46 F
Sunday, March 26, 2023
ArlingtonHistorical Society to zero in on centennial of key court ruling

Historical Society to zero in on centennial of key court ruling

Must Read

The Arlington County government had high hopes of spending 2020 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the renaming of the community from its previous “Alexandria County.” COVID had other ideas, however, and the events surrounding the centennial were downscaled, delayed and in some cases abandoned.

Another 100th anniversary is coming up, although in this case it’s being left to the Arlington Historical Society to tell the tale – even though it’s likely that this centennial has far more relevance in the modern-day community than the name change ever could.

On June 15, 1922, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (as the state’s highest court then was known) upheld a Circuit Court ruling denying a petition by some residents of Clarendon to become a town within the confines of the newly renamed Arlington County.

Had the effort succeeded, the town of Clarendon (which also would have incorporated the eastern portion of Ballston as well as what’s now known as Virginia Square) could have ended up with its own elected officials, schools and police force.


The state Supreme Court ruling in the case (Bennett et al v. Garrett et al) was made both on some specific facets of the matter, but also in acknowledgment that Arlington’s mere 26-square-mile geography made it a different kind of duck from others in the Virginia flock of counties.

“It appears doubtful whether any small town could be chartered therein without detriment to the general good of the county,” the justices noted in the ruling.

And that was the crux of the matter. Under the 1919 Code of Virginia that was in force at the time of the ruling, a Circuit Court judge had to be satisfied that organizing a town in any Virginia county would, on balance, benefit the populace. That document remained in place until 1950, when it was superseded by the current state code.

The decision in Bennett v. Garrett “helped make Arlington what it is today,” noted the Arlington Historical Society, which on June 9 will host a presentation on the ruling and its subsequent impact.

Local historian Sean Denniston, a member of the Historical Society’s board of directors, will give the presentation, which will be held at 7 p.m. at Reinsch Library on the main campus of Marymount University. It also will be simulcast on Zoom.

For information, see the Website at www.arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.

- Advertisement -

Latest News

New School Board member receives liaison assignments

New Arlington School Board member Bethany Sutton has her assignments. School Board members on Feb. 2 are expected to approve...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This