JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1981NATIONAL CEMETERY ESTABLISHED 152 YEARS AGO
Arlington, Virginia (JFK+50) 152 years ago today, June 15, 1864, 200 acres around Arlington House* were set aside as a national cemetery by order of President Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
The United States government purchased the site from the family of Confederate General Robert Edward Lee for $26,800.
Arlington National Cemetery has hosted five state funerals in its' history. They include....
President William Howard Taft
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Senator Robert Francis Kennedy
Senator Edward Moore Kennedy
General John J. Pershing
The gravesite of President John F. Kennedy, located just below Arlington House, is the most visited in the cemetery.
*Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial was original known as Mount Washington but was renamed Arlington after an early Custis family plantation. The house, modeled after a Greek temple, was the home of the Custis & Lee families until the Civil War. The house and heights were occupied by Union troops and in 1863 it was the site of a Freedman's village.
The National Park Service acquired Arlington in 1933 & restored the house & grounds. The house became the Custis Lee Mansion, but in 1972 was renamed Arlington House.
"Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial," National Park Service, US Department of the Interior Brochure.