Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

The President's 40-horsepower White Model M steam-powered touring car. March 1909. Photographed on the White House grounds in the early days of the Taft administration. In the back is the State Department, now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. George Grantham Bain Collection.

U.S. Senate Imposes 50 Percent Tariff on Foreign Cars

No more foreign cars! They’re an abomination and a detriment to our economy … and society at large. Or so said many nearly 110 years ago. No, this wasn’t Trump’s America, it was the land of...

Photograph of a View of the Entire Site for the National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

View of National Archive Site Construction in 1932

This lovely old image shows the site of the National Archives early in the construction process. It was taken on July 1st, 1932.

Arlington County, Va., circa 1941. "National Airport. Plane in front of passenger terminal and control tower." Photo by Theodor Horydczak.

National Airport Way Back in 1941

This lovely old photo was taken in 1941. You're looking at the old terminal (then the only terminal) at National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

1919 Presidential Pierce Arrow

Where Is This Car?

Okay GoDCers! This is a photo shared by a fellow reader Eric. He sent it in quite a while ago, so I’m a bit late on sharing this with the group. But, I promised to crowd-source...

Before 2Amys on Macomb Street

This isn’t a full “If Walls Could Talk” post since we couldn’t find a ton of information on 3715 & 3713 Macomb St. NW. But, since I was having pizza there (again) with my wife and...

600 block of Independence Ave. SW in 1941

Independence Avenue Before the FAA Headquarters

Take a look at the building below. This is the Federal Aviation Administration’s headquarters on Independence Ave. SW. It obviously didn’t always look like this. Now look below at what the block looked like in 1941,...

Piggly Wiggly advertisement in 1922

Awesome Piggly Wiggly Advertisement

Piggly Wiggly is a seriously southern brand, which no longer exists in Washington. But here’s a cool old advertisement showing the Pig back in 1922. Source: Library of Congress

The White House during the Civil War

The White House Before Fences and Security

Can you even believe this photo. This dude is just sitting on what appears to be a low stone wall on the south side of the White House. This would be E St. today and if...

Negro laborers at Alexandria, near coal wharf

Negro Laborers at Alexandria Wharf

This photo was posted by the National Archives and labeled as “negro laborers, near coal wharf.” This beautiful old photo shows the faces of regular African-Americans in the 1860s, living and working around Alexandria. Photos like...

National Archives building in 1933

Skeleton of National Archives Building in 1933

This is what the National Archives building looked like before it took shape in the 1930s. What a fascinating old photo. Source: National Archives

31 March 1963 President John F. Kennedy and family watch Caroline Kennedy riding a horse named "Tex" at Camp David. "Tex" is wearing a blue and gold Moroccan saddle, a gift to President Kennedy from King Hassan II. Photograph includes: (L-R) Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and President Kennedy. Camp David, Maryland. Please credit "Robert Knudsen, White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"

The Kennedys at Camp David

This photo was taken on March 31st, 1963. It shows the whole Kennedy clan happily spending some time together at Camp David. Caroline is on top of the horse, while little John holds his mother’s hand....

11th and L St. NW in the 1920s

Look at 11th Street NW Back in the 1920s

Here’s a great old photo of Washington back in the 1920s. You’re looking down 11th St. NW from L St. Source: National Archives And here is what it looks like today on Google Street View. You...

Flying Saucers Over the Capitol and White House

The hot summer of 1952 witnessed some bizarre lights floating over the District. Evidently for many nights in July, sightings were reported of up to seven lights flying around the night sky, including over the Capitol...

Griffith Stadium from the air in 1925

Best Aerial Photo of Griffith Stadium in 1925

We’ve looked for a high resolution image of Griffith Stadium for quite some time. We finally dug one up at the National Archives. Check it out below. Source: National Archives Here’s another great one we found.

1876. Photographer: W.W. Core, Washington, D.C. Frederick Douglass is standing on the front lawn of his home on A Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. Other family members are standing out on the front porch on both side of the houses.

Rare Photo of Frederick Douglass in Front of His Home

This amazing find was dug up courtesy of the National Park Service. You’re look at a grainy image of Frederick Douglass standing in front of his home on Capitol Hill at 320 A St. NE. The...

Aerial view of the Willard Hotel during restoration, Washington, D.C.

Photo of Willard Hotel Undergoing Major Renovation

This is an aerial image of the Willard Hotel undergoing major renovations in the 1980s. Source: Library of Congress

1898 Washington, DC

Lovely 1898 Map of Washington

This terrific old map of Washington by Rand McNally is from 1898. Source: Library of Congress

Chevy Chase home at 4104 Harrison St. NW

Attractive Chevy Chase Home at 4104 Harrison Street NW

We love sharing old real estate advertisements from the area. Check this one out, showing a home in Chevy Chase, published on January 6th, 1923. Source: Library of Congress And below is the Google Street View.