Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

The Washington Monument

Three Things That Happened at the Washington Monument

The next “Three Things…” post will be about one of the most iconic monument in our city: The Washington Monument. Since the cornerstone was laid on July 4th, 1848 (check out a photo of it under...

Margaret Thatcher Visits President Carter

America was going through some really rough times in 1979, with a gloomy economy, a major oil crisis and the recent hostage situation in Tehran. In the winter of that year, Margaret Thatcher paid her first...

Unknown Soldier from World War I being taken from the USS Olympia at the Washington Navy Yard and transported to the US Capitol to lay in state (DC Public Commons)

The Unknown Soldier’s Arrival in Color (1921)

Here’s a haunting and solemn colorized photo from 1921, much like the Lincoln photo I posted a while back. The Unknown Soldier from World War I had just arrived by ship at the Washington Navy Yard....

Titanic advertisement in the Washington Post (1912)

Sunday Wrap-up: You Dig Dulles, the Beltway and Farragut Square

Did you forget to set your clocks forward? Well, the good news is that it will be light out when you leave work now … and, you can start enjoying some outdoor time after your day...

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower: The First President Videotaped in Color (1958)

I came across this one on YouTube. This was the first time the President of the United States was videotaped and then broadcast in color. This is the earliest surviving color videotape. It was filmed on...

Picture of Washington (1840)

Making Sense of D.C. Taxes in 1840

I’m reading a very interesting book about Washington published in 1840 titled “A Picture of Washington.” I just got to the part where it starts talking about the taxes in the city … I have to...

Titanic survivors (history.com)

Titanic and Carpathia Ads in the Washington Post

Wow, these are fascinating. This is the best “Old Ads and Classifieds” post yet. Scanning the Washington Post from February 29th, 1912 (another leap year) I came across these, frozen in time. The first one below is...

National Airline advertisement in the Washington Post (1955)

This Day in History: National Airlines Advertisement on March 8th, 1955

We haven’t done a “This Day in History” post in a while, so here is one from 1955. I found an old ad in the Washington Post for National Airlines.

Capital Beltway

What Is The History of the Capital Beltway?

Love it. Hate it. It has some of the most confusing terminology for out-of-towners. Inner loop of what? Outer loop? But there’s only one Beltway. Wait, I’m on 495, but also 95, and that’s 295? That’s...

Antique bottle of gin

A Quart of Gin Leads to Death

I haven’t posted a crazy story in a while, so here is one from November 14th, 1893. I found this in the Washington Post. In a spirit of bravado Saturday afternoon, George H. Shorter, a laborer...

Farragut Square circa 1881 (maritimequest.com)

Three Random Stories About Farragut Square

What is the history of Farragut Square in Washington, DC? Read three great stories from its past.

Dulles Airport at night

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Dulles Airport

Know the history of Dulles Airport outside Washington? It was born in the 1960s as the first airport specifically built for jet aircraft.

Miss Ann O'Connell (1924)

They Were Neighbors: Annie O’Connell and The Irish Block

Every time I see an old photo like this on Shorpy, I want to know more about the person staring back at me. Where did they live? What was their occupation? Who were their family members?...

Bus going through the snow near Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Circle

Snow Ain’t Over Yet … In 1942

The weather has been awesome lately, and frankly, this has been a really easy winter. Well, that doesn’t mean it can’t snow this late in the winter or even in early spring. Early on during World...

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. Photo credit: Jennifer Kolansky

If Walls Could Talk: Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

Last week’s winner of the “If Walls Could Talk” poll was Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. They altered the look and feel of the tavern-heavy block of Pennsylvania between 2nd and 3rd St. SE and have...

Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown: The Godfather of Go-Go

The weather is awesome today, so you should spend it outside, not reading this blog. You can come back and finish reading later in the afternoon. While you finish up your coffee and breakfast, check out...

Washington Bullets logo

That’s The Reason I’m a Bullets Fan

Old school Bullets fans will remember this post-Bel Biv Devoe jam from the ’94-’95 season … You Da Man! The Bullets were 21-61 that year. Ugh. Related articles VIDEO: Former Bullets Forward Tom Gugliotta Ejected From...

David Burnes' cottage in 1894 prior to razing (PGCist on Flickr)

Washington is Composed of Land from 19 Original Owners

19 original landowners were negotiated with, directly by George Washington in March, 1791. He met them during the day and in the evening, closed the deal with them at Suter's Tavern in Georgetown.