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.