to share stories about living or working in Alexandria during the pandemic; describe how they and their families’ lives have changed; show how they have been able to help others; narrate how others have helped them; or illustrate what became different in Alexandria because of the pandemic. Participants can also share artwork, homemade items, photographs, journals or other artifacts that can help document the impact of COVID-19 on the community. To share a story, or to provide information about objects to be considered for acquisition into the City’s historical collections, simply complete and submit the Chronicling the Pandemic form. https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=115435

The second initiative, “The Legacy of George Floyd and Alexandria’s Response,” invites the community to share signs, t-shirts, flyers, photographs, journals, personal stories, and artifacts that document local vigils and protests. With the murder of George Floyd, the continued push for racial equity in America reached a breaking point. Millions of people in the United States and around the world are demanding that institutions and political leaders address the disparity in treatment of African Americans. Since the dawn of American slavery in 1619, African Americans have fought for freedom, citizenship and equality in daily life.

Items accepted for donation to the City’s historical collections will be housed at the Alexandria Black History Museum. To share a story or to provide information about objects that might be considered for the project, complete the Legacy of George Floyd: Documenting Alexandria's Response form.

The mission of history museums is to document and preserve our history accurately, so that all may learn from it. The Office of Historic Alexandria through the Alexandria Black History Museum wants to document your stories from this incredible moment in American history. Please consider donating your protest placards, your buttons, stickers, artwork and t-shirts. We hope you will also work with us to tell your stories through our Oral History Program.

Share your reaction, stories and experiences about living or working in Alexandria during these events. How has the death of George Floyd and the subsequent national and local events affected your life and that of your family? Did you participate in the peaceful vigils, protests, marches or other events in Alexandria? As a resident of Alexandria, were you moved to join the protests in DC? How have you been able to help others? How have others helped you? What have you noticed that is different about Alexandria?

Do you have signs, flyers, artwork, objects or photographs that can help us document our community’s response?

At this time, we ask that you hold on to objects that may be considered for future acquisition, but you may submit images which will help our curatorial staff select representative items from all sectors of the Alexandria community. Objects accepted for donation will not be collected until sometime after the museums are once again open to the public, following the stay-at-home orders related to the Pandemic.

Please fill out this form to share your story, and to share information about objects that you are interested in donating to the museums. https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=115798

African American Heritage Trail – North Waterfront Route

Alexandria’s African American history is told through an online StoryMap and can be experienced in-home on your computer or on your smartphone as you walk the trail along the Potomac River. The walking trail lasts about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. This webpage presents more in-depth information about the stops highlighted in the StoryMap. https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=116132#TheStoryMap