Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Washington Lions 1948-89

Before Ovechkin: The Washington Lions and Uline Arena

My last post went way back to the 1920s. This one is a couple of decades after that, but well before the Washington Capitals arrived here. Our second “Before Ovechkin” post will cover the Washington Lions...

National Union Building (Wikipedia)

If Walls Could Talk: The New LivingSocial Live Events Center

I came across a great idea while reading Prince of Petworth’s post on LivingSocial yesterday. The DC-based company just opened up their “live events center” in a building at 918 F St. NW, which was the...

Fort Myer in Arlington, VA (1917)

Bandits Reign in Sight of Capitol

Murders Committed, Trains Held Up, and Helpless Women Robbed, But Officers Do Nothing to Check Outlawry, for the “Crimes” Are in Moving Pictures. This was the headline on the front page of the Washington Times on...

Nacotchtank - Captain John Smith's map (1612)

Why Is It Named Anacostia?

Curious why it's named Anacostia? Check out the history which goes back to Captain John Smith in the 17th century.

Eastern High School (1910)

If Walls Could Talk: Eastern High School

I thought it would be a good to branch out and do a on Eastern High School (check them out on Facebook) near RFK Stadium. It’s a beautiful building at 1700 East Capitol St. NE, originally...

Washington Monument under construction

The Washington Monument Under Construction

Construction of the monument began on July 4th, 1848. Progress was slow, and after ten years, construction was halted due to congressional infighting, rising Civil War tensions and lack of funds. It remained in its unfinished...

Children on a swing (1924)

Children Swinging in 1924

This is a photo I came across on Shorpy. It’s of three children, who happen to be the offspring of James J. Davis, the Secretary of Labor in the Harding Administration. Davis was an American steel...

Whitney Houston wins at the 1986 MTV music awards

Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012) in Washington

Whitney Houston is dead at 48. Sadly, I can’t say that I’m surprised, given the downward spiral of her life, beginning with her train wreck marriage to Bobby Brown. It’s really a tragic story. This was...

Washington Star Building (1900)

Then And Now: The Evening Star Building

Here’s a cool “Then and Now” photo set. This is the Washington Star (or Evening Star) Building down at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, right across from the Old Post Office Pavilion. This striking Beaux-Arts building was...

Lou Gehrig in 1939 (NY Daily News)

In Hotel Lobbies: Lou Gehrig Celebrates the New Year in Washington

The Iron Horse himself, Lou Gehrig, was in our city to celebrate the start of a new year in 1929. He was staying at the old Hotel Occidental on Pennsylvania Ave. Lou was quoted in the...

Plain Old Pearson's advertisement (1947)

If Walls Could Talk: Plain Old Pearson’s in Glover Park

I was walking through Glover Park the other day with my wife and she made a great suggestion to do an “If Walls Could Talk” on the neighborhood favorite Pearson’s on Wisconsin. This place has been...

Officer Sprinkle

Friday Roundup: Thanks For Reading and Sharing Ghosts of DC

Five weeks into this blog and the response has been far greater than anticipated. Thank you to everyone for reading and sharing Ghosts of DC with their friends. With your help, we have surpassed 700 followers on...

Pat Garrett

Pat Garrett, Lawman Who Killed Billy the Kid, Visits Washington and Teddy Roosevelt

In December of 1905, Pat Garrett came to Washington to seek reappointment as customs collector in El Paso from his friend President Theodore Roosevelt. Unfortunately for Pat, he had lost his good standing with the President...

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

If Walls Could Talk: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

I’m missing tonight’s slow braised pork shank, but a deal’s a deal (if you’re reading this on Friday, I wrote this Thursday night and ordered take out from Pho 14 … yum). Winner of the inaugural...

Babe Ruth exiting the West Wing

Babe Ruth Visits the White House

This is a man who needs no introduction. Babe Ruth was the biggest celebrity in America during the 1920s. On December 7th, 1921, he was visiting Washington to stop by and say hello to President Harding. Below...

J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan by Paramount Pictures (1924)

First Lady Grace Coolidge Visits the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights

Michelle Obama isn’t the only first lady to set foot in Columbia Heights. Grace Coolidge took the drive up 14th St. to attend a benefit for the Girl Scouts at the Tivoli Theater. The Washington Post...

Nazi saboteur trial, Washington, D.C. The special seven-man military commission opens the third day of its proceedings in the trial of eight Nazi saboteurs in the fifth floor courtroom of the Department of Justice building. Sitting on the commission left to right are: Brigadier General John T. Lewis; Major General Lorenzo D. Casser; Major General Walter S. Grant; Major General Frank R. McCoy, president of the commission; Major General Blanton Winship; Brigadier General Guy V. Henry; Brigadier General John T. Kennedy. (Wikipedia)

Six Nazi Saboteurs Executed in Washington

Most of you probably are not aware that Nazi saboteurs landed on our shores early during World War II. On June 12th, 1942, a Nazi submarine reached the coast of Long Island, landing four German spies...

Congressman Joseph G. Cannon (Wikipedia)

In Hotel Lobbies: Speaker Cannon Comments on Congressional Recess

Congressman Joseph G. Cannon of Illinois is considered by many as the most powerful Speaker of the House in American history. From 1903 to 1911 he was a congressman from Illinois, presiding over the United States...