Faces & Places of Yesterday

Photos of yesterday, featuring regular people and regular places.

Falls Church today (Wikipedia)

Falls Church: Washington’s Quaint Suburb

Below is the great opening paragraph of an article from the Washington Times. “Hello, central. Gimme Leesburg.” “Leesburg? O. K. There you are.” The central office which really places you in communications with Leesburg is situated...
Daniel H. Riggs, Howard University Medicine, in the South Yard of the Smithsonian Institution Building, stands next to his carriage. Picture shows the East Wing after Adolph Cluss' 1884 renovation. Against the building are sheds, used by the Department of Living Animals, 1887-1890 (Smithsonian Archives)

Doctor and His Carriage at the Smithsonian

Here’s a photograph from 1890 which shows Dr. Daniel H. Riggs of Howard University posing next to his carriage near the Smithsonian. In 1893, the doctor was the defendant in a malpractice lawsuit. The Post reported...
Washington's Joe Judge sliding at home

Joe Judge: Washington’s First Baseman and “That Other Washington Monument”

To close out our week of baseball posts, we are going to highlight an old local baseball hero … one who you might not know. Joe Judge was Washington’s first baseman for almost 18 seasons, starting...
Anacostia High School Indians baseball team in 1939 (Library of Congress)

Anacostia High School Baseball Team (1939)

Anacostia High School was a brand new school, having opened in 1937. Their second full season of baseball would be the 1939 season and the photo above is the 12-man roster and their coach, Roland Lund....
Casino Royal Adult Theatre advertisement in the Washington Post - December 15th, 1977

Sleezy 14th Street Porno District

If you lived in or visited Washington in the 1970s or 80s you probably remember how nasty this city was. I remember my father taking me to the 1988 Washington Auto Show at the old convention...
Dave Freisleben modeling the Washington uniform

San Diego Padres Move to Washington for 1974 Season

Wait, what did you say? The Washington Padres? Yes, that’s right. This deal was pretty much signed, sealed and delivered when the Washington Post reported it on May 28th, 1973 in an article titled “Baseball’s Back!...

Riots of ’68: “We Have to Finish What He Worked So Hard For”

I came across an interesting video from 1968 while checking out this YouTube channel. The quote that is the most powerful is when a teacher is reading something written by one of her fifth graders. His...
Miss Jessie Hoover, of the Department of Agriculture in 1923 (Shorpy)

Colorized Photo of the Milk Woman, Miss Jessie Hoover

This one’s cool … not as cool as Abe Lincoln, but pretty cool. Thanks Shorpy! [slideshow] This is a photograph (colorized) of Jessie Hoover of the Department of Agriculture. She was a milk utilization specialist and pushed...

Spooky Colorized Photo of Washington Opera Singer

This one is a little spooky with the way he’s looking at you. This is a photo of Harlan Randall of the Washington Opera and it appears as if he’s looking right through you. Creepy. When...
White House daguerreotype by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846 (Library of Congress)

Earliest Photograph of the White House

This is an amazing old photograph of the White House taken by John Plumbe, Jr. in 1846. The 11th President of the United States , James K. Polk, was the building’s occupant, having succeeded President John...
D.C. Commissioner, Melvin Hazen, who chose the design, is pictured with the new flag October 17th, 1938 (Library of Congress)

What Is The Flag of Washington, D.C.?

You probably didn’t know this, but Washington did not have an official flag until the middle of the 20th century. Many locals really wanted the flag in addition to self-government and a vote (no taxation without...
Sailor of woman at the Tomb of the Unknown Solder in 1943 (Library of Congress)

Anonymous World War II Couple Visits Unknown Soldier

This is an amazing old color photo that I came across on the Library of Congress’ website. It was taken by John Collier in May 1943. The unnamed sailor at left appears to be somewhere between...
Sanborn Firemap of Columbia Heights in 1903 (LIbrary of Congress)

Old Columbia Heights: Where the Streets Have New Names

How did Columbia Heights get its street names? This history goes back to the early 1900s when street names came into alignment with the rest of the District.
Janis Joplin (Wikipedia)

Janis Joplin Plays Merriweather Three Weeks Before Woodstock

After The Dead and The Police, I’m on a little bit of a concert kick and this one is pretty sweet. Janis Joplin played Merriweather back in 1969, three weeks before the defining moment of the...
The Police live in 1979

The Police Play the Ontario Theater on Columbia Road

I had heard that Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland (aka, The Police) had played in Adams Morgan and wanted to do a little research into that. Unfortunately, they weren’t a huge band when they played...

Weller’s Pharmacy: Capitol Hill’s Connection to the Knights Templar

Here’s a great photo from Shorpy. This is the inside of Weller’s Pharmacy, located at 755 8th St. SE. Franklin Pierce Weller was a long serving druggist on Capitol Hill, starting in the 1890s, operating his...
Sanborn fire insurance map circa 1903

Petworth is Like Omaha

Petworth was not always full of hipsters that resemble Officer Sprinkle (J.L. Sprinkle was such a badass, he was a hipster before being a hipster was even invented). At one time it was rural … yes, rural....
Alligators in their enclosure in the original Animal House, also known as the Carnivora House, which opened in 1892 and was the first permanent building at the National Zoological Park. The alligators are housed in the "temporary" wooden wing of the structure (Smithsonian)

Proposed National Zoo in Rock Creek Park

We are a great nation and Americans in the 1880s were proud of their rapidly growing and dominant country. But how can you truly be a great nation without a national zoo to show off all...
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