A History Lover’s Guide to Alexandria and Fairfax County

2020 is an important time to be writing about Virginia history, as everyday brings new changes across the Commonwealth due to COVID-19 and the #Black Lives Matter movement. Virginia has a special role to play in the shaping of American identity and sense of place due to its outsized Colonial, Revolutionary, Civil War, and Civil Rights history. As the capital of the Confederacy, and its deep dedication to Lost Cause ideology for the past 150 years, the evolution of Virginia—demonstrated in the 2019 by the program #AmericanEvolution (which gave birth to the #1619 project, by the New York Times Magazine)—is something to witness, examine, and support. Alexandria has historic houses, museums, one of the state’s only municipal-sponsored City Archaeology departments, cemeteries, churches, landscapes and parks, and even 18th century historic restaurants such as Gadsby’s Tavern. The city also has public art, interesting neighborhoods, connections to the military, a location along the Potomac shoreline, connections to George Washington, and well documented African American history. This book–the first of its kind for Alexandria and Northern Virginia–will help you discover and experience these cultural and historic places for yourself.

The History Press · 2021