Segregationist Jim Crow-era clauses restricting Magruder Park for Hyattsville’s “caucasian” residents have been deleted from the deed underlying the city park. Now, Hyattsville City Council could decide on a new name for Magruder Park as soon as December, according to new details of a renaming process announced during Hyattsville City Council’s Sept. 21, 2020, meeting. Calls to rename the park date to 2018, with critics noting much of the park was donated in the 1920s by its namesake William Pinkney Magruder with deed clauses restricting the use of the park to “caucasians.” While those deed clauses were rendered unenforceable by a 1948 Supreme Court ruling, they remained on the books until very recently.
In August, Hyattsville City Council directed city staff to move forward with a process to gather new name suggestions. Those names would then be vetted by two Hyattsville advisory committees, including the city’s Race and Equity Task Force and the city’s Health, Wellness and Recreation Advisory Committee.