Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

1890s Photo of the White House

This is amazing. Look how crisp the photo is. Click on it for a larger version. Source: Library of Congress

O Street Market on northwest corner of 7th and O Streets NW. (Emil A. Press Slide Collection, 1959)

Then and Now: O Street Market

Wow, look the the difference (and similarity). Source: Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Check it out today in all its glory.

aerial view of the White House looking north - 1990

Terrific Aerial View of the White House

Here’s a shot that’s probably impossible to get today — unless you’re flying on Marine One. Source: Library of Congress

personal advertisements

Personals: Missing Wife, Dyspepsia, and Cure Your Cocaine Habit

How odd are these old personal ads. I suspect you can imagine some of these on Craigslist today. I’m especially intrigued by the first and last ones. How bizarre. These are from the 1880s, printed in The...

Ford's Theatre

1870s Ford’s Theatre Picture Tells a Story

Here is a fantastic old photograph of Ford’s Theatre that we’ve probably shared previously, but this time it’s extremely high resolution. Thanks to GoDCer Konetidy for sharing this with us via email. Because this photo is...

At 3rd & H Streets, NE, a streetcar passes an unpaved sidewalk and no-longer existing wall, September 1947

What H Street Looked Like in 1947

Very different than today … this is what H St. NE looked like a couple of years after World War II. Source: DDOTDC Flickr

The clean-cut collegiate looks of these two young peace activists do not fit the common stereotype of the long-haired radicals and "peaceniks" who protested against the escalating war in Southeast Asia. They were joined by several hundred thousand anti-war protestors who descended upon the nation's capitol to dissent against what they believed was an immoral war.

I Won’t Fight in Vietnam (1965)

Here’s a photo we came across on Pinterest user Estella Gonzales’ pinboard. Several hundred thousand people had descended on Washington to protest our involvement in the escalating Vietnam War. Source: Penn State Special Collections

Awesome Aerial View of Federal Triangle in the 1980s

What a great shot of Federal Triangle, looking down Pennsylvania Ave. You can also see the Navy Memorial under construction. Source: Library of Congress

A Thanksgiving Sermon, Alexander Crummell

Reverend Alexander Crummell’s Thanksgiving Sermon, November 26, 1895

Reverend Alexander Crummell was an African American who was recognized by WEB Dubois for his abilities in the book Souls of Black Folk (1903). We found the sermon he gave entitled A Thanksgiving Sermon, on November...

Willard Hotel in 1976

1976 View of Willard Hotel Renovation

Here’s a great old photo from 1976. It shows the Willard Hotel, looking northwest across 14th St. Source: Library of Congress

Happy Thanksgivukkah, 1888

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving rarely overlap.  Among its 22 articles covering 2013’s “Thanksgivukkah” holiday mashup, the Washington Post reports that the convergence of turkey and latkes won’t occur again for 77,798 years. How did D.C. media report on this...

Washington Post - March 29th, 1936

Colonial Village Park-and-Shop

Here’s and old ad from 1936 showing a neighborhood that we haven’t yet shared with you — Colonial Village.

Memorial Bridge, looking from the Virginia side of the Potomac River across to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Memorial Bridge and Lincoln Memorial in Color (1940s)

This is a terrific old photo that we found on Flickr. It shows the Lincoln Memorial as viewed across the Memorial Bridge from Virginia. Source: Library of  Congress on Flickr

Finally Found Another Photo of Officer Sprinkle!

On the chance that something related to our favorite police officer had been added to the Library of Congress archives, we ran a quick search this weekend, and sure enough … something came up. Below is...

Sarah Josepha Hale's letter to Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving Proclamations

It was Sarah Josepha Hale that wrote to then President Abraham Lincoln, urging him to establish a dedicated national day of thanksgiving. She sent the letter on September 28, 1863. A digitized version of her letter...

Washington Post - August 5th, 1928

36th and Veazey, North Cleveland Park Advertisement (1928)

Here’s an old ad from the roaring 20s.

Washington Post - August 25th, 1929

1929 Ad for Chevy Chase Gardens Homes

Here’s an old advertisement for Chevy Chase Gardens.

Hotel Washington advertisement from 1918

1918 Ad for Hotel Washington (Now W Hotel)

Currently the W Washington, DC, the Hotel Washington was one of the finest in the city when it was completed. Below is a cool old advertisement from 1918. Source: Library of Congress @GhostsofDC Have you ever...