Colleague Bob Levey has, one fears, adopted a crusade that is likely to lead nowhere. He endorsed efforts to get people to call the Cabin John Bridge across the Potomac River by its official name, the American Legion Memorial Bridge.

Overlooking the fact that there are two Cabin John bridges--the I-495 bridge officially named for the American Legion and the handsome 19th century arch that carries MacArthur Boulevard across the Cabin John Creek--it seems highly unlikely that the official name will ever take hold.

History teaches, in this region at least, that bridges continue to be called by the name they were given when they were opened: the railroad bridge dating from pre-Civil War days that parallels the 14th Street highway bridges is still called Long Bridge. And two of the 14th Street bridges themselves, while named for Rochambeau and George Mason, are still called--you guessed it--the 14th Street bridge (usually singular, although there are three of them).

Not many people call the Duke Ellington, Frederick Douglass, Francis Case, Whitney M. Young and William Howard Taft bridges by their official names.

But, as I said, if the bridge had its name from the start, it stands a good chance: witness Sousa and Key. However, many often attribute a wrong name to Memorial Bridge, sometimes calling it "Lincoln" rather than "Arlington" Memorial.

Incidentally, do you know that in our region there is a Nice Bridge? Who knows where it is and how it got its name?