Six students from the Arlington and Silver Spring Lado campuses visited Theodore Roosevelt Island in Arlington, Virginia on Friday August 24, 2012 for their afternoon field trip. Named for the 26th president of the United States the island lies on the Potomac River literally just east of the Lado Arlington campus.
The students, from Thailand, Colombia, Germany, Brazil and Saudia Arabia, walked the same paths as the Nacotchtank native Americans (sometimes called Indians) who once lived on the island in the late 1600s fishing the rivers and hunting the woods. While they walked, the students chatted with each other about the midterms they had just finished, their travel plans, and other trips they wanted to take. Once on the island they learned about its bird sanctuary, the names of trees lining its shore, and some history and famous quotes of President Roosevelt. Especially interesting was a large slab entitled "Manhood," which quoted Roosevelt's views on being a man. He famously said, "All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune-make for a finer, nobler type of manhood." "Hey! that's what my dad always say!" remarked Abdul from Saudia Arabia, "all our troubles just make us stronger."
The island has a very interesting history. After the native Americans were pushed out by European-American settlers, Lord Baltimore deeded the island to a Captain Randolph Brandt. The island passed from that family to the Masons, who housed lavish garden parties at their summer house. Later, it was bought by the U.S. Government which housed one of the first all-African American regiments during the Civil War and, at the same time, runaway slaves who sought shelter.
By Carol Therese Young