Washington, DC history

The lost and untold history of Washington, DC.

Vice Pres. Coolidge and House Speaker Gillett exercising in House gym. Jan. 31, 1923 (Library of Congress)

Vice President Coolidge and Speaker Gillett, Exercise Buddies

Really? This looks like the lamest workout ever. What the hell is Coolidge doing? I’m going to get some Five Guys now. Yum. Related articles Email From a GoDCer: Alexander Graham Bell’s Georgetown Home (ghostsofdc.org) Three...

Woodrow Wilson in White House

Film Footage of Woodrow Wilson in the White House

This is pretty interesting. Check out this footage of President Wilson at the White House. Related articles Origins of the Political Ad: Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 Campaign Film (pbs.org) Video: Wilson, Harding and a Nation Pay Respect...

Washington National Cathedral at twilight

Three Things That Happened at Washington National Cathedral

Exactly one year ago today, one of the most spectacular buildings in Washington was badly damaged by the earthquake that shook our city. So much so, that the repairs are going to cost millions of dollars...

GWU girls rifle team near the Lincoln Memorial - February 2nd, 1927 (Library of Congress)

George Washington University Girls Rifle Team

It’s probably safe to say that this team no longer exists as an intercollegiate or even intramural team at GWU. Well, in 1927, the GW girls rifle team was good … really good. They won the...

Budweiser Clydesdales in D.C. after the repeal (cnbc.com)

First Legal Drink at Midnight Upon Repeal of Prohibition

Do you like your beer, wine or liquor? The Sheppard Bone-Dry Act of 1917 would have put a major damper on your libations when it was signed by President Wilson. November 1st, 1917 would be the...

1907 Baist real estate atlas for Ledroit Park and Bloomingdale

1907 Map of LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale

We now know that GoDCers love maps. They seriously love maps, because our most popular post ever was the 1851 map of Washington. So, let’s satisfy that hunger for more maps with this one from 1907....

A Brief History of Brunch in D.C.

About 5,500 weekends ago, Washingtonians woke up and lazily flipped through their newspapers.  It was Sunday, November, 11, 1906 and something bold and new was described for the first time in The Post: New Portmanteau Words....

Potomac bathing beach - May 28, 1923 (Shorpy)

Kick Off Memorial Day Weekend at Potomac Bathing Beach

Here’s a great shot from Shorpy of kids in the waters at Potomac bathing beach (I wouldn’t do this today). This is the official kickoff of summer in 1923, Memorial Day weekend. Click on the image...

Pennsylvania Ave. film footage

Rare Film Footage of Pennsylvania Avenue in 1909

This is one of our best GoDCer contributions yet. Tom from Bethesda sent this over to share with everyone else. This was taken on Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 10th and 11th St. Watch the whole thing...

Ethel Roosevelt in 1908 (Library of Congress)

Ethel Roosevelt’s Dog Goes Missing From The White House

This article that we came across in the Washington Post is probably something we would never see today. I’m pretty sure Bo Obama is pretty locked down and confined to the White House grounds. This was...

March 21, 1927. Washington, D.C. "Ruth Jardine (at right) and class at Amaryllis show. (Shorpy)

Ruth Jardine Visits the U.S. Botanic Gardens

Below is a photo from 1927 of Ruth Jardine, the daughter of Secretary of Agriculture William M. Jardine. William was also Ambassador to Egypt during President Hoover‘s Administration. Related articles Decapitated by the Hangman’s Rope (ghostsofdc.org)...

U.S. casualty being treated at Naktong River

Philip Hughes: Skinny Kid From Brookland Killed in Korea

I checked my email the other day to find this email from a GoDCer. Emails like this are exactly why I started this blog. Not only is it fascinating, but it’s really important to remember the...

Aerial view of a traffic jam, 14th Street and the Mall, Washington, D.C., Apr. 1937. 30-N-37-1360A. (National Archives)

Ugh, Traffic Sucks

Think your commute home today will suck? Check this out … Constitution Avenue circa 1937. By the way, do you know why it’s called Constitution Avenue? If not, read this post. Related articles Bus Strike Creates...

The Changing Fortunes of Pork in the District

This is a guest post by Rick. He also wrote a good one on the alley dwellings in Foggy Bottom. In recent years here in Washington pork has gotten a bad rap. Not the meat; the money. For much...

Isometrical view of the Presidents House, the surrounding public buildings, and private residences - 1984 (LIbrary of Congress)

Isometrical View of the White House

This is a cool drawing that we found in the Library of Congress’ archives. It’s centered on the White House, showing the surrounding area around the 1850s (done in 1984). The bottom left side would be...

Map of the city of Washington D.C. : established as the permanent seat of the government of the U.S. of Am. / James Keily, surveyor. - 1851 (Library of Congress)

1851 Map of the City of Washington, D.C.

What an amazing old map of Washington, D.C. in 1851. I found this gem on the Library of Congress’ website. Click on it for a much larger version. Dig this map? Want to see more? Sign...

Herbert and Lou Hoover on footbridge at Rapidan Camp

Lindbergh a Guest at Hoover’s Summer Camp; Horseshoe Champion of Rapidan

Stories like this are great. We forget that the men and women we read about in history books and Wikipedia were also normal people just like us — okay, most of them accomplished great things that...

JFK in the Oval Office

Archival Footage of Kennedy in Oval Office

This is great old film footage of John F Kennedy in the Oval Office. The narration is in German (I believe – correct me if I’m wrong).