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Joshua R. Giddings Elementary School - The first all black public school in DC.

Originally built in 1887, the J.R. Giddings School ( Now the Sports and Health Gym and formerly Results Gym) is considered a historically significant building due to its role as the first all-black public school in D.C.


The Joshua R. Giddings School was named in honor of Congressman Joshua R. Giddings (1795-1864) of Ohio. Giddings was active in the Underground Railroad and a prominent abolitionist. Recognizing that slavery was a state institution, with which the  Federal government had no authority to interfere, he contended that slavery could only exist by a specific state enactment, that therefore slavery in the District of Columbia and in the Territories was unlawful and should be abolished, that the coastwise slave-trade in vessels flying the national flag, like the international slave-trade, should be rigidly suppressed, and that Congress had no power to pass any act which in any way could be construed as a recognition of slavery as a national institution.

 

Initially the school was only eight rooms, but in 1938 an addition including twelve classrooms and an auditorium was built in the Colonial Revival style. 
 

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