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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Capital Improvements Are Needed

The Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D. C., is celebrating its bicentennial this year. The resting place of such notables as J. Edgar Hoover, Mathew Brady, and John Philip Sousa has been the victim of neglect for decades.

Several thousand tombstones need to be reset or have fallen down. A third of the 60 original crypts collapsed long ago and are gone. And of those remaining, about two-thirds "need serious work," [cemetery board vice-chairman Patrick] Crowley said in an interview. "We keep our fingers crossed they don't come down."
Despite its name, the cemetery was not established by the government, but was among the first private cemeteries in Washington, open to the celebrated as well as the common deceased. Lore is that it was dubbed the Congressional Cemetery in hopes of securing federal funding. [Link]
The cemetery's website hasn't been neglected. In fact, it's one of the best I've seen, with photos of stones and vaults, digitized death certificates and obituaries, interment records, and family histories.

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