Mary Burrill and Lucy Diggs Slowe at Brookland home HOWARD UNIVERSITY

From Pete and Walt to Lucy and Mary: Honoring D.C.’s Rainbow History

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
Led by 
Martin Murray

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On April 30, 2020, a Queen Anne-style house located on Kearney Street in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood was approved as a D.C. Landmark and recommended for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.  From 1922 until 1937 it was the home of Lucy Diggs Slowe and Mary Burrill, life partners who were leaders in D.C.’s African American community, Slowe as the first Dean of Women at Howard University and Burrill as a long-time teacher at the esteemed Dunbar High School.  The two join a long line of LGBTQ women and men who have made history in Washington, D.C.  Guide Martin Murray will share the story of Lucy Diggs Slowe and Mary Burrill as well as that of a Civil War-era gay couple whose relationship also become part of D.C. history: Peter Doyle and Walt Whitman.

Host: Carolyn Crouch, Founder, Washington Walks


Martin Murray has been enchanted by the city of Washington since arriving in 1980 to pursue a government career in economics.  He is a contributor to the Rainbow History Project and founder of the Washington Friends of Walt Whitman.  When he found he enjoyed pounding the sidewalks of the city as much as crunching numbers, he began leading special interest tours for friends and community groups.  Upon retiring, he became a licensed city guide and is a member of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC as well as a certified National Cathedral guide.  When not leading tours, he enjoys the camaraderie of the Arts Club of Washington, where he volunteers as club archivist and historian.