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VIDEO: Black History at Arlington National Cemetery

Cemetery, U.S. National Park Service highlight African-American contributions to local, regional and national history.

Arlington National Cemetery this month hosted a tour that specifically highlighted the contributions of African-Americans to the history of the region, the Civil War and the United States in general.

The two-hour tour was packed with a wealth of information and included stops at the former site of Freedman's Village, the historic slave quarters at Arlington House and Section 27, the site where blacks were buried when the cemetery officially opened. At the time, burials were segregated.

Sixty-three slaves worked the Custis-Lee family's Arlington plantation before the land was established as the cemetery, including a man named Jim Parks. Parks later became a gravedigger at the cemetery and the federal government gave special permission for him to be buried in Section 15 of the cemetery upon his death in 1929.

A second black history tour at Arlington National Cemetery is already booked to capacity, spokeswoman Jennifer Lynch said.

The cemetery is putting together a variety of topical tours, she said. The next one is scheduled for March 25. It's a Medal of Honor walking tour.

For more information, contact the cemetery.

JoeR February 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Now that Arlington National Cemetery will have a Black History Month activity highlighting African American contributions, would it not be proper for an American Indian History Month, another month celebrating the contributions of Hispanic American History Month, another month Celebrating Asian American contribution month , another for European American Month, and maybe more months for nationalities of various areas that have contributed to the American causes and who are buried side by side and gave their lives and service for this country in defending this nation and its freedom. The Americans resting in Arlington's graves were Americans of all world areas and nationalities and they contributed for all of the nation's residents. The children of all of groups could be taught about our nation's heritage and maybe our present youth and generations following will learn the contributions of all to the United States of America. Then maybe we will see this country again one nation made from many as our motto says from many to one.
Jody March 03, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I agree with Joe. The emphasis on diversity doesn't make us stronger, it just divides us.

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