Search form

Arlington Historical Society Presents

Arlington Historical Society Presents

A big part of WETA's mission is to serve and educate the local community. That's why we have partnered with the Arlington Historical Society to tell stories about our area's past.

Throughout the year, the AHS puts on a number of free public programs dealing with various aspects of local history. WETA's Digital Media team interviews the speakers and develops short Arlington Historical Society Presents web documentaries about the topics. Watch below and learn about our community!

For more about the AHS and its upcoming programs, visit arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

John Lyon

Remembering Arlington's John Lyon

When World War I broke out in Europe, Arlington's John Lyon jumped into action, traveling to France to serve as an ambulance driver. Later, when the United States entered the war, he served in the 29th Infantry Division during the bloody Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Just three weeks before the Armistice that ended the war, Lyon was killed while aiding a wounded comrade on the battlefield.

Watch now →
Nam Viet window

Little Saigon: Arlington's Vietnamese Community

For about 10 years following the fall of Saigon in April 1975, Arlington, Virginia, became a destination for Vietnamese immigrants fleeing communist rule. Attracted by the proximity to the nation's capital and the Pentagon, thousands of Vietnamese settled in the area and many opened shops and restaurants. Then, almost as quickly as it had developed, "Little Saigon," faded away.

Watch now →
Cumberland Landing, Va group of contrabands at Foller's House. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Contraband Camps of Northern Virginia

During the Civil War, thousands of slaves made their way to Washington, D.C. As the city became overcrowded, the federal government created camps on abandoned secessionist lands in northern Virginia. There "contrabands" were paid to farm crops for the Union army and given access to education -- an important step in the transition from bondage to freedom.

Watch now →
George Washington Memorial Parkway

Origins of the George Washington Memorial Parkway

While most people don't realize it, the George Washington Memorial Parkway is much more than a busy artery into Washington, D.C. The roadway is actually a national park and was built in the 1920s as part of the nation's celebration of President George Washington's 200th birthday.

Watch now →
Luis Araya and family

From Bolivia to Arlington

Luis Araya immigrated to Arlington, Virginia from Bolivia in 1966, when very few Latinos lived in the county. He reflects on the changes he has seen over the years and the influence of Latinos in Arlington today.

Watch now →
Capital Beer image

Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C.

Garrett Peck, author of "Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C." discusses the history of brewing in the nation's capital. D.C.'s beer heritage dates back to 1770 and claims some very innovative brewers. However, the local beer market changed tremendously after Prohibition and the city was left without a hometown brew for decades before a recent resurgence.

Watch now →
Arlington Police Department motorcycle officers

Arlington Police Department: 75 Years Serving the Community

The Arlington County Police Department was established on February 1, 1940 as the country was in the midst of an unprecedented population boom. Captain Michelle Nuneville looks back on the history of the department and how it has developed over the last 75 years.

Watch now →
Joan Muholland participates in the Arlington sit ins in 1960.

Joan Muholland: Arlington's Homegrown Civil Rights Hero

By the time she was 23, Arlington's Joan Mulholland had participated in more than fifty sit-ins and protests. She was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the near riotous Jackson, Mississippi Woolworth Sit-in, and helped plan and organize the March on Washington in 1963. On a local level, she was part of the first Arlington sit-ins, which integrated lunch counters across northern Virginia.

Watch now →
Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal

Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal

Sue Eisenfeld, author of Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal discusses the creation of Shenandoah National Park, which involved displacing thousands of longtime residents from Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains.

Watch now →
Capturing a Community: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project

Capturing a Community: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project

Over the past several decades, Arlington's Columbia Pike corridor has grown into one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation, which makes it a fascinating subject for study. But how do you capture the essence of a community? It's a big question and one that Lloyd Wolf and his collaborators on the Columbia Pike Documentary Project has been trying to answer since 2007.

Watch now →
Walt Whitman (Source: Library of Congress)

Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.

"The Good Gray Poet" Walt Whitman first came to Washington, D.C. in 1862 after the battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War. He spent the rest of the war serving convalescing soldiers in the city's many military hospitals and remained in Washington until 1873, working as a Federal clerk. This decade was a formative period of the poet's career during which he gained international attention.

Watch now →
Cherrydale Fire Department

Arlington Fire Department: Decades of Serving the Community

The need for fire protection has been ever-present since the nation's founding. In Arlington, Virginia a network of neighborhood volunteer fire departments served this need for many years. In 1940, the county hired its first career fire fighters. In the years since, ACFD has distinguished itself through its service to the community and response to national and local emergencies.

Watch now →

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest