facebook linkedin twitter

Roberta Flack Honored by DAR with DC Call Box Monument

March 14, 2022 by Kate Michael
Roberta Flack Honored by DAR with DC Call Box Monument

WASHINGTON — Patrons enjoying a snow day soup, sandwich and suds at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill were surprised Saturday afternoon by the sudden appearance of musical great Roberta Flack. While Mr. Henry’s is often cited as the place where Flack got her start, it isn’t every day at the classic American pub that the legend shows up for lunch.

Flack was in town specifically for the dedication of a historic call box in her honor located a block away at 5th and Seward Square SE. The Constitution Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently adopted the callbox as a project to identify important women in American history.

D.C.’s iron call boxes were installed on streets and used to report fires or police activity in the 19th century before phones were available in private homes. Their wiring was removed long ago, but hundreds of sturdy call boxes remain all over the city, and various local organizations have used them as an opportunity for civic art and historic interpretation over the last few decades. 

Honoring prominent women has been a common theme. Suffragist Alice Stokes Paul has a call box at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW; Katharine Graham’s highlights her leadership at the Washington Post at 15th and L Streets NW; and Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the lyrics for “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” is memorialized at 14th and F Streets NW. But as far as The Well News could determine, Flack is currently the only living representative of the honor.


After securing the necessary permits, DAR members scraped and chipped away paint, primed and repainted the call box in a brilliant red color which was chosen by Flack herself. The members have expressed a commitment to preserving the callbox into the future.


“We hope that the Roberta Flack call box becomes beloved in the Capitol Hill community and inspires a generation of musicians to dream big,” Amanda Murphy, DAR Constitution Chapter regent, said. 

Flack’s call box monument details her lifetime achievements, from her full scholarship to Howard University at age 15 to her work as a music teacher by day and jazz club performer — and eventual residency at Mr. Henry’s — by night, to her GRAMMY award-winning rise to pop stardom. 

While Flack didn’t make prepared remarks at the call box dedication ceremony, she did tell attendees: “I am so grateful for your recognition. I thank you very much.”

Then she and a flock of her fans walked the short block to Mr. Henry’s to toast her full circle of historic achievements in the very same dining room where she started her rise to fame some five decades ago. 


Roberta Flack’s call box features artwork by Corey Houlihan and is located at the corner of 5th and Seward Square SE in front of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. 

Kate can be reached at [email protected]

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

District of Columbia

May 10, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
DC Council Tries to Protect Against Restrictive State Abortion Laws

WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia Council member wants to turn the nation’s capital into a sanctuary city for women... Read More

WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia Council member wants to turn the nation’s capital into a sanctuary city for women seeking abortions who might be prosecuted or sued in their home states. A bill introduced last week by D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau would bar anyone... Read More

May 4, 2022
by Kate Michael
Florida House’s OJ Day Brings Politicos, Protestors Together Behind Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Politicians, Supreme Court protestors, and passersby were all spotted squeezing some Florida sunshine into their day, enjoying free... Read More

WASHINGTON — Politicians, Supreme Court protestors, and passersby were all spotted squeezing some Florida sunshine into their day, enjoying free orange juice offered by Florida House’s annual Orange Juice Day giveaway on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning. Each year on May 4 — National Orange Juice Day... Read More

April 24, 2022
by Kate Michael
Environmental Groups and Labor Merge for Climate Rally in Lafayette Park

WASHINGTON — Taina Lipwak came with elaborate canvas artwork that she attached to the fence around Lafayette’s statue. She wanted... Read More

WASHINGTON — Taina Lipwak came with elaborate canvas artwork that she attached to the fence around Lafayette’s statue. She wanted the crowd to see it, but she hoped President Biden might see it too.  “This is the center of government in the United States,” she told... Read More

April 12, 2022
by Reece Nations
Lawmakers Request DC Mayor Be Given Control Over National Guard in NDAA

WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership asking for... Read More

WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership asking for the District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act to be included in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The act would grant Washington,... Read More

Police Chief: More Officers Needed to Fully Reopen Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police told lawmakers Wednesday it was his recommendation to move forward... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police told lawmakers Wednesday it was his recommendation to move forward with a phased-in reopening of the U.S. Capitol as his agency works to overcome attrition after the January 6 insurrection and hiring delays because of the... Read More

March 24, 2022
by Dan McCue
Limited Tours to Resume at US Capitol Starting Monday

WASHINGTON — Limited tours of the U.S. Capitol by the general public, something not seen since the onset of the... Read More

WASHINGTON — Limited tours of the U.S. Capitol by the general public, something not seen since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, are set to resume Monday. An email sent to members of Congress and staff on Wednesday spelled out the new tour regimen, which House... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top