This Date in History

(Photograph: second from left is Miss Margaret Wilson, center is J.G. McGrath. It is presumed the other three individuals are Mrs. E.J. Ward, B.S. Elliott, and C.H. Hanson)

(Photograph: second from left is Miss Margaret Wilson, center is J.G. McGrath. It is presumed the other three individuals are Mrs. E.J. Ward, B.S. Elliott, and C.H. Hanson)

June 19, 1917: On Tuesday evening of this date in 1917, it was the first time since the District had been stripped of voting rights in 1874 that citizens of the District of  Columbia had been given the opportunity to vote for a government official. The official was known as a community secretary, and was paid a salary by the District of Columbia and administrated all community affairs under the Park View Citizens’ Association.

The Secretary was accountable to the board of education for the enforcement of its regulations when community meetings were held in the Park View School.

The election took place at 8 o’clock in the evening in the Park View School at Newton and Warder streets. Adults of both sexes who lived in the following section of the city were eligible to vote:

The area bordered by the south side of Gresham street to north side of Rock Creek Church road, on the east side of the Soldiers’ Home grounds, both sides of Georgia avenue from Gresham street to Park road, then north on the west side of New Hampshire avenue to Rock Creek Church road.

(Miss Margaret Wilson in front of the Park View School, preparing to get into the Presidential Limousine, 1917)

(Miss Margaret Wilson in front of the Park View School, preparing to get into the Presidential Limousine, 1917)

All citizens that lived outside this territory, but having children attending the Park View School, were also allowed to vote. Miss Margaret Wilson (President Wilson’s daughter), who was an honorary member of the Park View Citizens’ Association was a guest of honor.

In the election, J. G. McGrath won becoming the community secretary of Park View. Out of 231 votes cast, Mr. McGrath received 192. The other three candidates running received the following votes: Mrs. E. J. Ward 21, B. S. Elliott 13, and C. H. Hanson 5.

As part of the celebrations surrounding this historic vote, Representative M. Clyde Kelly, author of the bill to mobilize the nation through community center use of public schools, delivered the principal address.

Charles S. Shreve, president of the Federation of Citizens’ Associations, spoke in behalf of the firemen of the District, stating that he hoped before the next fall that they would not have to work 24 hours a day. Shreve stated that he thought free text books should be provided for pupils of the public schools  and that the person chosen to fill the position of District commissioner should be a member of one of the citizens’ associations.

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3 Responses to “This Date in History”

  1. RCCHRD Resident Says:

    very interesting history indeed. ours is quite a special District enclave

  2. […] 1921 Directory and History of Park View, as well as a 1917 Washington Post article describing an election in Park View, the following borders are […]

  3. […] 1921 Directory and History of Park View, as well as a 1917 Washington Post article describing an election in Park View, the following borders are […]

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