Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Robinson and King were receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Robinson had just retired from professional baseball earlier in the year. The photograph was probably taken by either Robert or George Scurlock (Scurlock Studio Records, ca. 1905-1994, Archives Center, National Museum of American History)

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson Together at Howard University

I think you’ll agree that this is some serious history, frozen in time. Both former baseball star Jackie Robinson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. were among a group of prominent individuals receiving honorary...

Capitol Building after World War I Armistace Day (DC Public Library Commons)

Washington Goes Wild to Celebrate Armistice Signing (1918)

Here’s an excellent photo from the DC Public Library Flickr photostream. This shows the Capitol Building fully lit up following announcement of the end of World War I. The end of the Great War has lost...

Lieutenant J. L. Sprinkle

Officer Sprinkle Breaks Up Street Brawl

Here’s a daily dose of DCPD badass Officer Sprinkle. Do not mess with this guy. He means business. Also, this sounds like a little bit of a salacious love triangle. The following story was published in...

White House daguerreotype by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846 (Library of Congress)

Earliest Photograph of the White House

This is an amazing old photograph of the White House taken by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846. The 11th President of the United States , James K. Polk, was the building’s occupant, having succeeded President John...

Shaw's Tavern

If Walls Could Talk: Shaw’s Tavern

Congratulations to the latest “If Walls Could Talk” poll winner: Shaw’s Tavern. Also, congratulations on landing that liquor license. It’s been a long road, but the neighborhood and city is thrilled to have this latest addition...

John DeFerrari's book: Lost Washington, D.C. (Amazon.com)

Read This Book: Lost Washington, D.C.

Are you looking for that next great book about Washington history? John DeFerrari’s book Lost Washington, D.C. is the one for you. John is a native Washingtonian and has a deep passion for our city’s history,...

First Ghosts of DC shirt ... Officer Sprinkle was a badass

The Bambino, Beer, The Tivoli, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Our First T-Shirt and the Vice President of What?

I’m feeling pretty good about this week. It looks like we had some decent posts this week, with few duds … or at least the duds were less crappy. Also, we passed 2,000 followers on Twitter...

Babe Ruth Runs Into Wall; Knocked Unconscious

I can guarantee you will never see a player do this today. Babe Ruth was knocked unconscious for five whole minutes and stayed in the game, going 3 for 3 ... AND played the second game...

Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg - July 7th, 1937 (Library of Congress)

We Want Beer! The 1937 All-Star Game at Griffith Stadium

This … picture … is … awesome. This is why I love baseball. I could almost end the post with just this picture because it’s just that amazing. The 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was...

Connecticut Avenue bridge wreck in 1925 (Shorpy)

Two Die When Car Plunges Off Connecticut Ave. Bridge

Here’s a tragic story for a Friday. On Tuesday, June 16th, 1925, a family was driving down Connecticut Avenue towards the city and in a split second, veered off the road, through a guard railing and...

D.C. Commissioner, Melvin Hazen, who chose the design, is pictured with the new flag October 17th, 1938 (Library of Congress)

What Is The Flag of Washington, D.C.?

You probably didn’t know this, but Washington did not have an official flag until the middle of the 20th century. Many locals really wanted the flag in addition to self-government and a vote (no taxation without...

1880s pen knife

Cries of Murder on Pennsylvania Avenue (1884)

Here is some old craziness to (I hate to use the word) entertain you. This is from the Washington Post on December 6th, 1884. By the way, this just happens to be the same day the...

Teddy Roosevelt on horseback (History.com)

Teddy Roosevelt Whips Young Lady Passing Him on Horseback

Now, I will quickly caveat this as being unconfirmed, but I am merely surfacing an interesting old story from the Baltimore Sun. This was printed on May 13th, 1912. TO THE EDITOR OF THE SUN–Sir: Sometime...

Sailor of woman at the Tomb of the Unknown Solder in 1943 (Library of Congress)

Anonymous World War II Couple Visits Unknown Soldier

This is an amazing old color photo that I came across on the Library of Congress’ website. It was taken by John Collier in May 1943. The unnamed sailor at left appears to be somewhere between...

Sanborn Firemap of Columbia Heights in 1903 (LIbrary of Congress)

Old Columbia Heights: Where the Streets Have New Names

How did Columbia Heights get its street names? This history goes back to the early 1900s when street names came into alignment with the rest of the District.

Janis Joplin (Wikipedia)

Janis Joplin Plays Merriweather Three Weeks Before Woodstock

After The Dead and The Police, I’m on a little bit of a concert kick and this one is pretty sweet. Janis Joplin played Merriweather back in 1969, three weeks before the defining moment of the...

The Police live in 1979

The Police Play the Ontario Theater on Columbia Road

I had heard that Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland (aka, The Police) had played in Adams Morgan and wanted to do a little research into that. Unfortunately, they weren’t a huge band when they played...

Vice President Calvin Coolidge Evacuates the Willard Due to Fire … and an Awkward Encounter

This one made me laugh. This would never happen today … at least I hope it wouldn’t. It’s a story about Calvin Coolidge’s time here at Vice President under Warren Harding. Coolidge and his family arrived...