Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Notable People & Places

Japanese State Visit to Eisenhower White House

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oKD5J7wllU In September of 1960, the U.S. and Japan were celebrating 100 years of diplomatic relations. Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko traveled to Washington at the end of the month to celebrate the occasion with...

Hillcrest Heights real estate advertisement - September 23rd, 1961

Old Ads & Classifieds

Norbeth Homes in Hillcrest Heights (1961)

Several readers have suggested Ghosts of DC start focusing on a broader range of neighborhoods and communities and we agree. So continue sending those emails and suggestions to give us more ideas. Below is an old...

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Ford Motor Co. truck, John H. Wilkins Co." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Robert DeNiro’s 1920s Twin Worked at Wilkins Coffee

Wow! What an amazing colorized photo. This shows a Wilkins Coffee truck being loaded on location, somewhere on the 500 block of Rhode Island Ave. NE. Click on it to take a closer look at the...

Washington, D.C., circa 1904. "North from the Smithsonian Institution." Landmarks include the Willard Hotel at left and Old Post Office tower. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Guest Posts

Afternoon Photo: View North from the Smithsonian

Pass the afternoon by studying this photo close up. Amazing detail, including a view of the Willard Hotel as well as the Old Post Office.

Notable People & Places

Hot Pants, a Hooded Hair Dryer and the 9:30 Club

Earlier this week, Ghosts of DC received a generous invite to tour the 9:30 Club. To some GoDCers, it might come as a shock that we haven’t yet written about this hub of the local music...

angry monkeys are scary

From the Crazy Vault

Escaped Monkey Spreads Terror in East Riverdale

Do not piss off an angry monkey. It will tear your face off. Never trust a monkey, especially one that is getting its first taste of freedom. The summer of 1929 had the residents of East...

Washington Post headline

From the Crazy Vault

Drunken Party Ends in Death; Revelers Held

We love articles about whoopee parties. Who doesn’t? Here’s one that we came across which had a troubling ending, far worse that the last one that we wrote about. The article was published in the Washington...

Beauty Contest Winner Washington Post headline

Faces & Places of Yesterday, From the Crazy Vault

Beauty Contest Winner Saves Man from Drowning

A beauty queen hero emerged on the banks of the Potomac, one summer day in 1924. Below is an article from the Washington Post, published on June 2nd, 1924. Miss Leoma Davis, winner of several Washington...

Babe Ruth at bat against Washington

Notable People & Places

Babe Ruth’s Final Game and Home Run as a Yankee

Babe Ruth and the Yankees came to town in September of 1934 for one last hurrah. They were to play the Senators in a doubleheader on Saturday, September 29th, followed by a Sunday afternoon game. Already...

angry capuchin

From the Crazy Vault

Monkey Rampages, Raids Drug Store, Plays Piano, Eats Meal at Restaurant

One of the stranger GoDC titles yet? I’d say so. We dug up a bizarre article from July 31st, 1909 in the Washington Post. You have to read this one to believe it. This is a...

September 5, 1925. Washington, D.C. "W.A. Green, Chief Prohibition Inspector." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. (Shorpy)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Chief Prohibition Inspector: Major Buzzkill

Meet Major Walton Atwater Green, Chief Prohibition Inspector for Washington, D.C. This is not a guy you want to cross. Don’t let him catch you with some hooch.

Faces & Places of Yesterday

OMG, 1920s Slang: Ho Hum, Blind Dates, Giggle Water and Whoopee

Here is an awesome article from the Washington Post, published on March 2nd, 1929. It was written by Arthur Dean, “The Parent Counselor.” You think being a parent is tough today? Well, it wasn’t any easier...

Capitalsaurus Court street sign

From the Crazy Vault, Guest Posts

Capitalsaurus: Official Dinosaur of the District (Seriously)

Workers were digging a sewer trench beneath a Capitol Hill street in 1898.  They came upon a few fossil fragments — among them, a 6-inch bone that now represents the largest piece of the District’s controversial...

newspaper headline - December 5th, 1916 (Washington Post)

Featured, From the Crazy Vault

Woman Dies in Flames; Husband Sleeps Through It

Here we have another bizarre article from the Washington Post, published on December 5th, 1916. This one was sent to us by GoDCer John (i.e., our inspiration and Mr. Streets of Washington). Mrs. Mabel E. Bates, 38...

press correspondents and photographers on the White House lawn - 1918

Faces & Places of Yesterday

White House Photographers in 1918

This is a great one to kick off our new Ghosts of DC design. This photograph shows a group of White House photographers from the press pool, standing on the South Lawn back in 1918.

Police raid a gambler's den. Several loads of book makers were taken from the E. St. address by the police (Library of Congress)

Faces & Places of Yesterday

Police Raid Gambler’s Den on E Street

A huge gambling bust happened on January 31st, 1925. The location was a crowded restaurant on E St. where people would gather for illegal dice games and gambling. The Washington Post reported on it the following...

Map exhibiting the property of the U.S. in the vicinity of the Capitol : colored red, with the manner in which it is proposed to lay off the same in building lots, as described in the report to the Sup't of the city to which this is annexed / BHLatrobe, one of the surveyors of the city of Washington, Dec. 3d 1815.

GoDCers Love Maps, Notable People & Places

1815 Map of the Capitol and Its Surroundings

It’s map Friday! Hopefully you liked the last map we posted, because maps seem to be super popular among GoDCers. Check this one out and click on it for greater detail. Related articles 1907 Map of...

City of Washington, statistical maps / compiled by Lieut. F.V. Greene, assistant to the Engineer Commissioner, July 1st 1880 ; compiled by Lieut. F.V. Greene, U.S. Eng'rs ... to accompany the annual report of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia for the year ending June 30th 1880 ; Wm. T.O. Bruff, del., Eng'r Dept., D.C.

Faces & Places of Yesterday, Featured

City of Washington Property Values Map From 1880

Interesting … it appears that property in Shaw and Mt. Vernon square is worth three to four times more that in Dupont Circle. This is a fascinating map and we know GoDCers love maps. Click the...