Film of Day in the Life of 1930s D.C.

This is a really cool old film that we dug up at the U.S. National Archives. Check it out and see what landmarks you can identify, then add them to the comments below.

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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  • GDubber

    Love the views of downtown – shoppers, streetcars, cars at the old Capital Garage on NY Avenue. And the new buildings of the Federal Triangle!

  • ET

    About 59 seconds in there is a shot of what looks to be the building that now house the National Museum of Women in the arts. Liking the overhead shots taken in a blimp I guess.

    I like the bits that show some of the old services – ice and dairy delivery. I like the shot of “wildlife” the dog that ran out in the street, the black cat, the ubiquitous pigeons, all the horses, and even the zoo animals.

    I am not up on my horse statues but does anyone know which one is featured at about 2:20? Also, there is a statue at 6:24 that is bugging me. What follows looks like the Supreme Court but the statue from what I can see, sorts of looks like the one on the right which I think is Authority of Law.

    • sp

      ET-
      The horse statue at 2:20 is the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the base of Capitol Hill. Grant sits astride his warhorse, Cincinnati.

      6:24.not sure, ut it looks like the tympanist of the Supreme Court?

  • Mark Kinsler

    Four years later, on September 21, 1939, Washington DC radio station WJSV recorded their entire broadcast day. You can listen to it at

    https://archive.org/details/CompleteBroadcastDay

    M Kinsler, Lancaster, Ohio