Montgomery County has been home to many firsts, but here are ten you not have known about:
Cava opened their first fast-casual restaurant on Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda in 2011.
Curtis Pride, a Kennedy High School graduate, became the first deaf baseball player in the majors since 1945.
The first Toys R Us ever was on Rockville Pike in Rockville. It opened in 1957.
First Kid, Barron Trump, attends St. Andrews Episcopal School in Potomac.
The first Jerry’s opened in Wheaton in 1964.
Rockville native and Wootton High School graduate, Mack Hollins, caught his first touchdown against the Washington Redskins. He also won his first Super Bowl in his first season with the Eagles.
The Persian kabob chain started out in MoCo in 1989. Their first location was in Behesda.
Katie Ledecky is the first athlete from the D.C. metro area to win AP Female Athlete of the Year. She grew up and still lives in Bethesda when she’s not at school at Stanford.
The first California Tortilla opened on Cordell Avenue in Bethesda in 1995.
Jeff Halpern is the first MoCo (and D.C. area) player to play for the Caps. He attended Churchill High School in Potomac.
UPDATED AT 3:06pm: The grounds of Albert Einstein High School have been searched and NO threat has been located. The search is complete. Dismissal will occur momentarily.
According to Montgomery County Police, “officers have responded to Albert Einstein HS for a threat sent via email to school staff about explosive device outside of building. K9s w/ explosive-detection skills conducting search outside of school now. Dismissal is being delayed until search complete.”
Per MCPS, police is at the school conducting a thorough search.
We sifted through the hundreds of MoCo facts we’ve come across and chose these ten to share with you today.
Tell us your favorite Fun MoCo fact that wasn’t on this list, and you may see it on one of our future lists!
1. Brookeville was the United States capital for a day on August 26th, 1814 after the British troops burned down the White House during the War of 1812.
2. Though MoCo was named after Richard Montgomery, it was Thomas Wootton that founded the county by introducing a bill that divided Frederick into three counties in 1776 (one was Montgomery County).
3. The robin is the official bird of MoCo and the Dogwood is the official tree.
4. Damascus was originally known as “The Pleasant Plains of Damascus.”
5. The Montgomery Village symbol is not trees. It's 2 stick figures reaching toward the heavens in a gesture of friendship and peace.
6. From 1987-2004 Northwood was not its own high school (it was used to hold students from other high schools during renovations).
7. The hit 90s series, Beverly Hills 90210, was originally going to be set in MoCo and called Potomac 20854.
8. Gaithersburg’s original name was Logtown. It officially took on the Gaithersburg name in 1878.
9. The inventor of the first home television set, C. Francis Jenkins, lived in Wheaton, at Windham Ln and Georgia Ave.
10. Wheaton was known as Leesborough until being renamed Wheaton in 1869.
In this list you’ll find athletes with ties to MoCo that are/will be competing in the Winter Olympics. In addition to those competing, a couple alternates have MoCo ties as well. Check it out!
Maame Biney is an American short track speedskater that currently resides in Reston, VA.
WUSA9 tweeted that “18-year-old Maame Biney is the first black female to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speed skating team. She moved to Wheaton, Maryland from Ghana when she was just 5 years old.”
Ashley Caldwell is an American freestyle skier. Though she was raised in Northern Virginia, she was born in Montgomery Village, MD (I wonder where in the village she was born 🤔).
Haley Skarupa is a forward for the National ice hockey team. She grew up in Rockville and graduated from Wootton High School. She played on the coed Wootton hockey during high school as well.
Quinn Carpenter and Lorraine McNamara are the second alternate ice dancing pair. They live and train in MoCo. Carpenter is from Wheaton and McNamara is from Germantown.
After a good conversation reminiscing about fairly recent NBA players with local roots, I decided to put together a “starting 5” consisting of current NBA players with MoCo ties.
We discussed guys that used to play in the league like Steve Francis (Blair), Jerome Williams (Magruder), Roger Mason (Good Counsel), but came up with this list of 5 current players with MoCo ties:
Michael Beasley. It’s hard to believe that Beasley entered the NBA a decade ago. He is just one of two players in Kansas State history to become a first team All-American. He’s currently having one of his most successful seasons, as a New York Knick, having scored 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against the Bulls just last week.
MoCo tie: Beasley grew up in Montgomery County and almost attended Watkins Mill High School before moving on to 6 different high schools before going to Kansas State for a year.
Kevin Durant. Durant has won an NBA Championship, two Olympic gold medals, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year award, an NBA MVP award, and a lot more. Many consider him the best player in the world.
MoCo tie: Kevin Durant played his senior season of high school basketball at Montrose Christian in Rockville.
Greivis Vasquez. Most remember Vasquez as the all-time leading scorer at the University of Maryland, but he has carved a pretty good NBA career for himself as a journeyman role player. Vasquez currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
MoCo tie: Greivis Vasquez moved to the United States to attend high school at Montrose in Rockville, where he committed to play for the University of Maryland during his senior year.
Victor Oladipo. Oladipo was the 2nd overall pick in 2013, but is currently in the midst of his breakout season, his first with the Pacers. He is averaging over 24ppg, leading the Pacers in scoring.
MoCo tie: Though he was raised in nearby Upper Marlboro, Victor Oladipo was born in Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
Josh Hart. Hart was the Lakers “other” first round pick (being chosen 30th overall in the same round as Lonzo Ball). The 6’5 rookie out of Villanova is having a solid rookie campaign, scoring 5.6ppg and grabbing 3rpg.
MoCo tie: Josh was born and raised in MoCo. He attended and played for Wheaton High School for a season before transferring to Sidwell.
If you don’t already know, the construction at Wheaton Triangle is for a government office building, underground parking garage, and town square for the area.
The images below, courtesy of MCDOT, show a glimpse of what’s to come in Wheaton.
Wheaton High School won the regional Science Bowl. They will go on to represent Maryland at the National Science Bowl in April.
Joan Jett, the woman many refer to as the Queen of Rock & Roll, spent almost a decade of her life growing up in Randolph Hills and attended Wheaton High School (she left the area before graduating). The “I Love Rock & Roll” singer is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists.
Burgerim, an Israeli burger chain that translates to “many burgers” from Hebrew, will be opening soon in Wheaton Mall. The first Burgerim opened in 2011 and the burger chain has already expanded to over 160 stores worldwide in just over 5 years.
They sell mini-burgers (not sliders) using 2.8 ounce patties that are larger than a slider sized patty. Their selling point is variety, and there’s plenty of it. They offer 11 different types of patties, including beef, dry aged beef, Wagyu beef, merguez, Turkey, lamb, chicken, salmon, veggie, Spanish beef, and falafel.
Their disc shaped fries are more like slices of potatoes, but they also provide the option to get sweet potato fries (in the traditional shape), onion rings, or home fries (cubes potatoes tossed in chili sauce and topped with sesame seeds).
Combo options include the uno (one burger), duo (two burgers), trio (three burgers), and Party Box (16 burgers!). In addition to burgers, Burgerim will offer a variety of sandwiches and salads.
With Shake Shack coming to Potomac and Burgerim coming to Wheaton, MoCo’s burger chain game will take it up a notch in 2018.
Bring in the New Year with Lionize at Villain & Saint in Bethesda! $15 advance tickets or $20 at the door.