Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: Congresswoman introduces bill to rename city post office after renowned civil rights activist, teacher


Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger introduced a bill Thursday that would rename a Fredericksburg post office after a revered city teacher and civil rights activist.

If the bill becomes law, the College Station Post office at 1285 Emancipation Highway in Eagle Village would be renamed the “Gladys P. Todd Post Office.” Todd died in January 2015 at the age of 101, less than two months shy of her 102nd birthday.

“This Black History Month, I am honored to introduce legislation to rename the College Station Post Office after the remarkable Gladys P. Todd,” Spanberger said in a news release. “Her contributions to the local civil rights movement and her unwavering commitment to justice make Mrs. Todd an inspiration to us all, and naming a post office after her is a small way to honor the incredible woman she was.”

Gaye Adegbalola, Todd’s daughter, said she and her family are “surprised, humbled and honored” by Spanberger’s efforts.

“Just to have my mom’s name live on in this way has special meaning to me,” Adegbalola said. “She worked so hard for so long for so many people, and we are very humbled that Congresswoman Spanberger took the time to research this and make this recommendation.”

According to her obituary, Todd was baptized as a child at Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site) and attended the Fredericksburg Colored School up to the age of 12. She later went to a boarding school at what was then known as Virginia State College in Ettrick, just outside of Petersburg.

She told people that witnessing a Ku Klux Klan parade as a child helped fuel her commitment to civil and human rights. She later became a primary coordinator of sit-ins at local lunch counters in the 1960s, which Adegbalola participated in as a teenager.

Todd was also active in city politics and was instrumental in organizing support that resulted in the election of Fredericksburg’s first Black mayor, Lawrence A. Davies. She also led a movement to establish a playground for Black children at what is now Hurkamp Park, and she set up a community center for Black youths on Winchester Street known as the “Youth Canteen.”

An academic program at Germanna Community College, the Gladys Todd Academy, is named in her honor.

Juno Pitchford, Todd’s grandson, said he knew as a small child that his grandmother was special. But it wasn’t until he was older that he became aware of how many lives she had touched and “how special she really was.”

Co-sponsoring Spanberger’s bill are fellow Virginia Democrat representatives Gerry Connolly, Jennifer McClellan, Bobby Scott and Jennifer Wexton.

Recent Posts

Jun 17, 2024
Local Issues

NEW MILESTONE: Spanberger’s Office Returns More Than $39 Million in Federal Benefits to Virginians

Since the Start of 2019, the Congresswoman’s Office Has Returned More Than $39 Million in Backlogged IRS Refunds, Social Security Checks, VA Benefits, & More WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced today that her office has now returned more than $39 million in federal casework funds to residents of Virginia’s Seventh District. Casework dollars […]

Jun 14, 2024

Spanberger Statement on Supreme Court Ruling to Strike Down Federal Bump Stock Ban

Congresswoman: “As a Former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, I Know that Weapons Designed to Inflict Maximum Casualties Do Not Belong on Our Streets, in Our Schools, or in Our Communities” WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garland v. Cargill, which overturns a […]

Jun 14, 2024
Gun Safety

During National Gun Violence Awareness Month, Spanberger Urges Speaker Johnson to Bring Bipartisan Bills to U.S. House Floor to Prevent Gun Violence

Congresswoman: “I Used To Carry A Gun Every Single Day — I Know What It Is To Be A Responsible Gun Owner” WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — a Member of the U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force — urged Speaker Johnson to […]