Langston Golf Course Historic District

Langston Golf Course represents desegregation of public golfing and recreational facilities.

Opened in June 1939, the eighteen-hole golf course was named for John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), who was the first dean of the Howard University School of Law, the first president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (now Virginia State University), and the first Black man elected to the United States Congress from Virginia. Langston Golf Course is significant for its association with the development and desegregation of public golfing and recreational facilities in the greater DC area. The development of Langston Golf Course demonstrates the efforts of Secretary of the Interior, Harold L. Ickes, to provide equal access to all public facilities for Black citizens. To ensure equal access and equal quality of recreational facilities, the National Park Service later operated the site.

The golf course also shows the growth of golf as a popular recreational and professional sport in the Black community. The course was a focal point for Black golfers in their effort to encourage the development of golfing facilities for Black players. The Royal Golf Club and the Wake Robin Golf Club, the nation’s first golf clubs for Black men and women, used Langston Golf Course as their home green.

National Register: October 15, 1991



2600 Benning Road NE