Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

aftermath of the 1929 White House fire

Notable People & Places

Aftermath of the 1929 West Wing Fire

We’re on a bit of a photo binge this week, having uncovering some serious gems in the Library of Congress archives. Here’s another great one. This is from December 26th, 1929, the day after a fire...

Visitors waiting in line to shake hands with the President (circa 1921)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Visitors Wait For Hours to Shake President Coolidge’s Hand

Times sure were different. Check out this photo of a massive crowd pushing their way into the White House. They’re all waiting just to shake the hand of President Calvin Coolidge.

President Taft at the baseball game in 1912

Notable People & Places

President Taft at Washington Baseball Games

Here is a nice series of photos of our newest racing president, William Howard Taft.

Walter Johnson in 1939

Notable People & Places

An Older Walter Johnson Reminisces …

Here is a very different photo of the “Big Train” in April 1939. He is looking at a box of baseballs, autographed by six presidents. These are baseballs that were thrown out as the first pitch...

1921 Baltimore Orioles

Faces & Places of Yesterday

The 1921 Baltimore Orioles

For over 30 years, the O’s were our default baseball team. So I think it’s okay if we share this photograph of the 1921 Baltimore Orioles. At the time, they were Class AA in the International...

1908 Washington Senators

Faces & Places of Yesterday

The 1908 Washington Ball Team

Here is a great old photograph of the 1908 Washington Senators. They were 67-85 that year 22.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers for the pennant.

1907 map of Mount Pleasant

GoDCers Love Maps

1907 Map of Mount Pleasant

What a fascinating map of a rather undeveloped Mount Pleasant in 1907. You can also see across 16th St. into what is now better known as Columbia Heights.

The Pennsylvania Railroad's "The Senator" in 1929

Faces & Places of Yesterday

The Senator of the Pennsylvania Railroad

Check out this awesome photo of “The Senator” … this was a Pennsylvania Railroad train from back in 1929. Thanks Shorpy!  

West Potomac Park flowers (1921)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Beautiful Colorized Photo of West Potomac Park (1921)

This is a terrific old colorized photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston from 1921.

railroad tracks

From the Crazy Vault

Baby Found on Railroad Tracks in Hyattsville

This is bizarre, and probably not something you would see in the papers today. We found this printed in the Washington Post on July 17th, 1895. Hyattsville, Md., July 16.–Two tramps, purporting to be traveling from...

Slave Market of American broadside (Library of Congress)

Old Ads & Classifieds

Slave Market of America

Below is a fascinating old broadside that we came across in the Library of Congress archives. Here is the description … A broadside condemning the sale and keeping of slaves in the District of Columbia. The...

Other Cool Stuff

Who Were The Ballston Skulls?

The Ballston Skulls sounds like a gang. They weren’t. The Skulls played semi-pro football representing the village of Ballston. They played and practiced on a field, known as Ballston Stadium, at Ball’s Crossroads, currently the site...

Ballston pedestrian bridge (Wikipedia)

The Best Of, Why Is It Named...?

Why Is It Named Ballston?

Ball's Crossroads was established as a village in Arlington County in 1874, and in 1895, the official name was changed to Ballston.

Officer Edgar E. Porter, full-length portrait, seated on a chair, holding two children on his lap and with several children standing to his right and left during the annual White House Easter egg roll.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Officer Porter and Lost Kids at the White House Easter Egg Roll

What a great photograph from the olden days. This one is from April 2nd, 1923. Officer Edgar E. Porter is pictured with a group of children at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Okay, so these...

aerial view of Temple Heights in the early 1930s (Library of Congress)

Lost History

Lost History: Oak Lawn and an Aerial View Before the Washington Hilton

This is an aerial view of Temple Heights and Oak Lawn, the current site of the Washington Hilton, north of Dupont Circle.

Bury's drug store around 1919

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Then and Now: Bury’s Drug Store to Uniontown Bar and Grill

Well, this was a hopefully step to revitalize Anacostia, but the most recent owner made a couple bad decisions. Here is the building as it looked around 1919 as Bury’s drug store. And below is the...

Mad Hatter DC

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk: Mad Hatter

I had the pleasure of speaking to a great class at AU last week. One of the students asked if we had ever done a piece about Mad Hatter on Connecticut Ave. We haven’t yet, so...

Winder Building in the 1870s

Notable People & Places

The Winder Building After the Civil War

Here is a shot of the Winder Building, some time after the Civil War. It looks to be in quite a state of disrepair, and it’s amazing that this building is still standing and in use...