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A Munchkin in Washington: The Story of Julius Daranyi, Midget Traffic Cop

Follow the story of Julius Daranyi, a midget traffic cop in Washington DC in 1924. Relive this unique moment in history, complete with original Washington Post article, photographs, and related articles.
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Yesterday’s post was popular, and thanks to GoDCer Mark’s tweet, I have another oddity to share with you. Below is a scene you’re not likely to see today at 14th and G.

Julius Daranyi, midget traffic cop - June 8th, 1924 (Library of Congress)
Julius Daranyi, midget traffic cop – June 8th, 1924 (Library of Congress)

This is Julius Daranyi who had arrived in Washington with his theater group for a week of performances. On June 8th — for some inexplicable reason — he was made policeman for a day to direct traffic. Of course, the Washington Post reported on it.

Julius Daranyi, one of the stars with Singer’s midgets playing at B. F. Keith‘s theater this week, will become a member of the District of Columbia’s police force today and take up his first detail at Fourteenth and G streets, at 12:30 o’clock, where he will direct traffic.

Seriously … I can’t make this stuff up. You can also buy this photograph on Amazon or Ebay. By the way, a large number of Singer’s midgets were cast as munchkins in the Wizard of Oz.

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Enjoy daily

Ghosts of DC stories.