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Famous graves

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Famous Graves at Arlington National Cemetery

Since its inception in 1864, Arlington National Cemetery has been a burial ground for military personnel. In addition to the graves of fallen war heroes, it’s also the resting place for veterans who have gone on to prominence in other fields. The following is a list of famous graves and memorials at Arlington National Cemetery.

Military Heroes

George C. Marshall

The highly effective Army Chief of Staff during World War II, George C. Marshall’s name was given to the plan for rebuilding post-war Europe. Marshall would also serve as Secretary of State under President Truman. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

Abner Doubleday

Rising to the rank of major general during the Civil War, Abner Doubleday fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter. Mistakenly credited with inventing baseball, he played a pivotal role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Audie Murphy

Later a Hollywood actor starring in the “Red Badge of Courage” and a cinematic version of his autobiography “To Hell and Back,” Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier of the Second World War.

Walter Reed

Major Walter Reed confirmed the theory that mosquitoes transmitted yellow fever. His medical research enabled work to continue on the Panama Canal. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is named in his honor.

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Government Leaders

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was the first president to be buried in Arlington. In addition to popularizing the seventh inning stretch, Taft started the tradition of the president throwing out the ceremonial first pitch during the baseball season opener.

Robert f. kennedy

The former Attorney General of the United States, Robert F. Kennedy was buried adjacent to his brother in 1968. The gravesite is adorned with a simple white wooden cross and a small grey granite foot marker.

JOHN F. Kennedy

After his assassination in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington. Each year millions of people visit the gravesite of the 35th President marked by an eternal flame.

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Famous Women

jacqueline kennedy onassis

Another one of the famous graves at Arlington National Cemetery includes that of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was laid to rest next to President Kennedy on May 23, 1994.

anita newcomb

The first female surgeon in the U.S. Army, Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee founded the Army Nurse Corps in 1900. She also trained nurses for the Japanese Red Cross in the early 1900s.

grace hopper

A pioneer in computer technology and co-inventor of COBOL, Admiral Grace Hopper is credited with popularizing phrases such as “It is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask for permission.” She was also the first person to use the word “bug” to describe a problem with a computer program.

mary lee fitzhugh custis

Mrs. Custis was the spouse of George Washington Parke Custis, who originally built the Arlington estate. Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis' cousin, Mary Randolph, was recorded as the first person to be buried on the grounds that would later become Arlington Cemetery.

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Celebrated African-Americans

joe louis barrow

Joe Louis Barrow, known to the boxing world as Joe Louis, is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, he was a cultural icon during the 1930s and 1940s.

medgar evers

A civil rights activist, Medgar Evers played a key role in desegregating the University of Mississippi. Evers, who served in Europe during World War II, was buried with full military honors after his assassination in 1963.

thurgood marshall

The first African-American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall came to national prominence successfully arguing Brown vs. Board of Education. The 1954 court decision ended segregation in U.S. public schools.

matthew henson

Matthew Henson was the first African-American to reach the North Pole and plant the American flag. Accompanying Robert Peary, he played a key logistics role that enabled the expedition to be the first to reach the geographic North Pole.

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Other Notable Figures

pierre charles l’enfant

Under the direction of George Washington, Pierre Charles L’Enfant was the architect and engineer who designed the layout of the streets in Washington, D.C. His design included the area that would become the National Mall and a street to connect the future Capitol Building and White House, today’s Pennsylvania Avenue.

glenn miller

A Memorial Cenotaph in remembrance of a popular big band leader whose ensemble recorded hits like “Pennsylvania 6-5000” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” Major Glenn Miller’s plane disappeared over the English Channel in December 1944.

robert peary

A former naval officer, Robert Peary was a famed polar explorer who was the leader of a 1909 expedition that was credited with being the first to reach the geographic North Pole.

charles “pete” conrad

Aeronautical engineer and test pilot, Charles “Pete” Conrad was in the “New Nine,” the second group of aviators accepted by the NASA space program. He was the third man to walk on the moon.

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