Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Georgetown University advertisement - September 3rd, 1911 (Washington Times)

Old Ads & Classifieds

Georgetown University Tuition: $100

Are you getting ready to go back to school? Have you paid your tuition bill yet? In 1911, your tuition bill would have been $100 (not sure if that’s per semester or full year). Damn, that’s...

Putnam's Billard Parlor advertisement - December 7th, 1911 (Washington Herald)

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Old Ads & Classifieds

Putnam’s Billiard Parlor: The Finest in the United States

Here’s an advertisement from December 7th, 1911 in the Washington Herald. If you’re a frequent patron of Buffalo Billiards, Bedrock Billiards or the former Kokopooli’s, you’ll find this interesting. Here’s a small mention of the place...

"Walk," "Don't Walk," "No Right Turn," "Thru Only": a complicated traffic signal to uncomplicate Washington, D.C., traffic, 1949. 306-PS-49-2682. (National Archives)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Most Confusing Traffic Signs Ever

I came across this photo in the Library of Congress’ archives. It’s clear that these traffic signs are completely unclear. How the hell do you make sense of this? From the Lorstan Photographers studio in the...

French assault Germans in trench warfare

This Day in History

This Day in History: The Great War Delays D.C. School Opening

This is an interesting article from the Washington Times, dated August 8th, 1914, exactly 98 years ago today. World War I (i.e., the Great War) had been going for roughly two weeks and the paper reported...

Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Devereux child in chariot." Late for the toga party. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Chariot Late for Toga Party

Bizarre? Definitely. Here’s a classic that was on Shorpy. The caption doesn’t reveal very much information, nor does it tell us where this was taken, but I think the photo speaks for itself. It appears to...

Josh Gibson scores a run in the 1944 Negro League East-West All-Star Game at Comiskey Park

Notable People & Places

Negro League Star Held in Hospital for Mental Observation

The title of this article caught my eye: “Josh Gibson Held in D.C. for Mental Observation.” If you’re a baseball fan, you know that Josh Gibson was probably one of the greatest and most feared hitters...

Classroom scenes in Washington, D.C. public schools: studying live dog, 5th Division -1899 (Library of Congress)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Studying a Live Dog in Kindergarten

Here’s an interesting scene that you probably wouldn’t see kindergarten today. This classroom of children is learning about, what appears to be, the anatomy of a live dog. This was taken by the local great, Frances...

Montgomery County, Maryland. The roller coaster at Glen Echo Park in 1926. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Upsy-Downsy-Daisy Roller Coaster

The image below is great, especially when you click on it for a larger version. Check out the expressions of the riders … priceless. Relative to what we have today, this is probably a joke, but...

Washington circa 1910. "Congress Heights Dramatic Club." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Updates from the Blog

Time For Another Break … and Sleeping Beauty

GoDC is 450 posts in now and we’re going to take this next week off to recharge. Hopefully you won’t miss us too much. We will get out an email and fire out a few tweets...

August 21, 1922. "Citizens' Military Training Camp, Camp Meade" (Fort Meade, Md.). National Photo Co. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

The Citizens’ Military Training Camp

This is a great moment in time captured on film. It’s a group of young men at the Citizens’ Military Training Camp in Maryland, which was a camp to teach young men how to be civilian...

Washington, D.C., 1912. "Mrs. William E. Borah, (wife of) Senator from Idaho, in Baker Electric." Harris & Ewing glass negative. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Mrs. Borah and Her Baker Electric Phaeton

Take a look at this photo from Shorpy. The woman in the car is Mary McConnell Borah. The wife of Idaho senator, William Borah, she was 42 years old at the time of this photo. Mary...

Guest Posts, Notable People & Places

The 2012 Nationals and the Ghost of Walter Johnson

This is a guest post by Rick. He also wrote a good one on the alley dwellings in Foggy Bottom. The District’s baseball fans are beginning to believe that the 2012 Nationals may actually make it...

Lacross game at Central High School circa 1930 (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Oxford-Cambridge Lacrosse Team at Central High School

Check out this photo from around 1930. What is up with the ridiculous striped uniforms? This is a shot of a lacrosse game being held at Central High School (now Cardozo). The game was between Oxford-Cambridge and...

Spring Valley Baist real estate map in 1913

From GoDCers

From a GoDCer: Miller-Built Homes in Spring Valley

I received the following email the other day from a GoDCers up near AU Park and Spring Valley. Hello, I love your website. Thank you for researching DC history! I grew up in AU Park —...

U.S.S. U.S.A.T. in drydock for repairs - 1916 (Wikipedia)

A Personal Story, Faces & Places of Yesterday

More on Marjorie Morris, the “Whoopee Party” Girl

I was trying to dig up a photo, or at least some more information on what happened to Marjorie. I was able to find two documents related to her on Ancestry.com. The first one I found...

Dupont Circle in 1900

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Old Photo: Dupont Circle in 1900

Here’s a great shot of Dupont Circle. You can clearly make out the Patterson House (now the Washington Club) in the background. What an amazing shot frozen in time. Check it out below. It’s Google Street...

Richard and Patty Nixon in 1952

Notable People & Places

Senator Nixon Signs Discriminatory Restrictive Covenant

Richard Nixon, senator from California and Vice President of the United States once signed a restrictive covenant preventing African-Americans from buying his home in American University Park.

Smartly dressed couple seated on an 1886-model bicycle for two. The South Portico of the White House, Washington, D.C., in the background. 77-RP-7347-4. (National Archives)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Funky 1886 Bicycle Built for Two at the White House

Here’s a good find from the National Archives. It’s a very well dressed couple riding an odd-looking bicycle (or quad-cycle), just south of the White House. Related articles Email From a GoDCer: Alexander Graham Bell’s Georgetown...