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The Interesting Story Behind The Arlington Name: | Shooshan Company

The Interesting Story Behind The Arlington Name:

Published September 26, 2019

Arlington County recently published a news release titled “100 Years Ago: Call to Rename Alexandria County ‘Arlington’.” It’s an interesting story of how Arlington came to be:

“Nearly 100 years ago this month Alexandria County—which included what is now Arlington – organized a large parade to celebrate the homecoming of soldiers from World War I. The lavish program included speeches by state representatives and notable veterans, music performances, sack races, prizes for best vehicle decorations, and aircraft maneuvers overhead.

However, confusion over the event’s location resulted in an action that would impact the future of both Arlington and Alexandria.

Citizens who arrived at the Alexandria City Courthouse instead of the Alexandria Courthouse listed on the advertisement were frustrated to discover that they had missed the spectacle and all the fun. Upon realizing that once again Alexandria County and Alexandria City had appeared synonymous, concerned community members decided that something had to change.” – Arlington County Newsroom

The article goes on to talk about how the Alexandria Gazette published a name change proposal in 1919 to avoid more problems like the above situation in the future:

“The Federation suggested that what Alexandria County needed was a new name. They urged Gazette readers to send a letter to Delegate Charles T. Jesse (at the Alexandria County Court House, Clarendon, VA) to support or oppose the name change and suggest a new name for the County.”

View the original article HERE to see what other names people suggested. Eventually, in 1920, the name Arlington County was adopted after Arlington House, and the rest is history.

Another interesting fact is that the newspaper that originally published the name change, the Alexandria Gazette, is still in business today. In the 1980s, the Alexandria Gazette joined with the Port Packet to create the Alexandria Gazette Packet: http://www.alexandriagazette.com/ .

Be sure to read more on the Arlington County website at
https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/release/1919_rename_letter/ .

References:

100 Years Ago: Call to Rename Alexandria County “Arlington”. (2019). Arlington County Government. Source:
https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/release/1919_rename_letter/