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1925, John J. Earley. 4500 Annapolis Rd.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

The Prince George’s County World War I memorial takes the striking form of a forty-foot tall Latin cross fashioned from exposed aggregate concrete panels. A local American Legion post sponsored the project and dedicated the memorial on July 12, 1925. Local concrete innovator Earley designed and constructed the memorial using his patented method of creating precast panels incorporating colorful exposed aggregate mosaics. Earley’s concrete construction appears in projects around the country and in the Washington area at the Justice Department, Meridian Hill Park, and the Polychrome Houses. The Peace Cross, which features the American Legion symbol at its center, also served as the starting point of the new National Defense Highway between Bladensburg and Annapolis. The memorial was the subject of a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing it to remain over the objections of the American Humanist Association, which filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the presence of religious symbolism on what is now public property.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1925


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "PEACE CROSS", [Baltimore, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 297-297.

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