TODAY IN HISTORY…
Arlington National Cemetery Formally Established
On June 15, 1864, US Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton officially sets aside 200 acres of land on the captures Custis-Lee Estate to establish a military cemetery for fallen Union soldiers. The land and the home was the former residence of Confederate General Robert E. Lee whose wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee (great-granddaughter of Martha Washington) inherited the house from her father who had it built in 1802.
Prior to its establishment as a cemetery, the grounds at Arlington, having been seized by Union forces early in the conflict (May 1861), had been used for the defense of Washington and as a Freedman’s village with homes for what eventually numbered over 3,000 slaves freed during the war.
Today the house and grounds are part of a larger 624 acre cemetery complex, with further expansions possible and is maintained by the US Department of the Army.
History of Arlington National Cemetery
Tours of Famous Graves at Arlington National Cemetery
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers