Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Walter Johnson in 1907

Guest Posts, Historical Events

The Time Walter Johnson Pitched 18 Innings in One Game!

Walter Johnson is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and on May 15, 1918, he delivered a performance that stood out from any of his other games. He pitched a total of 18 innings...

proposed underground streetcar system - 1912

Lost History

Original Subway Planned for Downtown D.C. in 1912

Washington DC almost has a subway started in 1912, well before WMATA and Metro opened in 1976. Learn about what almost was built in the District.

real estate listings - July 21st, 1916

Old Ads & Classifieds

D.C. Apartment Listings in 1916; $10.50 Per Month!

We came across some old real estate listings from The Washington Post, printed on July 21st, 1916. The last few times that we posted listings, they were extremely popular, so here’s another one for you. Times sure...

Guest Posts, Historical Events

Sketches of Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

The Library of Congress has a large collection of graphic arts created over the course of two centuries. They depict famous locations and subjects. There are a large number dedicated to capturing the assassination and aftermath...

Visibility zero unless you lend your binoculars to the navy

Guest Posts

U.S. Navy Needs Your Binoculars for World War II

Between 1936 and 1943 the Work Projects Administration (WPA), about 2,000 posters were designed to promote the arts, community activities, and used for education. The Library of Congress has digitized 907 of these posters. The one...

View of 1523 31st St. NW

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk: Georgetown’s Breiding House at 1523 31st St. NW

I was taking a nice Sunday walk through Georgetown with Mrs. Ghost when we passed a very unique-looking home at 1523 31st St. NW. It caught my eye and I wanted to do a little digging...

1925 Washington Senators

Guest Posts, This Day in History

Senators Demolish the Yankees in 1925 Home Opener at Griffith Stadium

We found this great composite of photos summarizing the opening game for the Washington Senators against the New York Yankees at Griffith Stadium, on April 22, 1925 – 89 years ago last week! This was the...

view of the Jefferson Memorial

From GoDCers

GoDCer Sends 1950s Vacation Photos of D.C.

Thanks to GoDCer Emily for sending these in, and thanks for your love of our site! We love getting notes from readers like that.

Our national capital, viewed from the South

Guest Posts, Notable People & Places

Incomplete Washington Monument in Wood Engraving from 1882

We found this cool wood engraving from 1882, meant to depict the National Mall looking from the South. In the image, you can see buildings like the Smithsonian Institution in the lower middle. Off to the...

Wesley Heights -1891

Old Ads & Classifieds

1891 Ad for Wesley Heights Real Estate

Check out this great old advertisement from The Washington Post in 1891.

Notable People & Places

President Roosevelt’s Son, Quentin Goes Missing

This is clearly a headline that we wouldn’t see today. Sasha and Malia wouldn’t wander off the White House grounds the way young Quentin Roosevelt did, scaring his family and the Secret Service half to death....

Treasury target range completed. Washington, D.C., June 10. The Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., has installed a new and modern target range in the sub basement of the Treasury Building. The range has shielded lights and electrically operated targets, is sound proof and ventilated by a fan which removes gases almost instantly. Entrance to the firing booths is through two doors which act as an air lock and prevent sound and gas from going into the outer rooms. Left to right in the picture: R.P. Hallion, White House Police; J.E. Murphy, assistant chief, Secret Service; E.L. Warden, White House Police; E.D. Murray, chief bonus mate, Coast Guard; Frank J. Wilson, chief of Secret Service; J.J. Cash, White House Police; Adam T. Smith, gunners mate, 1st. class, Coast Guard; and Elmer Irey, coordinator, Treasury Enforcement Services, 6-10-40

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Shooting Range in the Treasury Department Basement

Does anyone know if this still exists? The photo below was taken in June of 1940.

Children and parents on lawn of the White House for Easter Monday egg roll

Notable People & Places

World War II Photo of White House South Lawn

Here’s a photo we dug up at the Library of Congress, and it’s labeled as 1944 during the Easter Monday egg roll. Source: Library of Congress

Japanese lantern stone statue in West Potomac Park

Historical Events

Japan Donates Cherry Trees to DC

We’re back to a few days of cold, nasty weather. This seems like a good time to think back to the gorgeous weekend we just had, and talk about cherry blossoms. In 1912, the Mayor of...

Washington neighborhoods in the 1800s

Lost History

Squalid Sections: Buzzard’s Roost, Ryder’s Castle, Zig-Zag Alley, and Swinghammer Alley

Buzzard’s Roost, Ryder’s Castle, Zig-Zag Alley, and the Barracks are all old neighborhoods which were shanties of dirt and filth. We wrote about the rough-and-tumble lost neighborhood of Murder Bay, and the equally squalid Hell’s Bottom...

Historical Events

Soviet Diplomat Testifies on the Hill

So here is a headline you certainly won’t see every day, and you certainly wouldn’t see something like this in the 1980s. In the Cold War edition of Ghosts of DC, here’s a cool article that...

proposed tunnel system in Washington

Lost History

Never Built Tunnels Under 1960s D.C.

The car culture of America was in full force through the 1950s and 1960s. Sadly, many beautiful cities and neighborhoods were ruined as a result of this push to get rid of streetcars, build up highway...

1925 Washington Tourist Camp

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Featured

Washington Tourist Camp in East Potomac Park (1925)

GoDCer Andy has an amazing collection of D.C. imagery in his Flickr collection. You should definitely check it out. Source: Flickr user Andy Moursund