DC intersection formerly known as Dave Thomas Circle renamed Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson Plaza

The once notorious D.C. intersection, formerly known as Dave Thomas Circle, is being renamed in honor of longtime District resident and the first woman to pitch in baseball's Negro League, Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the announcement of the new Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson Plaza Wednesday. It will be built near the intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE.

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Dave Thomas Circle redesign project to begin DC

The area was once home to one of the worst traffic hotspots in the city and is currently under construction as part of a $41 million redevelopment project to make the intersection safer.

The District acquired the property several years ago and closed and demolished the Wendy's restaurant that gave the intersection its name. Once completed, the intersection will realign and add two-way traffic to First Street, restore two-way traffic on Florida Avenue, add protected bicycle lanes, create multiple public park spaces and make other safety improvements.


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Johnson was the first woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues as a teenager in the 1950s. After baseball she had a 30-year career as a nurse at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She died in 2017 at age 82. A mural of Johnson is on the wall outside of D.C. landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl.

More than 4,300 residents voted to give Johnson the honor.

"Our community is ready to start a new chapter at this intersection, and we are off to a strong start by naming it after such an iconic woman," said Mayor Bowser. "Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson was a pioneer. Now, it is fitting that her name will represent these new spaces where residents and visitors can rest and play. I thank the Noma BID for engaging the public and going through a thoughtful process of renaming this intersection."

The construction project is slated to be completed by the end of next year.  The D.C. City Council needs to approve the renaming.


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