Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Hitler salutes the troops

Nazi Connection to State Department Statue

An athletic-themed statue outside of the State Department is marked with few words — but it has an interesting history. Discobolus is a bronze copy of a fifth century B.C. Greek sculpture by Myron.  You’ll see similar...

Lincoln movie poster

Abraham Lincoln and The Black Code of the District of Columbia

I recently saw “Lincoln” with Mrs. Ghosts and was blown away by the history and power of the film. A number of visually stunning scenes depicted life in Washington during the waning years of the Civil...

Department of Commerce, 15th St. side

Three Stories About the Department of Commerce Building

The Department of Commerce‘s massive, beast of a building is bound by Constitution Avenue (why is it named Constitution Avenue?), 14th St., Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th St. Construction finished and it opened in 1932, at the...

Three Cheers for Coolidge

This is a shot of President Calvin Coolidge at an event for the Boy Scouts of America at the White House.

Catholic University basketball team in 1923

1923 Catholic University Basketball Team

This is a photo of Catholic University‘s basketball team in 1923. The photo was taken in the old gymnasium, which is now the school of architecture (according to Shorpy).

The Washington Herald - December 20th, 1920

December 20th, 1920: Join Our New Christmas Club

How are you liking the “In The Paper” posts? Check out this page from The Washington Herald on Monday, December 20th, 1920. The “Merchant of Venice” performed by Gonzaga students and a Mardi Gras-themed inaugural ball...

Teddy Roosevelt - Sunday Morning Globe (September 22nd, 1901)

September 22nd, 1901: The Youngest President

Here is the front page of the Sunday Morning Globe on September 22nd, 1901. President McKinley had been assassinated eight days earlier in Buffalo and his Vice President, Teddy Roosevelt, was inaugurated as the youngest President....

Jim Henson and the Birth of the Muppets

Some of you may know this, but for those that don’t, it’s probably surprising. Kermit and Miss Piggy’s creator, Jim Henson, was raised here in the D.C. area. Henson’s father was an employee at the Department...

Video of D.C. Streets Circa 1991

We love getting stuff like this from readers. Here’s the email we received last week from a GoDCer. Dear Ghosts of DC: I just uploaded a film to Youtube that I made in ’91 that documents...

1921 Map of U St. Between 14th and 16th

Another great one for our “GoDCers Love Maps” series. This one focuses on U St. back in 1921.

The Evening Star - June 22nd, 1901

June 22nd, 1901: Real Estate Gossip

Here’s another chance to read a full page from an old newspaper. We spend hours scanning these for interesting stories and information and our new “In The Paper” series allows you to enjoy getting lost in...

1915 map of Georgetown and Sheridan Circle

Map of Georgetown and Sheridan Circle in 1915

Here is yet another awesome Baist real estate map for you showing Georgetown. Like the last two maps, this is also from 1915.

Silver Spring, Maryland, circa 1927. National Photo glass negatives marked "Jordan & Co." Among the new construction shown here is a National Guard armory. National Photo Company Collection.

Silver Spring in 1927

And check this out … the building being constructed in 1927 is still there! [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?cbp=12,69.66,,0,-5.87&cbll=38.993972,-77.026795&layer=c&ie=UTF8&ll=38.993972,-77.026795&spn=0.007088,0.008647&t=m&z=17&panoid=OoNF6fv99mYlKOMa9xOXNg&source=embed&output=svembed]

Jail transfer from the Police Court signed by Marshal Douglass, Nov. 28, 1880. Photo Workhouse Prison Museum at Lorton.

Lynching Averted in Washington City

Our buddy and early GoDCer John has an excellent book out on Frederick Douglass. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. He’s an excellent writer and he was kind enough to share an excerpt...

Arlington Bathing Beach in 1923

Arlington’s Beach on the Potomac

Hard to believe it, but back in the 1920s, Arlington had a beach. Here’s a shot of the amusement park on the Potomac River (near where the Pentagon is today) around 1925. And here is another...

The Pig at 1320 14th St. NW (foodnomad.net)

If Walls Could Talk: The Pig

Congratulations to the latest “If Walls Could Talk” poll winner, The Pig. Congrats! @thepigdc with a huge late surge to 45%, you are indeed the winner over @rustikdc @darlingtonhouse @nelliesdc @18thamendment — Ghosts of DC (@GhostsofDC)...

Rockville, Maryland

Why Is It Named Montgomery County?

Some GoDCers (probably quite a few) live just across the District line in Montgomery County. But, how many of you know the etymology of the county? We should probably do one of these for every county...

1917. Arlington, Virginia. "Fort Myer officer training camp mess." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

The Smiling Army Cook

Great photo. You can’t help but smile back when you look at it. The guy in the photo is an army cook at Ft. Myer in 1917. I only wish I had a name and story...