A Gathering Place for Washingtonians

A Gathering Place for Washingtonians (HM178L)

Location: Washington, DC 20009
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.16', W 77° 2.176'

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— Meridian Hill Park, National Historic Landmark —

Since Meridian Hill Park opened in 1936, Washingtonians from diverse neighborhoods surrounding the park have gathered here for performances, community events, and political protest.

When tens of thousands of people flocked to Washington D.C. in the late 1930s and 40s for federal jobs created by the New Deal and World War II, government agencies created a series of "Starlight" concerts in the park. From 1941 to 1944, Washingtonians lined the cascades and reflecting pool on summer evenings to hear classical music, including a performance by the Von Trappe Family Singers.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April 1968, Washington D. C. erupted in riots. Both the 14th Street business corridor north and east of the park and the U Street corridor south of the park were devastated. To help heal and unify the city, the "Summer in the Parks" concert series was created. The Inaugural performance was held at Meridian Hill Park, featuring Broadway and film star Pearl Bailey. Twenty-thousand people attended.

Since 1969, the park has unofficially been called "Malcolm X Park" by the local community. As the site of the memorial to President Buchanan, Meridian Hill cannot officially be named for another person.
HM NumberHM178L
Series This marker is part of the National Historic Landmarks series
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 9:16pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323468 N 4309796
Decimal Degrees38.91933333, -77.03626667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.16', W 77° 2.176'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 9.60" N, 77° 2' 10.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2201-2257 16th St NW, Washington DC 20009, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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