Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Lincoln's second inauguration

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Extremely Rare 1865 Photo of Lincoln’s Second Inauguration

This photo was taken on March 4th, 1865 on the day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second time. A little over a month later, President Lincoln would be assassinated in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes...

1857 Inauguration

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Historical Events

First Known Photo of Presidential Inauguration (1857)

This is an extremely rare photograph of James Buchanan‘s Inauguration at the East Front of the Capitol Building on March 4th, 1857. It’s a little blurry and not the highest resolution, but amazing nevertheless. The exposure...

Gordon Hotel

Lost History

Beautiful Lost Gordon Hotel at 16th and I Streets

Source: Library of Congress Chances are that most of you aren’t familiar with the old Gordon Hotel (or just The Gordon). It has been long gone from the landscape of 16th St. NW, but once struck...

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Ford Motor Company’s 1922 Educational Film About Washington, D.C.

This is a really interesting film that we found at the National Archives. It was made by the Ford Motor Company in 1922. Source: U.S. National Archives

Image shows a black-and-white engraving published in 1834 to portray Washington, D.C. and the west front of the U.S. Capitol grounds as they were in 1800. Includes the west end of the west grounds and Pennsylvania Avenue, with poplar trees planted in 1803.

Other Cool Stuff

Great First-Hand Description of Washington in 1800; Most Houses, Small Miserable Huts

We often wonder what the city was like in the early days. By all accounts, it was a miserable place to be. We dug up an interesting article in The Baltimore Sun from December 17th, 1853, which...

1921 map of Del Ray

GoDCers Love Maps

1921 Map of an Undeveloped Del Ray

Check out this old map of Del Ray north of Alexandria from back in 1921. It’s amazing to see how undeveloped the area was. The yellow structures are wood frame buildings and the pink ones are...

Exterior of Old National Hotel II

Lost History

Lost National Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue

In keeping with the hotel theme this week, we wanted to share a little bit about the National Hotel, formerly situated at 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., across from where the Indian Queen was. The location is...

1839 print of Pennsylvania Ave.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

In 1839, There Were Cows at 7th and Pennsylvania

Seriously. This city has come a long way from lost sheep and cows on Pennsylvania Ave. Check out this print from 1839. Source: Library of Congress

Brickskeller cocktail waitress

Old Ads & Classifieds

Brickskeller Cocktail Waitress: Where the Action Is!

Want a job? Checking out the classifieds in The Washington Post on December 10th, 1968, you would have come across this one for a cocktail waitress at the old favorite, Brickskeller. Oh, I miss that place. It was...

From GoDCers

GoDCer Writes About Relative Who Was Bodyguard to President Lincoln

We woke up this morning to a great email from a GoDCer. It’s a rather interesting story, so we’d like to share it with the community. Since today is Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday, I would like to...

Walter Johnson in 1939

Notable People & Places

What Did Walter Johnson’s Voice Sound Like? Listen To This 1939 Senators Broadcast.

It’s been extremely difficult for me to track down any audio recording of the greatest pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson. We have written so much about him, and yet, we have no idea what is...

Southern Hotel - 311 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photo of Segregated Southern Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue

Source: Library of Congress The hotel on the left is the Southern Hotel, a hotel for African-Americans which was situated at 311 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The photograph was taken around 1899. Below is the 1903 map...

Nubby Nuckols headlines

A Personal Story

Meet Carroll “Nubby” Nuckols: 1930s Rum Runner and Czar of Gambling

We’ve stumbled across an amazing character from Washington’s past, one to rival (but not surpass, of course) Officer Sprinkle. No doubt, the two of them crossed paths at one point and one was likely well-acquainted with...

Rome Coliseum around 1900

Lost History

Washington Was Originally Called Rome?

Well, one of the estates which made up the original city of Washington was called Rome. Have you heard about Rome, Washington? Probably not, so read on. D.C. has an interested historical connection to the city...

Other Cool Stuff

Photo of Guards at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1995

Here’s a cool photo sent in by one of our GoDC readers, Carol. Thanks for sharing this! I know of one former Tomb Guard who might be able to fill us in on why they were...

Marion Barry arrested by the FBI

From the Crazy Vault, Guest Posts

How Post Photographer Got Picture of Mayor Barry’s Cocaine Bust

Sometimes the story behind the story is almost as sensational as the original news. Nearly everyone remembers when former Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for possession and use of crack cocaine back in 1990. But until...

Nanny O'Briens

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk: Nanny O’Briens

Congratulations to our latest “If Walls Could Talk” poll winner, Nanny O’Briens. We’re going to do a little digging into the history of your building at 3319 Connecticut Ave. NW. The Greek restaurant investor On September...

3459 Macomb St. NW

Old Ads & Classifieds

1925 Ad for Macomb Street Home in Cleveland Park

What a beautiful home. I’ve driven by this home a few times, and it’s amazing. Does anyone happen to know who lives there? Because, if you do, make sure you share this with them. I’m sure...