Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

March 4th, 1920 headline

From the Crazy Vault

Aviator Leaps to His Death Near Buzzard Point

Here’s a crazy story from the 1920s. We dug this up in the Washington Post, printed on March 4th, 1920. Failure to properly judge the wind yesterday cost one man his life when two parachute demonstrators...

soldiers amid 1968 riot ruins

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Historical Events

Soldiers Amid Ruins of ’68 Riots

No commentary needed on this one. A sad day for D.C.

Gonzaga school bus

Other Cool Stuff

Gonzaga School Bus in 1923

This is an old clip from the Washington Post that we dug up from September 30th, 1923. It shows an old school bus that Gonzaga had procured to transport their athletic teams around the city and...

MLK and "I Have a Dream"

Notable People & Places

MLK Waves to Crowd from Lincoln Memorial

Here’s a terrific photo from the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. MLK is waving to the crowd from the Lincoln Memorial. Don’t forget to check out this amazing one from the same day.

Abraham Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address

Historical Events, Notable People & Places

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Abraham Lincoln was sworn in for his second term as president and delivered his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865. There are a couple interesting things we picked out of this photo. First, when you...

Other Cool Stuff

History of the National Press Club Spelling Bee

Here’s a great video contribution by GoDCer Tom H. http://vimeo.com/74463856

Brookland's old bowling alley

Guest Posts, Other Cool Stuff

Brookland Bowling Alley (The Facade Today)

3726 10th Street NE. That’s two blocks from me. I walk past that address everyday to the Brookland Metro.  Happened to dig up an application to make it a historic landmark, and found out that it...

Alexander Graham Bell

GoDC Challenges

GoDC Challenge: Alexander Graham Bell Quiz

Quick afternoon quiz for you all. And, the prize will be two tickets to Jim Lehrer’s new play BELL, this weekend. First person to correctly answer the following three questions wins. Put your answer in the...

Children playing in the Defrees Alley, NE Washington, D.C.; Near Capitol Building; One basement room rents for $9.00 a month, two rooms upstairs for $ 16.00, one bath and cold water in the hall for entire building.. Wolcott, Marion Post -- Photographer

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Defrees Alley Near the Capitol Building

Here’s a fascinating photograph of living conditions that no longer exist in Washington. This is Defrees Alley in Northeast. It was located between I, K, North Capitol and First St.

American Express advertisement 1929

Old Ads & Classifieds

Cool 1929 American Express Advertisement

Check this out. A really old advertisement for AmEx from May 29th, 1929. The company was founded in Buffalo, NY back in 1850 (I didn’t know it was that old).

National Mall

Notable People & Places

National Mall Viewed from the Washington Monument

Here’s a cool shot of the National Mall, as viewed from the Washington Monument in 1936. Source: Cornell University

Kalorama home advertisement

Old Ads & Classifieds

2324 Tracy Place: Outstanding Value in Kalorama

Check out this cool advertisement from June 9th, 1929 (just before the Great Depression). It’s for a nice home in Kalorama. And below is what it looks like today, sold in December of 2012 for a...

In 1877 the United States purchased Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's "Fountain of Light and Water" – commonly called the Bartholdi Fountain. Beginning in 2008, the Architect of the Capitol undertook a complete off-site restoration of the cast-iron fountain and made numerous improvements to the basin within Bartholdi Park. The fountain returned to Bartholdi Park in May 2011, and the park is open to the public.

Guest Posts, Notable People & Places

Bartholdi’s Fountain of Light and Water

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, famous sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, was having trouble selling his cast-iron “Fountain of Light and Water.” The fountain had stood near the entrance to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, but...

Paul Stevenson Oles sketch of the Vietnam Memorial

Notable People & Places

Early Sketches of the Vietnam Memorial

Maya Lin was just 21 years old in 1981 when she won the contest to design the Vietnam Memorial. She was still an undergraduate student at Yale, beating out 1,441 other entries. Her design concept was...

January 1918. Washington, D.C. "Billy Sunday tabernacle." A temporary meeting hall built near Union Station for a three-month series of revival meetings held by the famous evangelist. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Great Photo from the Winter of 1918

This is an old photo of the “Billy Sunday tabernacle” near Union Station. Can you recognize any of the landmarks (other than the obvious Capitol and Library of Congress). Source: Shorpy

Washington, D.C. "At 7 a.m. on June 21, 1942, the day before stricter gas rationing was enforced, cars were pouring into this gas station on upper Wisconsin Avenue." If they still made cars that looked like this Packard, we'd run right out and buy one. Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

1942 Photo of Friendship Heights Gas Station

Here’s a cool old World War II-era photograph of Friendship Heights. It shows the old gas station at 5252 Wisconsin Ave. NW, owned by the McDowell family. Source: Shorpy Today, the spot is the location of...

Lincoln Memorial in 1917

Notable People & Places, The Best Of

Lincoln Memorial Originally Built on Marsh Land

This is what the Lincoln Memorial looked like in its early days. This photo is from 1917, during construction of the memorial. Source: Library of Congress Also, don’t forget to check out this post on the...

Henry Bacon sketch of the Lincoln Memorial

Notable People & Places

Henry Bacon’s Early Drawings of the Lincoln Memorial

Check out these great drawings that we dug up at the Library of Congress. These two sketches are early drawings by Henry Bacon, the architect of the Lincoln Memorial. Source: Library of Congress