Anacostia Park: Langston Golf Course – Washington DC


The Langston Golf Course in Anacostia Park was opened as a 9-hole course in 1939 (and expanded to 18 holes in the 1950s). It was constructed with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Project Administration (WPA).

The course is named for John Mercer Langston, an African American who was the first dean of the Howard University School of Law, first president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (now Virginia State University), and first African American elected to the United States Congress from Virginia. 

The black golfing community formed the Royal Golf Club in 1933 to agitate for a second golf course open to African Americans. In 1934, the Roosevelt Administration agreed to build the new course in Anacostia Park.  A site was located and construction began in 1936 on the north end of Kingman Island. Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, ordered the new course desegregated in 1941, making it the second golf course open to all comers in Washington, after West Potomac Park, and one of only twenty across the nation at the time.

In 1991, the first nine holes of the Langston Golf Course were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the course is popularly regarded as the best public golf links in the District of Columbia.

(NB: Langston Golf Course should not be confused with the former Anacostia Golf Course, an 18-hole golf course on the eastern shore of the Anacostia River that opened in May 1933 and closed in June 1958).

Source notes

Civilian Conservation Corps Activities in the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, National Capital Parks, WDC, HABS DC-858.

National Archives, RG 69 Records of the Work Projects Administration, “Information Service (Primary) File, 1936-1942”


Project originally submitted by Brent McKee - on May 24, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

2600 Benning Road NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Coordinates: 38.9024, -76.9671

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