Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Francis H. Robinson (December 27th, 1919)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

White House Chauffeur Francis H. Robinson

This is a great personal story of a behind-the-scenes man. Francis H. Robinson was a long-time chauffeur for the White House, having arrived in Washington back in 1910. Robinson was originally from Massachusetts, born around 1876,...

Composite of large group of policemen with U.S. Capitol in background. Head-and-shoulders portraits of policemen and police stations around border.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Can You Spot Officer Sprinkle? Metropolitan Police Department in 1904

I can’t find him in this photograph. Can you?

View of Georgetown D.C.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

View of Georgetown, D.C. in the 1850s

This is a great view of what Georgetown looked like in the 1850s.

Photo shows night view of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., decorated with electric lights for the first inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008)

Faces & Places of Yesterday, The Best Of

Beautiful 1913 Night Photo of Pennsylvania Ave.

You know you’re freaked out about Gmail being down! This will distract you while you can’t access your email. The photo was taken on March 3rd, 1913. It is absolutely amazing. Click on it for a...

Political campaign button for 1864 presidential election showing bust portrait of Abraham Lincoln, facing right (possibly Wenderoth & Taylor photo); metal shield with oval window and with pin fastener attached.

Notable People & Places

Lincoln and the Republican Invincibles

What a sweet campaign button from 1864! We dug this up on the Library of Congress’ site.

Library of Congress

Notable People & Places

Stunning Library of Congress in the Early 20th Century

Here is a great and sharp photo of the Library of Congress in the early 1900s.

panoramic view of Washington in 1865

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Other Cool Stuff

Panoramic View of 1865 Washington

What an amazing photograph. It’s a little grainy, but you can make out some of the buildings, including the patent office.

map of Trinidad in 1907

Why Is It Named...?

Why Is It Named Trinidad?

You have to admit, it seems little odd that we have a neighborhood named Trinidad. At the same time, it’s fascinating, because there has to be an interesting story behind it. Also, let’s not forget, that...

Stereograph showing an interior view of the Library of Congress with reading room and stacks in the U.S. Capitol building (1866)

Notable People & Places

Interior of Old Library of Congress in the Capitol (1866)

This is an amazing old photograph from 1866. This shows the interior of the old Library of Congress in the Capitol Building before the current one was constructed.

1907 map of Petworth

GoDCers Love Maps

Map of Petworth in 1907

Today is Petworth day. Check out the map of Petworth in 1907. And then look how rural it was to the west. Amazing.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

1993 Photos of Engine Company No. 24 in Petworth

These are old, but not really that old. They are from 1993 (but I still find it hard to believe that 1993 was 20 years ago!). You can find a few more of them at the...

GoDC Challenges

The GoDC Challenge Is Back … 10 Questions for a T-Shirt!

We’re back after a long absence with our latest installment of the GoDC challenge. The first person to successfully answer all 10 questions will be the proud recipient of a black GhostsofDC.org t-shirt. You’ll be the...

Why Is It Named...?

Why Is It Named Petworth?

Calling all hipsters! Do you know why it’s called Petworth? We’ll go out on a limb and guess that most of you do not (because we didn’t until we dug up a little history). Back in...

Members of the Republican baseball team of the House of Representatives parading around the field at American League Park

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Republican Congressional Baseball Team Riding an Elephant … Seriously

This is a rather strange photo. It’s of the Republican Congressional baseball team parading around the field at American League Park. The photo was taken on May 3rd, 1926. Don’t forget to watch Ron Paul crank...

Jimmy Dean and Elvis Presley, March 23, 1956

Other Cool Stuff

A ‘Nervous’ Elvis Appears on Jimmy Dean’s WMAL-TV Show

A nervous and ‘scared’ Elvis Presley gave one of the shortest interviews in local television history at the old WMAL-TV studios on Connecticut Avenue in upper Northwest back in 1956. Elvis, just starting to emerge as...

Photograph shows a group of motorcycle policemen, from left to right: "Sergt. J.E. Boyle, L.F. Reilly, W.D. Vaughn, F.S. Tyser, L.D. Redman, D.E. Gailmore, G.P. Waite, R.H. Mansfield, G.M. Little, A. Shockey, W.C. Lewis, [and] Capt. J.A. Abbott" with view of the U.S. Capitol in the background.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Washington’s Metropolitan Policemen on Motorcycle

This is an awesome photograph of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department in 1922, on their motorcycles. (I’d hate to be the guy riding in the sidecar.) The photo was taken on April 26th, 1922.

Fans outside Griffith Stadium on October 10th, 1924

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Ghostly Image of Fans Waiting for 1924 Washington Senators

I love these old crowd shots. You can pick out some fascinating faces and some ghostly ones. This photograph is from October 10th, 1924 and the team just won the World Series, beating the New York...

concert on the South Lawn in 1921

Notable People & Places, Then and Now

Awesome Then and Now: Concerts on the South Lawn, 1921 and 2009

We’re on a roll here with these photos, especially with ones of the White House. Here’s one of a concert given by the United States Marine Corps Band on the South Lawn. The photo was taken...