Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

GoDCers Love Maps

1892 Map of Rural Area Around Tenley

How cool is this old map? It shows a very rural upper northwest Washington in 1892, with the area surrounding what is now Tenleytown. This map is from a U.S. Coast and Geodetic survey. Source: Library...

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice on sidelines with Washington Redskins head coach Joe Kuharich during game versus the Green Bay Packers at Riddick Stadium, Raleigh, N.C., September 11, 1954

Guest Posts

Worst-Ever Season for the Redskins? Quite Possibly 1954

As dismal as this fall has been for fans of the Washington football franchise (want an illustrated history book for Christmas?), the 1954 season might have been even worse. How bad was it? In early November,...

Notable People & Places

Beautiful Night Photo of Capitol (1919)

It’s been a glut of Capitol Building photos this week, but I’m sure you’re okay with that. Especially, since they’re amazing old photos. Here’s another great night shot of the building in the rain, this time...

Jubilant crowd on V-J day dancing on the White House lawn

Historical Events

V-J Day Jubilation at the White House

What a terrific scene, the likes of which most of us don’t understand. August 14th, 1945 was Victory of Japan day and the final end of World War II. This photo captures the excitement and jubilation...

Third in a series of four panoramic photographs of Washington, D.C., from left to right (west to east) taken from a tower in the Smithsonian Institution Building. The Mall area is covered with trees. The streets on the left perpendicular to the Mall are 12th Street and 11th Street. The long building on the right is Center Market bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. Up and behind Center Market on the right, the large building is the Pension Bureau Building bounded by F and G Streets, N.W., between 4th and 5th Streets, designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs, completed in 1887, later occupied by many government agencies and now known as the National Building Museum

Faces & Places of Yesterday

1886 Panorama of D.C. from Smithsonian Castle

What an incredible 360-degree panorama of Washington from 1886. This image was taken from the top of the Smithsonian Castle. Don't miss it!

Other Cool Stuff

Where is This on South Dakota Avenue? (1963)

This is a photo of South Dakota Ave., NE that we found at the Library of Congress. We need a little assistance from GoDCers to identify where these homes are, and if they’re still standing today....

Guest Posts

Ghosts of Heismans’ Past: Jack Scarbath and Bernie Faloney

It’s been more than 60 years since the University of Maryland (here’s a good history book from Amazon) had a serious candidate for college football’s Heisman Trophy. In the early 1950’s, the Terps had two quarterbacks who...

Faces & Places of Yesterday, The Best Of

Really Old Pre-Civil War Photo of Washington

Now this is a really super old photo of Washington from around 1857. Click on it for a much larger version to study it. I believe this is a view looking southeast, and the Washington Monument...

National Bank of Washington--Louisiana Avenue--Central National Bank

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Then and Now

National Bank of Washington in 1892

Here’s a beautiful old photograph of the National Bank of Washington back in 1892. Source: Library of Congress Both of the buildings in the above photo are still there today as shown in the Google Street...

view of the Capitol at night in the snow (1907)

Notable People & Places

Capitol Building at Night in 1907

We posted a cool night photo of the Capitol from 1921. We found another great one, this time from 1907. This was taken by Ernest Crandall. They never get old do they? Source: Library of Congress

Notable People & Places

President Ford’s Second Day on the Job

Here’s a fascinating old photo from President Ford’s Administration. It was taken on August 10th, 1974. That’s important because Nixon resigned the previous day (remember, Nixon’s not a crook). Is it just me, or does he...

Photograph shows lights beaming from the top of the Washington Monument at night, also large lights on the ground, directed up, illuminating the sides.

Notable People & Places

Amazing Washington Monument Photo From 1921

Holy awesome photo. This one was labeled as the Washington Monument on Armistice Night, November 25th, 1921. We posted another Armistice-related photo a while back, but this one beats it. What a terrific photo, and a...

Night view in rain [of Capitol] taken from steps [Neptune Plaza] of Library of Congress

Notable People & Places

Wow. Great Night Rain Photo of Capitol in 1921

This photo is awesome. It was taken in 1921, from the steps of the Library of Congress. And, if you like it, you’re sure to like this one, and this one. Source: Library of Congress

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders of the march], 08/28/1963

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Historical Events

Leaders of the Civil Rights March (1963)

What a terrific old photo from 1963. This is, of course, the Civil Rights March from August 28th of that year and these gentlemen are standing in the Lincoln Memorial. Source: U.S. National Archives

Notable People & Places

1963 March Attendees: Belafonte, Heston, and Davis Jr.

Here’s an interesting trio of celebrities in attendance at the ’63 March on Washington. Sammy Davis Jr., Charlton Heston, and Harry Belafonte. Source: Library of Congress

Faces & Places of Yesterday

What Union Station Looked Like in 1963

What a cool old photo of Union Station (here’s another amazing photo). This was taken by Thomas O’Halloran on August 14, 1963. For some historical context, on August 8th, the Great Train Robbery took place in...

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Historical Events

Women’s Party Arrives With Petition in 1913

Here’s a photo that we dug up from the Library of Congress. It shows a procession in the summer of 1913 coming from Hyattsville to DC to present a petition to Congress.

Picketing the White House at Wilson's second inauguration, March 4, 1917

Historical Events

National Women’s Party Picketing the White House in 1917

Here’s a photo from March 4th, 1917. This was the date of Woodrow Wilson’s second Inauguration and the women picketing the East Wing of the White House are part of the National Women’s Party demanding a...