Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Washington tenements, Nov. 1935.

Washington Tenement Housing in 1935

Any idea where this photo was taken? Our alleys no longer look like this, but at one point, many people used to live in D.C. alleys. This was tenement housing in Washington. Source: Shorpy

House Bill Proposes Renaming D.C. to Reaganstown in 2005

Believe me, this came as a shock to us as well when we came across an article in the Washington Post about renaming the nation’s capital after the 40th president, Ronald Reagan. The proposal came from...

The Little Green House on K Street

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng  At a first glance, there is nothing monumental about 1625 K Street NW. A bland building occupies the space, along with several nondescript businesses and a parking...

Why Is It Named Woodley Park?

The namesake in England no longer stands as it was torn down in 1962, but the one in Woodley Park is still there. In 1950 it became the property of the Maret School and currently serves...

Charles Lindbergh with his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis

Charles Lindbergh Parade in D.C.

Charles Lindbergh was celebrated with a huge parade in Washington, D.C. upon returning from his historic 1927 transatlantic flight.

February 1930. Washington, D.C. "Army Airship C-41 lands on Mall and airmen, led by Brigadier General William J. Flood of the 19th Airship Company, place wreath at Lincoln Memorial, honoring Lincoln's Birthday."

Military Blimp Floats Over Lincoln Memorial

Check out this cool image from 1930. This is a military C-41 blimp floating near the Lincoln Memorial in honor of Abe Lincoln’s birthday. Also, you can check out film footage of this at Critical Past.

Bird's-eye view of Washington

What Did D.C. Look Like in 1872?

Here’s a cool bird’s-eye view of the Capitol and the rest of Washington from 1872. Source: Library of Congress

What is This Mystery Smokestack on Capitol Hill?

There is a mystery smokestack on Capitol Hill. You may have seen it behind St. Peter’s Church at 2nd and C St. SE. Below is an image sent to us by GoDCer Geoff a while back,...

Tornado Severely Damages D.C. in 1927

On November 17th, 1927 a large tornado ripped through the area, destroying over 200 homes in D.C. and 300 structures in Alexandria. Up to 50 people were injured, but we only found one reported death, which...

Photos of 1940s D.C. Streetcar Life

With all the buzz about whether the H Street streetcar will happen or not, we thought it would be a great idea to share some images of what streetcar living was like back in the middle...

Alexandria real estate advertisement (1920)

Locate These Mystery 1920 Alexandria Homes

Can you find these homes today? I did some sleuthing and the best I could come up with was E Walnut St between Little St. and Mt. Vernon Ave. The directions in the advertisement seem to...

West Woodridge

1922 Ad for Woodridge and Brookland Real Estate

Here is an advertisement in The Evening Star for real estate in West Woodridge, off of Rhode Island Ave. NE. It was printed on May 6th, 1922. For a little context, on May 5th, construction began on Yankee...

Detailed Civil War Map of Northern Virginia

Now this is an incredible, detailed map of Virginia outside of Washington. Click on it for a much larger version. Source: Library of Congress

The Pennsylvania Avenue Childs around 1917

Before Fast Food, There Was Childs’ Food

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng Before the modern fast food restaurant, there was Childs Restaurant. Childs was a chain that originated in New York City and spread southward, eventually opening franchises in...

Monument ("Washington Monument"), Washington, D.C. Rendered perspective

Washington Monument Could Have Looked Like This

We posted some great old alternative designs for the Lincoln Memorial a while back and they were quite popular. Well, we dug up one for the Washington Monument which you’ll surely enjoy. This one is dated...

Exterior of the Knickerbocker on opening day, 1917

The Knickerbocker Theatre Tragedy

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng Winter storms like hurricanes are regularly named every year. This naming practice, however, was not always the norm. One snowstorm that hit DC in 1922 was named...

Heurich Brewery in 1910

Photo of Heurich Brewery in 1910

This is a great old photo of the Heurich Brewery, taken in 1910. The brewery stood on the current site of the Kennedy Center. Source: Library of Congress

The Girl Scout Little House around 1924. It appears the house is in transit, as evidenced by the raised foundation

The Little House in DC Plays Unique Role in Girl Scout History

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid. Unlike a lot of girls I knew, I stayed a Girl Scout until my late teen years....