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Date(s) - 09/12/2024
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University


On February 2, 1959, four Black students began attending the all-white public school, Stratford Junior High School. But the struggle to desegregate did not end there. On Monday, June 1, 1958, while attending a church picnic in Bon Air Park, Mildred Eldridge, a member of the Unitarian church, was arrested for the crime of being Black in a Whites-only park.

Bill Fogarty, a member of the church, will explore the context of this arrest and other events that occurred in the 1950’s, leading to the desegregation of the schools that started in 1959. 

(Image Caption: Mildred Eldridge’s son, Bobby, on his first day of school in September 1959. He was the first Black student to desegregate a public elementary school in Arlington. Image courtesy Bill Fogarty)

Attend via Zoom or In-Person

PREREGISTER FOR ZOOM ACCESS. You can attend this event on Zoom or in-person on the Marymount University Main Campus.  If you want to attend this event virtually, please click HERE to register. You can cut and paste this link into your browser https://forms.gle/1yGqqHcsgBBXe3PM7 .  Please register by Wednesday, September 11:  Zoom access information will be sent to you on the morning of the event on Thursday, September 12.

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.)

  • If the university has lowered the garage gates, push the button and let them know you’re here for an Arlington Historical Society event in the library. To leave, push the button and they’ll raise the gate.

This event is one of the monthly series of free public programs sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society. This event is hosted courtesy of the Marymount University politics program’s American Heritage Initiative. For more information, please email: info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org