Follow Good Hope Road under the highway to your left to reach Anacostia Park, a longtime neighborhood oasis.
In 1914, after years of citizen requests, Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to "improve" the Anacostia River by scraping soil from the river bed and depositing it into the "flats," the marshes lining the banks. The improvement would eliminate mosquito-breeding ground and provide new land for parks. Construction on Anacostia Park started in 1923. Later Anacostia Citizens Association President George C. Havenner marveled: "Where is there another such town with a $4,000,000 park in its front yard with its homes sitting on hills like box seats in an amphitheater!"
The dramas that played out on that stage were not always pretty. In the hot summer of 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, some 15,000 ragged World War I veterans and their families known as the Bonus Army, set up camp in the park. They were part of a group of 45,000 that had come to Washington to try to collect — 13 years ahead of schedule — a bonus payment due in 1945. When Congress tabled their request, President Hoover feared their anger and directed the U.S. Army to clear out the camp. The troops chased people out and burned their shelters. Many were injured, and a child died.
again in 1949 when the Department of the Interior desegregated the Anacostia Park swimming pool. Since opening in 1937, the pool had been restricted to white patrons. Some of them reacted violently to the arrival of African American swimmers, so officials closed the pool for the summer.
In the mid-1960s, the neighborhood lost a favorite vista when the Anacostia Freeway was constructed along the park's edge.