Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

opening day at National Airport (source: MWAA)

Notable People & Places

June 16th, 1941: The Day National Airport Opened for Business

Who doesn’t love National Airport (correct, not Reagan)? There is no argument that the approach from the north as you’re landing, has the best views of any approach to a major urban airport. Just make sure...

parade in honor of Nicaraguan President - May 5th, 1939

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Dazzling Display For Visiting Nicaraguan President (1939)

This is a photograph we dug up at the Library of Congress. It shows a parade in honor of Nicaraguan President Gen. Anastasio Somoza, visiting the city on May 5th, 1939.

eastward view down Pennsylvania Avenue

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Stunning 1905 Landscape Photographs of Pennsylvania Avenue

What a beautiful photograph. This was taken by the Rotograph Company in 1905 with a eastward view down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol. Source: Library of Congress Below is the opposite westward view down Pennsylvania Avenue...

view from White House over front lawn in 1897

Notable People & Places

View From Second Floor Bedroom of White House in 1897

Ever wonder what it looks like to look out over the front lawn and Lafayette Park. Well, this photo from the Library of Congress shows what it would have looked like out of the second floor...

Driving Spots in the Washington Times - April 10th, 1915

In the Paper

April 10th, 1915: Popular D.C. Driving Spots in 1915

Here’s an interesting page from the Washington Times on April 10th, 1915. It shows a series of photos from popular driving spots in and around Washington.

car crossing Rock Creek

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Featured

Old Photo of Rock Creek Crossing

Here’s a cool photo of a car crossing a part of Rock Creek in the 1920s. Source: Library of Congress And here is, what appears to be, the same location in Rock Creek, this time being...

Fourth of July celebration in Rock Creek

Faces & Places of Yesterday

July 4th, 1914: A Celebration in Rock Creek Park

We dug up this great photo on the Library of Congress’ site. This shows a group of people in Rock Creek Park on July 4th, 1914, celebrating Independence Day. There were grand festivities across the city,...

Rock Creek Parkway

The Best Of

1886 Plan to Fill In and Build Over Rock Creek

This is an awesome find. We dug up a fascinating article in the Washington Post from May 23rd, 1886. This was for a proposed tunnel diverting the creek’s path. A large impetus for the this plan...

Historic Train station in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Why Is It Named...?

Why Is It Named Gaithersburg?

For this edition of “Why Is It Named…?” we will head out to the Maryland suburbs of Gaithersburg. Do you know the town’s origin? We certainly didn’t, until a little sleuthing (and Wikipedia-ing) uncovered the story....

Native American in Rock Creek Park

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Native American Shoots Bow and Arrow Near Rock Creek

This is an odd photo from 1924. It’s clearly a staged shot of a Native American posing with his bow and arrow in Rock Creek Park. Source: Library of Congress

1865 Civil War map of D.C.

Faces & Places of Yesterday, GoDCers Love Maps

Civil War Military Map of D.C. Area

We dug up this terrific Civil War map, circa 1865, at the Library of Congress. It shows Washington and the surroundings, including roads and forts near the end of the war. Source: Library of Congress

One Of The Bicyclists Holds Her Ears Against The Roar Of The Jet, Taking Off From National Airport, May 1973

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Gravelly Point View of Plane Taking Off in 1973

How many times have you been down to Gravelly Point? It’s definitely one of the best spots to relax on weekends and watch the planes land or takeoff from National Airport. Here’s a shot of four...

Aqueduct Bridge in the 1860s

Faces & Places of Yesterday

[Correction] Not Georgetown’s Aqueduct Bridge in the 1860s

UPDATE: GoDCer Jerry has correctly pointed out that this is not the Aqueduct Bridge. The National Archives has mislabeled this and it’s actually the Pennsylvania Ave. bridge over Rock Creek. You can see it here. I...

From the Crazy Vault

Former Capitol Policeman Shoots at Senator

This was a headline that caught my eye. Can you imagine the media frenzy if something like this happened today? Below is the article that I dug up in the Baltimore Sun, published on July 13th,...

Dupont Circle underpass construction

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Dupont Circle Underpass Construction

We did a post on the construction some time ago. Here’s another great photo of it from DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos

Faces & Places of Yesterday, The Best Of

OMG! Retro Metro … This Informercial is Amazing

This. Is. Awesome. Thanks to GoDCer Harrison for sharing this. We first came across it on InTheCapital. Is this the best 70s video or what?

"Beef Depot Monument" - 1862

Notable People & Places

Beef Depot Monument (i.e., Washington Monument)

Prior to completion, the Washington Monument was an eyesore, sitting as an unfinished stub. For some time, it was used as grounds to raise cattle and inside, they would slaughter the cows for beef. Source: Library...

November 25th, 1941 - Washington Post

Other Cool Stuff

D.C. Must Have Subway System Eventually

Doing a little more research on the subway debate in Washington, here is another interesting article we dug up in the Washington Post from November 25th, 1941 (t-minus 12 days to Pearl Harbor). The most fascinating...