What Did the Pentagon Construction Have to Do With Freedmen? #ThrowbackThursday #TBT



In honor of September 11 (9/11), and the recent dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmens Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, comes today’s Throwback Thursday posting.

The Pentagon, which was attacked on 9/11, has quite a history, especially about its construction, much of which you can find here at this link.

After doing some extensive research over the last week, I found out five remarkable facts about the Pentagon:

  • The architect of the building had just three days to come up with a design that would accommodate 40,000 employees, 10,000 cars, and not obstruct the scenic views of Washington, D.C.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the Pentagon was held on September 11, 1941.
  • The Pentagon was constructed in just 16 months and was made from reinforced concrete with a majority of the filler coming from the Potomac River.
  • To show you how big the building is, did you know that if you laid the U.S. Capitol end to end, it would fit into just one of the buildings five sides?
  • Lastly, as I noted to you in last Friday’s post, during the Civil War, a settlement known as Freedman’s Village sprung up around Alexandria.  When the Freedmen moved to the Alexandria area, they moved into barracks and shantytowns hastily assembled in order to handle the sudden rise in population. Turns out, this village was on Robert E. Lee’s former estate on the site of what is now the Pentagon, as escaped slaves made their way to the non-Union held territory. Many families were uprooted from this area in the years following the Civil War with the remaining descendants of the Freedmen getting evicted from what was then known as East Arlington in the early 1940s in order for the government to appropriate the land for the Pentagon.

Now you know…