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“Edwin Bancroft Henderson” State Historical Marker To Be Dedicated in Falls Church
November 20, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
An unveiling ceremony will convene, Saturday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. for a state historical marker that highlights the career of Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson. (Weds. Nov. 24, marks the 138th anniversary of Henderson’s birth.)
The dedication will be held at the marker’s location alongside Henderson’s former residence at 307 South Maple Ave, Falls Church (22406). The Dr. Edwin Bancroft and Mary Ellen Henderson House is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
Dr. Henderson’s work was foundational in organizing leagues and associations for Black athletes and referees in the early 20th century and fostering African Americans’ participation in athletics. Additionally, Henderson’s civil rights advocacy led him to assist in organizing the NAACP’s first rural branch, in Falls Church, and serve as president of the Virginia NAACP; he fought segregation in education, housing, and public facilities.
Text of the Marker:
Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson (1883-1977)
E. B. Henderson, whose pioneering work fostered African American participation in athletics early in the 20th century, lived in Falls Church from 1910 to 1965. After studying physical education at Harvard, he popularized basketball in his hometown of Washington, D.C., organized leagues and associations for Black athletes and referees, and wrote The Negro in Sports (1939). He helped organize the NAACP’s first rural branch, in Falls Church, was president of the Virginia NAACP, and fought segregation in education, housing, and public facilities. Known as the “Father of Black Basketball,” he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.