Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

advertisement for The Birth of a Nation

The Most Glorious American Epic: The Birth of a Nation

Here’s a fascinating article from the Washington Times, printed on April 22nd, 1916. For those of you unfamiliar with The Birth of a Nation, it’s a crazy racist film which was banned in a number of...

The Hall was named for Thomas Copley, S.J. (ca. 1595-1652). Among its many external decorations is a large Latin inscription on its middle gable which reads: 'Moribus Antiquis Res Stat Loyolaea Virisque.' This has been translated as: 'Loyola’s Fortune Still May Hope To Thrive, If Men and Mold Like Those of Old Survive.' The south gable bears the family crest of St. Ignatius Loyola who founded the Society of Jesus, the lily of the seal of the University of Paris where he was educated, and the seal of the Society of Jesus.

Georgetown’s Copley Hall in 1931

Here is a photo of the new Copley Hall in 1931. Source: Georgetown University Library

Feb. 9, 1928. Washington, D.C. "Peter Pan, wire-haired terrier pet of the personal secretary to President Coolidge and Mrs. Edward T. Clark, arrived at the White House today attired in 'flapper galoshes'."

Peter Pan Wearing Rubber Galoshes (Bizarre)

What is better than a dog wearing galoshes? Ghost Dog doesn’t plan on getting these anytime soon. But, I think you can see why I had to post it. Oh, and it happens to be the...

Washington, D.C., circa 1921. "People's Drug Store, Seventh & K, night." With a lurid display of "trusses and rubber goods." National Photo Co.

Amazing Photo of People’s Drug Store at 7th and K

What an incredible photo. Thanks to Shorpy for posting this one. Source: Shorpy The building above is the old People’s Drug Store at 7th and K  St. NW (where it intersects Mass. Ave.) and below is...

1906 Ford

1906 Speed Limit Set: 12 Miles Per Hour

This is an amusing little piece that we dug up in the Baltimore Sun from April 7th, 1906. Ever complain about the speed limits in the city today? Take a look at what they were like...

1947 Washington, D.C.

1947 View of the Capitol

We love streetcars and old photos of the Capitol Building. Here’s one from 1947. Source: Jalopy Journal

Members of Georgetown University’s track team, complete with running shoes, pose somewhat incongruously in front of the card catalog in Riggs Library

Sweet Georgetown Track Uniforms

Where can I get a sweet outfit like this? These polished gentlemen are not prisoners … they’re members of the Georgetown University track team in 1901. Source: Georgetown University Library

Balloon view of Washington, D.C., Harper's Weekly, July 27, 1861, p. 476. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-71022. Smithsonian Institution Building can be seen at the top center east of the Potomac River and Virginia, Washington Canal visible, proceeding from the Potomac River due east and then southeast.

1861 View of Washington From a Balloon

This is a cool print we found on the Library of Congress website. Source: Library of Congress

bike couriers exit the White House to deliver the news of Pearl Harbor

Crowd Gathers at White House As News of Pearl Harbor Breaks

Here is a fascinating article that we dug up in the Washington Post, printed the day after Pearl Harbor, December 8th, 1941. A crowd arose, as though from the streets in front of the White House,...

View from the south tower of Healy Hall at Georgetown University, looking towards Washington, D.C., with the Washington monument in the distance

Great View of Washington Monument from Georgetown

This is a terrific old photograph from the south tower of Healy Hall. It’s looking over the Potomac River toward the Washington Monument in 1890. Source: Georgetown University Library

Welcome to GoDC 3.0 … The New Site is Live!

After a fair bit of work, we’re psyched to show off our new slick design. Hopefully you like it! And yes, we are now soliciting more ads and sponsorships, because the site doesn’t pay for itself,...

Classic 1937 Photo! Georgetown Student Gives the Middle Finger

I love this. Add some color, put it on Instagram or Facebook, and this happens today. Things never change. Source: Georgetown University Library

1891 map of street lamps

1891 Map of Washington’s Street Lamps

This is an interesting and unique map … probably not one you’ve seen before. It shows all the underground cables, mapped in 1891. At the time there were only 321 electric lamps, mostly along major thoroughfares,...

McKinley Tech

Three Stories About McKinley Tech

We received the following tweet the other day from GoDCer @HaroldPettigrew, and thought it was a good idea to dig up some stories on McKinley Tech. Always a great read on one of my favorite blogs,...

Analoston Island

Amazing 1874 View of Analoston and Aqueduct Bridge

This is awesome. Thanks to Georgetown University for this one. Source: Georgetown University Library

White House fence

Bizarre Suicide at the White House Fence

This is such a bizarre story, not unlike the horse that impaled itself on that same fence. This story was printed in the Baltimore Sun on October 11th, 1890. Washington, Oct. 10.–One of the most remarkable...

Plan of the Rebel attack on Washington, D.C., July 11th and 12th, 1864.

Map of Rebel Attack on Washington

Here’s a great old map that we found, showing Jubal Early’s Rebel attack on Washington. Source: Library of Congress

early map of Washington

Early Map of Washington and the Patawmack

That’s right, the Patawmack River, not the Potomac. Check out this cool map of what would become the City of Washington. It was done around 1893, near the city’s centennial. Source: Library of Congress