Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hidden History of Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is Washington, D.C.’s front porch, and while the history of the entire nation has been made in Washington, Northern Virginia has a rich regional history flowing from its connection to the capital. For example, there would be no Washington, D.C., if General George Washington had not lived in nearby Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Included here are the often-overlooked stories of Northern Virginia from colonial to modern times—stories such as the Rebel blockade of the Potomac River, the imprisonment of German POWs at super-secret Fort Hunt during World War II and the building of the Pentagon on the same site and in the same configuration as Civil War–era Fort Runyon. And then there are the people—Alexandria-hometown boy Robert E. Lee, Annandale’s “bunny man” who inspired one of the wildest and scariest urban legend, slaves in Alexandria’s notorious slave pens, suffragists dragged from in front of the White House and imprisoned in the Occoquan Workhouse and many other folks who have left their imprints on the region and the nation.

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