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Date(s) - 02/10/2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University


You can attend this event via Zoom or in-person on the Marymount University campus. To attend via Zoom, please register by Feb 9 by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRThkSIB8Oj31gkuNTsrzEC1Fd6GZmOTYOFnNWtjh4IsTohA/viewform?usp=sf_link

AHS will post any changes to this event here, on this webpage first. So check here for any updates.

James Parks was born enslaved on the Custis plantation in 1843. He is the only person to have been born on the property to also be buried in what would ultimately become Arlington National Cemetery. James Park’s great granddaughter, Tamara Moore, will share mementos and artifacts from his life and tell us about him, the honor the US Government gave him upon his death, but also the community and family he left behind.

When Union troops occupied the Custis plantation in 1861, Parks, as a newly freed teen, was hired to dig the first graves. He also helped construct nearby Fort McPherson and Fort Whipple (which became Fort Myer).

In the 1920s when the first effort to restore Arlington House began, Parks became the expert for the National Park Service, providing first hand accounts of the location of all the buildings on the site, including the slave quarters and cemetery, dance pavilion, and roads. The legacy of his knowledge lives on today in our nations most sacred grounds. When he died, he was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

Join us to help honor Black History month and learn more about this amazing life and its impact today.  This program is free and open to the public. This will be held BOTH on Zoom AND in the Reinsch Library Auditorium on the Main Campus of Marymount University. 

  • If you plan to attend via zoom, please register in advance at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRThkSIB8Oj31gkuNTsrzEC1Fd6GZmOTYOFnNWtjh4IsTohA/viewform?usp=sf_link  Please register before the end of the day on Wednesday, February 9th. On Thursday morning, February 10, you will receive the Zoom link to use for virtual attendance.
  • If you plan to attend the event in person, please plan to sign in with your email address when you arrive so we can conduct contact tracing if there is a case of COVID contact. Also, as guests of Marymount University, on-campus attendees and participants are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, and to practice social distancing.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS and FREE PARKING: Attendees planning to attend the event in-person should enter the Marymount University campus at the library gate on N. 26th Street. From Glebe Road going north, take a right onto 26th Street. Pass the intersection with Yorktown Road and then enter the campus through the next gate on your left. The library is to your left as you enter the campus. Free garage parking is just past the library at the bottom of the small incline. (Handicapped parking is immediately to your right as you enter the campus.)

Any changes to this event will first be provided here on this website. So look here first for any changes.

This event is one of the monthly series of public programs sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society and Marymount University’s Department of History and Politics. For more information, please email: info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org

AHS plans to record the event and post it on the AHS website on its Video Webpage.