Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

George Calvert - Baron of Baltimore

Why Is It Named Maryland?

This was cross-posted on Ghosts of Baltimore. Washington, D.C. Received most of its land, about two-thirds, from the state of Maryland when it was formed in the late 18th century. The rest came from Virginia, and...

1900 Howell & Taylor map of Arlington showing early Clarendon

Why Is It Named Clarendon?

Clarendon started as a development off of the Georgetown to Falls Church road (now Wilson Blvd.) and the Washington, Arlington, Falls Church Railway.

Aerial view of Pennsylvania Avenue looking west, showing Federal Triangle and the National Mall. (2006)

Why Is It Named Federal Triangle?

Do you know the origin of the name "Federal Triangle"? Did you know that at one point the area was called "Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle"?

Film Footage of D.C. After 1968 Riots

Here is some really sad and devastating film footage that we dug up showing the city after the riots of 1968.

Amazing 1950s Film Footage of D.C. Streetcars

This is some awesome footage of the old streetcar system here in D.C. from the 1950s. What’s really great is seeing some recognizable spots in the city, like the Dupont Underground, East Capitol St., and of...

1957 Guided Tour of Washington, D.C.

This film footage from 1957 is excellent. Make sure you watch the whole thing and check out the familiar sites.

Robert Mills's original design for the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument’s Original Design

This print shows Robert Mills’ original design for the Washington Monument, clearly a far more elaborate and ornate version of what we have today. Source: Library of Congress

1939 Tourist Footage of Washington

Check out this great film footage of Washington, D.C. from back in 1939.

The Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng. March 3, 2013, was an important day in women’s history, yet it went virtually unnoticed in the public eye. Before women gained the right to vote nationwide...

Old Post Office in 1911

Old Post Office Pavilion Through Fog

Here’s a slightly spooky, yet beautiful photo showing the Old Post Office through a snowy, foggy night in 1911. It’s labeled June 5th, but clearly it didn’t snow then. I’m guessing that was when the photo...

Inside of lodging house and opium den in San Francisco, 1890s (Wikipedia)

Police Raid Opium Den on 10th St. NW

This is probably a headline we wouldn’t see today. We found this in The Washington Post, printed on September 10th, 1894. A big opium joint, which had existed for three months at 425 Tenth street northwest, was...

Dulles Airport tower being built

Old Photos of Dulles Airport Under Construction

Here is a great series of photos we found at the Library of Congress showing Dulles Airport during construction. And finally, here’s a post-construction photo from the parking lot, looking at the new terminal. Source: Library...

Rare Photo of Walter Johnson and Gabby Street

Here is a rare photo that we haven’t yet come across. We found it at the Detroit Public Library, of all places. Make sure you read the story about how Gabby Street was the only person...

Potomac River

Tragic Potomac Drowning Ends Romance

This is a sad story that we came across in The Washington Postfrom June 29th, 1908. John McCalip, 22 years old, an electrician, at the Senate office building, was drowned yesterday while swimming in Broad Creek, on...

Scorecard for 1886 baseball game between Washington Nationals and New York Giants; advertisements printed on borders of card. Printed on card: "Washington, New York." Handwritten on card: "Aug. 18, 1886, Washington, D.C." Penciled notations on scorecard.

1886 Scorecards for the Washington Nationals

What an amazing old baseball find here. This is a scorecard marked up for a game on August 18th, 1886. Also, check out the great advertisements around the scorecard. The Nats, by the way, finished 28-92...

1921 map of Bellevue Highlands

1921 Map of Bellevue Highlands, Southwest D.C.

Take a look at this old map, showing Bellevue at the bottom of the District, or I should say, what would become Bellevue. The map has the area listed as Bellevue Highlands, and surely there were...

3400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Save This Historic D.C. Home

I came across the following Facebook post on Friday and was horrified to see the following post about the beautiful home at 3400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. It’s just awful that the new owner wants to tear down...

Georgetown waterfront

Drunken Sailor Creates Smallpox Scare in Georgetown

This isn’t the measles scare of today’s California. This was an article that we dug up in The Washington Post from May 3rd, 1881. For some historical context, a week before Billy the Kid escaped from jail...