A Personal Story

Personal stories about people who lived in Washington, D.C. before we did.

Moran family grave marker at Holy Rood Cemetery

Story of John Moran, the Georgetown University Doctor

Whenever I stroll through D.C. cemeteries, given my fascinating with the stories of regular Washingtonians, I’m always curious what the story is behind the names on the headstones. Hundreds and thousands of people who lived decades,...
The 1962 Congressional Baseball Game at D.C. (later RFK) Stadium. Phil on the left, Speaker John McCormick is throwing out the first ball and Minority Leader Charlie Halleck is standing to the Speaker’s left. In the background, you can see Senators’ Manager Mickey Vernon

Phil Hochberg, Voice of the Washington Senators

Every once in a while, I get an email from someone who has an amazing attachment to the historic fabric of Washington. Not too long ago, I received one of those emails from Phil Hochberg. Above...
Washington Monument from above

Man Leaps to Death From Washington Monument

This is a morbid story from The Baltimore Sun, printed on March 10th, 1923. What is extremely striking is how graphic the depiction was back then. Washington, March 9.–For the first time in the 35 years that...
Crack shot of White House police force. Washington, D.C., Aug. 10. Outstanding marksman of the White House police force is Roland Ford, today averaged 294 bullseyes out of a possible 300 while shooting in competition with marksmen from other agencies in the Treasury Department. Forty-eight experts competed for medals and cup for themselves and their services in the friendly matches, 8/10/37

Roland Ford: White House Police Officer and Crack Shot

We came across this photo of White House police officer Roland Ford in the Library of Congress archives. Source: Library of Congress We did a little digging to see what we could find on Roland. According...
Nubby Nuckols headlines

Meet Carroll “Nubby” Nuckols: 1930s Rum Runner and Czar of Gambling

We’ve stumbled across an amazing character from Washington’s past, one to rival (but not surpass, of course) Officer Sprinkle. No doubt, the two of them crossed paths at one point and one was likely well-acquainted with...
American League Park, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia vs. Washington. May 6, 1905

Donovan’s Baseball House: Finest Bar in The Country

Washington is a baseball town. There is no doubt about that. In fact, there is a rich history going back to the 19th century including an Irishman’s bar fully dedicated to the love of the game....

FDR and the “Buddy Poppy” (1938)

I never knew about the significance of the November poppy for certain countries until I left to study in Brussels back in 2004. Now, I notice it. Every November, I notice the poppy. My wife pins a...

Almost Royal: The Kitty Elkins “Affair”

Most young girls dream of being a princess and young women of finding a love so strong that the prince would leave his throne for her. Though this happened to Grace Kelly and Wallis Simpson, it...

Scandalous Love: The Bodisco Marriage

As the hamlet of Georgetown grew alongside the capital, it became a place for foreign dignitaries to reside, hoping to include themselves in the upper echelons of society. Marriage between prominent families to secure wealth, reputation,...
February 19, 1925. "M.S. Strock measuring radio lengths at the Bureau of Standards."

Who Was Morris S. Strock?

It’s been a while since we dug into the story of someone we found in a an old photograph. The last one was the fascinating story of Annie O’Connell. Though these are not always the most...
Sylvia Altman

10-Year-Old Girl Enters Central High School

This is an interesting article that we came across, published in the Washington Post on February 10th, 1924. A 10-year-old student in high school! She is Sylvia Altman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Altman, 612...

Complete Biography of Officer Sprinkle

You all have been waiting a long, long time for this. So have we. Thanks to one of our GoDC fans, we have in our possession, the biography of Officer Sprinkle from the 1908 Metropolitan Police...

Miriam Grew Up to be a ‘Million Dollar’ Realtor

Photos like this really captivate us. This is Miriam Auerbach at the age of 12 in 1924. Her father was Joseph Auerbach, clothing store merchant from Germany, who had arrived in the U.S. in 1906. He...
U.S.S. U.S.A.T. in drydock for repairs - 1916 (Wikipedia)

More on Marjorie Morris, the “Whoopee Party” Girl

I was trying to dig up a photo, or at least some more information on what happened to Marjorie. I was able to find two documents related to her on Ancestry.com. The first one I found...
Colorado Building at 14th and G St. NW

The Crazy Family Problems of Real Estate Man William Matteson

Initially, this was going to be part of the previous post about Cathedral Highlands, but it was too good. This deserves it’s own post. Trust me when I say this is crazy. We learned from the...
Cathedral Highlands advertisement in the Washington Herald - June 23rd, 1907

Move to Cathedral Highlands: An Unobstructed View of the Entire Surrounding Country

It’s been a little while since we’ve done a “Reader’s Choice” post, so this one is for GoDCer Samantha, who tweeted the request to do something on Cathedral Heights. I also haven’t really done anything about that...

100 Years Ago Today: Major Archibald Butt, D.C. Resident, Boards Titanic for Transatlantic Crossing

This post went up at exactly 8 a.m. this morning local time, which is twelve noon Greenwich Mean Time. Exactly 100 years ago at this very moment, on April 12th, 1912, the Titanic set off from Southampton, England,...
Pauline Floyd in 1922 (Library of Congress)

Pauline Floyd: Youngest Woman to Practice Before the Supreme Court

Pauline Floyd was a pioneer and an excellent role model for women pursing a career in law. Not only did she enter the legal field at a time when female attorneys were rare, she was one...