Established in 1952, the Green Valley Pharmacy is the first (and only) pharmacy and lunch counter in Arlington that would serve African American patrons during the Jim Crow era.
The man who opened the pharmacy was Dr. Leonard “Doc” Muse, a pharmacist and social activist. Muse was born in Florida in 1923 and after serving in World War II used his GI benefits to attend the Howard University School of Pharmacy. In 1952, he and his partner Waverly Jones bought the former Hyman’s Grocery and opened the Green Valley Pharmacy. The pharmacy served black and white customers, but mainly served as a neighborhood hub for Nauck- as a lunch counter, a drug store, and a first job for many young people in Green Valley. Doc provided free lunches for the hungry and free medications for those who could not afford their prescriptions.
In 2013, Green Valley Pharmacy was named as an Historic District by the Arlington County Board, and Muse himself was honored by the Arlington NAACP with the Community Appreciation Award. Muse’s commitment to social activism established him as a pillar of the Nauck community, positively influencing the young people of Green Valley and providing a social and political hub for the residents of Nauck.
Dr. Leonard Muse died on August 20, 2017.
A celebration of life service was held in his honor at Drew Model School on Saturday, August. 27, 2017.
To see more items like these, or to learn more about Arlington's history, visit the Center for Local History on the first floor of the Central Library.
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