Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Georgetown waterfront

From the Crazy Vault

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...

General Post Office from the corner of 8th Street and E Street, NW, Washington, D.C., the shop of Elija Dyer, merchant tailor, on the left

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Rare Old 1846 Photo of Old Post Office

This is an amazing old photo of the General Post Office, which still stands in Gallery Place today. Check out the beautiful image below, which is from 1846. The building is now the Washington Monaco Hotel. Source:...

1920 Washington Senators

Featured, Notable People & Places

Washington Senators 1920 Spring Training Photo

This photo shows the Washington Senators team during spring training of 1920. They came in sixth place out of eight that year, finishing 68-84. A short few years later, they would be world champs. Source: Detroit...

Naked wild man

From the Crazy Vault

Who Was the Naked Wild Man of Tennallytown?

The newspapers during the summer of 1894 were full of bizarre stories about a wild man wandering the vicinity of Tennallytown (when was it renamed Tenleytown?). Beginning on July 22nd, sightings of a “half-nude crazy man” were happening...

Manager Stanley Harris, in the grandstand, presents President Coolidge with the baseball used to open the 1924 World Series (October 4th, 1924)

Historical Events, Notable People & Places

President and Mrs. Coolidge Go to World Series

The Washington Senators were in the World Series in 1924, and ultimately would come away victorious. What you might not know is that Grace Coolidge (she also spent some time in Columbia Heights) was a huge...

Fort Stevens in 1864

Historical Events

Civil War Reaches Tennallytown

Some of you may recall the naming debates we posted about Tenleytown some time ago. We did some more history sleuthing for some good stories about the neighborhood and came across a great article from The Baltimore...

Taken by Sidney Duff in Washington, DC. Union Station was completed in October 1908. Here, only one of the six statues have been installed over the entrance. Another photo from the set shows the Tidal Basin frozen over, causing me to guess that this is January 1908.

Notable People & Places

Union Station Under Construction

This is a terrific photo that we dug up on Flickr. It shows Union Station under construction in the early 1900s. We also cross-posted this on Cool Old Photos. Source: Rob Ketcherside

Old Ads & Classifieds

America Online Commercial From 1995

This is great. It’s an old commercial for America Online. Sometimes we forget the Internet of the 1990s, but this is a great example of what life was like 20 years ago. Brings back some great...

Historic American Buildings Survey Photographer unknown, c. 1938 EXTERIOR FROM SOUTH Copied from print in files of National Capital Region, National Park Service, Washington, D. C. - Godey Lime Kilns (Ruins), Junction of Rock Creek & Potomac Parkway, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

Lost History

What Were the Godey Lime Kilns?

Have you driven up Rock Creek Parkway (when did it become one-way?) from the Watergate (check out this amazing aerial photo) and wondered what those bizarre stone structures were on the right as you pass Whitehurst...

Columbia Heights Tivoli Theater commercial

Historical Events, The Best Of

Photos of Columbia Heights After ’68 Riots

Here is a series of amazing photos that we came across on Flickr showing the 1968 riots in D.C. We’ve posted some stuff on the riots in the past, like this film clip, and these photos....

The Best Of

Never Built Three Sisters Bridge Across the Potomac

This is a story that is most likely unknown to the great majority of GoDCers. Long-time DC residents may remember the controversy over the bridge that was to be built, connecting Virginia and the District, right...

Who is the man in the middle?

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Who Is The Man in the Middle?

Can any GoDCer help us identify the man in the middle? GoDCer Josh sent this in back in January and we’re now getting around to posting it (sorry it took so long Josh). Below is the...

LBJ throws out first pitch

Notable People & Places

President Johnson and Opening Day 1967

We’re way late on this, but better late than never. This is a terrific photo shared with by old GoDC friend Phil. Thanks for sending this along Phil, and so sorry it took a little extra...

Old Ads & Classifieds

1906 Coca-Cola Advertisement

We love old ads here at Ghosts of DC and this is a great one from The Evening Star, printed on June 24th, 1906. Source: Library of Congress Three weeks later, Alfred Dreyfus was exonerated, bringing...

Notable People & Places

When Was This Photo of the Lincoln Memorial Taken?

GoDCers, can you help out? When do you think this image of the Lincoln Memorial was taken? Source: bluebird87

Pullman autos are extremely rare. They were mass produced between 1905 and 1917 but less than 30 are known to still exist today.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

What Did 4th and G St. Look Like in 1912?

Check out this great find from Flickr. This shows a series of Pullman autos in front of 445 G St. NW in 1912. Source: William Creswell

Aerial view of U.S. Capitol and crowd on the grounds of the east front of the U.S. Capitol, during the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

Historical Events

Aerial View of Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inauguration

Check out this amazing old photo of FDR’s inauguration and then compare it to this one of Eisenhower and this of Obama. Source: dullshick

Why Is It Named...?

Why Is It Named LeDroit Park?

Well, you might not know this, but there really was a Mr. LeDroit … sort of. LeDroit Park was established as one of the first suburbs of Washington, D.C. That’s kind of hard to believe right,...