The History of the 495 Bridge Graffiti (Near the LDS Temple)

April 23, 2017
Alex Tsironis
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The first form of ‘Surrender Dorothy’ that was seen on the bridge leading up to the LDS temple on 495 was created with wadded up newspapers that were placed in the chain link fence by Catholic school girls. More specifically, young ladies from Holy Child’s graduating classes of 1973-76. They went with the now locally famous phrase for two reasons; the temple reminded many of Emerald City and The Wizard of Oz was the school play that was coming up a few weeks later. The papers were removed within 24 hours.

In the mid-80s, the phrase popped up again. This time in a more permanent fashion, as it had been spray painted on the side of the bridge. There were different variations of ‘Surrender Dorothy’ written in the bridge through the years. There are also many rumors as to who the artist behind the longer lasting version was, but never any confirmation.

A few years back, a new message was posted. The word Fugazi on one side with “crot” and “voyer” on the other. Fugazi was a local punk-rock band, but they had not played a show in over a decade when the graffiti appeared around 2014. There are rumors that Crot and Voyer are the names of a couple taggers that were tagging things in very visible places around the D.C. area, but that has not been confirmed either.

In February of this year the graffiti took a political turn as the latest message read “Bridges not walls.” That one didn’t last long, as it was painted over just a few days later.

Photos c/o the Montgomery Journal, Washington Post, DC Metro Area Vintage Photos.

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