Gloria D. Thompson was born in 1946 to parents Clarence and Ethel Thompson. The Thompson family lived in Arlington's African American Hall's Hill neighborhood. Her mother Ethel was involved with the NAACP and added her children to Arlington's school integration cases. On February 2, 1959 twelve-year-old Gloria became one of four black students, and the only female, to integrate Arlington's Stratford Junior High School. She joined fellow Hall's Hill residents Ronald Deskins, Michael Jones, and Lance Newman. Stratford was the first school to integrate in the state of Virginia. After participating in such a major Civil Rights victory, Gloria continued her activism as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Collection: Civil Rights

Bazil Hall is the namesake of the Hall's Hill community. Hall moved from Washington, D.C. in 1852 to Arlington where he purchased 327 acres of land to farm. During the Civil War his home and land were damaged first by a skirmish between Union and Confederate forces and then by a Union encampment on his property. Before the war Hall's estate was valued at $25,000, but following the war it was valued at only $6,4000. Despite deep seated prejudices, Hall decided to sell his land to formerly enslaved African Americans following the war in order to stay afloat. This led to the creation to the Hall's Hill community, today called High View Park.

Collection: Neighborhoods
Bazil Hall.JPG

The community of Hall's Hill, today called High View Park, was established in 1865 when white land-owner Bazil Hall, hit with hard-times following the Civil War, sold lots of his land to formerly enslaved African Americans. From these beginnings Hall's Hill became a thriving black community.

Local community institutions of note include Glebe Elementary School, Langston Brown Community Center, Calloway United Methodist Church, and Fire Station #8, Arlington's first African American fire company. Hall's Hill is one of the few remaining African American neighborhoods in Arlington. During the mid-twentieth century, the bordering white community built a cinder-block wall around Hall's Hill to physical separate themselves from their black neighbors during formal, legalized residential segregation. Pieces of that wall remain.

The community is bounded North by Lee Highway, East by Glebe Road, South by 17th Street North, and West by George Mason Drive. This map shows the growing community in 1900.

Collection: Neighborhoods