My name is Tom. I’ve lived in and around Washington, D.C. since 2000 and I love my city. I also love history and this city has an abundance of it since well before Congress held its first session here in the partially completed Capitol building on November 17th, 1800.
Washington is 68.3 square miles, sitting at the swampy confluence of the Potomac and the Anacostia rivers, with countless neighborhoods strewn across eight distinct and diverse wards. It’s the city in which John F. Kennedy asked us what we could do for our country and where Martin Luther King Jr. told a quarter of a million people about his dream for the future of our America. It is the seat of our federal government, the birthplace of Marvin Gaye and Duke Ellington, the site of two presidential assassinations (Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield), the city where Marriott was founded and the place where we build monuments to great Americans that shaped our nation.
Washington, D.C. — known at different points as the Federal City, Washington City, the District or just D.C. — takes its name from two of the most important men in American history, George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Those men will never be forgotten, but the millions of men and women that have lived in this city over the two hundred plus years of its existence quickly fade into history.
This blog is about uncovering stories that have long been forgotten. I walk by buildings every day, and it’s hard not to imagine what happened there fifty or a hundred years ago. I want to learn about lost neighborhoods like Swampoodle and Murder Bay, find out who lived in my neighborhood when Woodrow Wilson was in the White House, and understand the fear of seeing confederate flags ominously flying within site of the Capitol, across the river in secessionist Virginia.
This will be an interesting journey and I hope you enjoy reading and sharing what I uncover.
Want to get in touch, send some feedback or suggest something to post on the site? Just email us at hello [at] ghostsofdc.org. We’d love to hear from you.