Potomac Water is a Health Hazard (1973)

Remember how nasty the Potomac River was? Yes, it’s still not the greatest, but it’s swimmable in some parts (as long as you don’t have open wounds). Back in the 1970s, it was absolutely polluted. Check out this sign from 1973, recommending you seek immediate medical attention after prolonged exposure.

don't swim in the Potomac
don’t swim in the Potomac

Source: U.S. National Archives


More from Ghosts of DC

boat club

Boat Club by Aqueduct Bridge

Here’s a great shot that we found on Flickr. It’s the boat club just above Aqueduct Bridge (or where Key Bridge is today). Source: D.C.

A street vendor and his radio-equipped cart circa 1928 in Washington, D.C. 4x5 glass negative from the National Photo Company Collection. (Shorpy)

Food Truck Friday Circa 1928

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to hit up the food trucks at Farragut today. I can’t get enough of that chicken on

proposed tunnel system in Washington

Never Built Tunnels Under 1960s D.C.

The car culture of America was in full force through the 1950s and 1960s. Sadly, many beautiful cities and neighborhoods were ruined as a result