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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.

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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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