Posted on January 31, 2024

Alexandria City Council Votes to Change Four Street Names with Confederate Ties

Grace Newton, WTOP, January 21, 2024

In 1953, the City of Alexandria in Virginia adopted an ordinance that said streets running in North-South directions had to be named for Confederate military leaders. But now, some of the street names that resulted from that ordinance will be changed.

“We named streets and other contexts, we named parks,” said city council woman Sarah Bagley, who serves on the Naming Committee. “And so I took up what I saw as the mayor’s charge to us that we should be leading this effort with public feedback.”

The name change proposal came about last year from Mayor Justin Wilson. There are at least 41 streets in Alexandria that are associated with Confederate military members.

During a meeting on Jan. 9, the City Council finalized a plan to rename or rededicate four of those streets.


The ordinance, which was officially adopted on Jan. 20, will rename North Breckinridge Place after the founder of Alexandria’s first school for free Black children, Harriet Jacobs.

Forrest Street will become Forest Street and North and South Jordan Streets and Jordan Court will be rededicated in honor of Thomasina E. Jordan, an Alexandria resident who became the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Electoral College.

North and South Early Streets will each get an extra “e” in the name for the U.S. Army’s highest-ranking Black woman officer during World War II Lt. Col. Charity Earley.