Photo of Bombers in Flight Over D.C. in 1931

This might be one of the coolest old photos we have discovered. It shows a squadron of bombers flying over Washington in 1931. The main road in the picture is Pennsylvania Ave. heading toward the White House. Click on the image for a larger version. It’s quite detailed, so tell us what you see in the comments below. I think I can make out Connecticut Ave. in the distance.

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Keystone Bombardment airplanes of 2nd Bombardment Group. April 23, 1931
Keystone Bombardment airplanes of 2nd Bombardment Group. April 23, 1931

Source: U.S. National Archives

Seriously, this has to be one of the coolest photos yet. What do you think? How does it compare to the 1865 panorama of the city that we posted a short while back?

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • ET

    What is interesting is to see what has changed. Obviously there is the Post Office but then there are the low lying buildings and empty area which is now federal office buildings at the federal triangle area.

    I can see down Penn closer to the Capitol that corner building with the distinctive rounded end that is at the corner of Penn and 6th. The space that is empty but with some structure where the National Gallery is.

    There is the old patent building and what is now the hotel next to it. I think I can see the top of the little row of buildings that houses the Spy Museum.

    I think I can see some of the grounds for where the courthouse is now on 5th and Indiana at the bottom right.

  • Spinner

    The deconstruction in the lower left corner may have been in preparation for the start of the National Archives building. Groundbreaking for it was in September 1931, so we may be looking at the demolition of the old Central Market that formerly stood in that spot.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    Looks like they have just cleared the lot on Pa. Ave to begin construction of the Dept. of Justice Bldg.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    You can see Trumps old Post Off. bldg,