The "National Burying Ground"
As you enter Congressional Cemetery's wrought iron gates, you'll encounter over 65,000 graves of architects and builders, musicians and explorers, patriots and scoundrels, pioneers and diplomats, and war veterans whose stories played significant roles yet have been long forgotten in the annals of American history and heritage. Since 1807, it has been the final resting place of individuals like US Marine Band director John Philip Sousa ("The March King"), FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Elbridge Gerry (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and the first female US Presidential candidate Belva Lockwood. Today, the cemetery is a favorite for dogwalking and other zany activities, with everything from outdoor Monday "Yoga Mortis" sessions and a "Dead Man Run's 5K" to boozy soirees, beer fests, horror movie screenings, and the sounds of marching bands performing "The Stars and Stripes Forever" in front of Sousa's grave during Memorial Day weekend.
By Christian Mirasol, AFAR Local Expert
1801 E St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA