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Facts about Arlington Virginia for Kids

Gathered by: Khanson

  • Arlington County is a county and census-designated place in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district.
  • On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of the District of Columbia named Alexandria County.
  • In 1846, Congress returned the land donated by Virginia due to issues involving Congressional representation and the abolition of slavery.
  • Arlington County shares with a portion of the independent City of Alexandria the distinction of being once in Virginia, then ceded to the U.S. government to form the District of Columbia, and later retroceded to Virginia.
  • The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the south bank of the Potomac River directly across from Washington D.C. Arlington is also bordered by Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church to the southwest, and the City of Alexandria to the southeast.
  • Arlington is also the location of national memorials and museums, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and the United States Air Force Memorial.
  • The area that now contains Arlington County was ceded to the new United States federal government by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • With the passage of the Residence Act in 1790, Congress approved a new permanent capital to be located on the Potomac River, the exact area to be selected by President George Washington.
  • This Act formally established the borders of the area that would eventually become Arlington but the citizens located in the District were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, thus ending their representation in Congress.
  • During the American Civil War, this division led to the formation of the state of West Virginia, which comprised the 55 counties in the northwest that favored abolitionism.
  • In 1864, during the war, the federal government confiscated the Abingdon estate, which was located on and near the present Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, when its owner failed to pay the estate’s property tax in person because he was serving in the Confederate Army.
  • The property containing the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s family at and around Arlington House was subjected to an appraisal of $26,810, on which a tax of $92.07 was assessed.
  • In 1920, the Virginia legislature renamed the area Arlington County to avoid confusion with the City of Alexandria which had become an independent city in 1870 under the new Virginia Constitution adopted after the Civil War.
  • A number of the county’s residential neighborhoods and larger garden-style apartment complexes are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and/or designated under the County government’s zoning ordinance as local Historic Preservation Districts.
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