Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

GoDC sweatshirt

GoDC Challenge to Win a Sweatshirt!

Here’s our long overdue GoDC challenge to pass some time today during lunch. The first person to answer all ten questions below in the comments, will win a fancy new Ghosts of DC sweatshirt. You’re going...

Washington, D.C., 1913. "E.F. Droop & Sons Co. music store."

Amazing View of 13th and G Streets in 1913

This block looks extremely different today. Back then, you would find E.F. Droop & Sons music store and Stiebel’s. Source: Shorpy Today, it’s the area around Metro Center. [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?cbp=12,222.43,,1,-4.56&layer=c&panoid=njc-i8b9j94uVG3q3VXCRQ&cbll=38.898314,-77.029783&dg=opt&ie=UTF8&ll=38.866444,-76.988754&spn=0.36515,0.545883&t=m&z=11&source=embed&output=svembed]

aftermath at the Pentagon

September 11th, 2001: The Worst Day

Source: U.S. National Archives If you lived in the area on September 11th, 2001, you’ll remember how beautiful that day was. It was a Tuesday, and I remember driving to work on the inner loop, just about...

View from the Capitol Roof

View from the Roof of the Capitol … in 1861

Not many of us get to see Washington, DC from the roof of the Capitol. None of us ever got to see the view in 1861, but here’s the next best thing. Taken in 1861, this...

1919. "Washington Monument, view from air." Harris & Ewing.

Washington Monument Seen From Above (1919)

Here’s a photo of something that you’re not likely to see today. It’s a shot of the Washington Monument, taken from an airplane directly above it. Source: Shorpy

1906 photo of the Government Printing Office

The “Largest Printing Office in the World” … in 1916

Thanks to the GoDC Editor-in-Chief Tom for letting me drop in and contribute again. I have a number of topics to tick off, so let’s get to it! Back in 2012, there was a little post...

Strange Notices in the Newspaper on the Day of Lincoln’s Death

This is the Evening Star, published the day President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Obviously, the main headline focuses on his death and the attempted murder of Secretary William Seward. But this edition of the paper has...

Washington branch office of Ford - current location of the Canadian Embassy

What Did D.C. Look Like in 1916?

Here are some great images shared with us by GoDCer Adam. These are from Ford Motor Company’s archives showing Washington around 1916.

Washington circa 1910. "Glimpse of White House from Monument Green." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

Distant Photo of the Executive Mansion (1908)

This is another excellent photograph of the White House, thanks to Shorpy. Source: Shorpy

The Senators greet the World Bank

World Bank group attends Washington Senators game at RFK (1962)

From the summer 1962 copy of the International Bank Notes (via World Bank Archives pages, PDF), we hear the story of World Bank President Eugene Black (from 1949-1963) arranging World Bank staff to take in Washington...

Circa 1908. "West front, U.S. Capitol, Washington."

Awesome West Front View of Capitol in 1908

This is an incredible black and white photograph of the Capitol that we haven’t come across before. Source: Shorpy

West side of Blagden Alley 1923

Another Great Photo of Alley Row Houses (1923)

Here’s a great shot of row houses in Blagden Alley. Check out the other photo we posted earlier this week. Source: Shorpy

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Curb work -- car stop on 14th Street N.W." Streetcar infrastructure. Harris & Ewing glass negative.

View of 14th Street Construction From Above (1920)

This is a cool photo we found on Shorpy. It shows a few men doing work on the curbs and streetcar stop. Any GoDCers able to recognize where this is on 14th? I can make out...

This is Bell’s hand-drawn map of downtown Washington, D.C., centered on Scott Circle. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Avenues are all clearly visible on the map—as well as 15th through 19th Streets. At the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 15th Streets, Bell indicated the location of his Washington, D.C., residence by scrawling “A.G. Bell.” The National Geographic Society headquarters on M Street between 16th and 17th Streets would be located on the far left side of this map.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Hand-Drawn Map of Scott Circle

How cool is this?! It’s a hand-drawn map of Washington, centered on Scott Circle. The map is oriented with west at the top, and you’ll see Dupont Circle at the top right. Source: National Geographic The...

advertisement - June 12th, 1879

1879 Ad for “Asbestos” Liquid Paints

… And, it can be applied by the most inexperienced painter. Great news!

Richard Nixon at the Washington Senators versus the New York Yankees baseball game on Opening Day. 4/6/69.

Day Nixon Resigned: MLB Snubs D.C. Yet Again

Our city was screwed out of baseball for 34 years by greedy, self-serving owners. We also narrowly missed landing the Padres for the 1974 season. On August 8th, 1974 — the day Nixon resigned — the...

1854 train tickets

Washington to Chicago for $18 in 1854

This is an old advertisement for railroad tickets between Washington, Baltimore and points west. A ticket from Washington to Cincinnati was $11, Chicago was $18, and St. Louis was $26.50. That ticket to St. Louis is...

early drawing of the Capitol

Early Drawing of Capitol Building

This is a cool drawing that we came across from around the time the Capitol was completed. Source: Library of Congress