How did Adams Morgan Get its Name?

October 23, 2020

Fun Fact Friday

Ask any Washingtonian what neighborhoods are a “must-see” for anyone looking for a true D.C. experience and Adams Morgan’s name comes to mind every time. It’s no wonder Eater DC named it Dining Neighborhood of the Year in 2017.

Whether it’s grabbing a cappuccino at Tryst, sipping Cosmos at the Line Hotel, or a late-night nosh at Jumbo Slice Pizza, Adams Morgan is the place for people looking to have a great time. 

But like many of D.C.’s established neighborhoods, Adams Morgan, particularly its naming, is rich with history. 

The area got its name from two formerly segregated elementary schools—the all-black Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School (now defunct) and the all-white John Quincy Adams Elementary School. 

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Boiling vs. Sharp that segregation in D.C. schools was unconstitutional and in 1955 D.C. integrated schools. To encourage the community to respect racial and cultural differences, Florence Cornell, principal of Adams, and Bernice Brown, principal of Morgan, came together to create the Adams-Morgan Better Neighborhood Conference, armed with the vision of a healthier, more integrated neighborhood.

Adams Morgan continues to be a community rooted in social justice, political activism, and inclusiveness.

And it remains one of D.C.’s most lively places. Come to shop that one of a kind dress in a vintage boutique or dine alfresco at one of it’s international restaurants.