Wine, Spirits, and Stories at Historic Congressional Cemetery - Atlas Obscura

Washington, D.C.

Wine, Spirits, and Stories at Historic Congressional Cemetery

Join us for a drink and evening walk through one of D.C.'s most notable final resting places.

Believed to be the world's only cemetery with a dedicated LGBT section, Historic Congressional Cemetery (HCC) in southeast D.C. is the final resting place of 65,000 souls.

Join us for an evening of wine, spirits, and stories in the cemetery that J. Edgar Hoover, Madam Mary Anne Hall, Marion Berry, and other notables call their eternal home. As the sun begins to descend, we'll sip wine in the very vault in which Dolley Madison once lay, and afterwards attendees will take one of two rarely-given tours: LGBT Icons or Inventors and Innovators.

The LGBT Icons tour will be given by Jeff Rollins and will highlight the so-called "Gay Corner," which began in 1988 when gay rights advocate and Vietnam Veteran Leonard Matlovich—best known for appearing on the cover of Time Magazine—decided to be interred at HCC. His choice inspired a generation of LGBT activists to make HCC their final resting place as well, and it's now the future site of the nonprofit LGBT Veterans Memorial.

The Inventors and Innovators tour will be given by Jeff Trinca and will highlight many of the cemetery's forward-thinking "residents"—male and female trailblazers in science and exploration. Among the many lives you'll learn about are of one of America’s earliest paleontologists (who also belonged to a secret society of young scientists and lived in a tower of the Smithsonian castle) and the Washington, D.C. dentist who invented the pre-eminent sniper rifle used in Civil War.


  • Below are two ticket choices: One for the LGBT Icons tour and the other for Inventors and Innovators. Each ticket includes access to the vault, the tour selected, two drink tickets, and light snacks.
  • Please be aware of the tour ticket you purchase.
  • This event is 21+.
  • Each walking tour is about a mile long. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.


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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.