From the Crazy Vault

These stories will require a second reading because they’re a little nuts.

Dulles Airport Hijacking

Arthur G. Barkley was an unemployed bread truck driver from Phoenix hijacked a Washington-bound TWA jet, demanding $100 million in ransom. He was distraught from losing his job, became embroiled in lawsuits against his employer, the...
Traffic on I-66

What Is Nestoring?

Autumn 1984, Washington DC – It was the best of times, it was the worst of traffic. In September of 1984, The Washington Post published a story about a horrendous Beltway accident. Though numerous letters were...

“Quite Pretty” Wife Catches “Fairly Good-Looking” Husband With Woman

A scene was enacted just outside the National Theatre last night at the close of the performance which may end in a divorce suit.
Congressman Wilbur Mills and exotic dancer Fanne Foxe speak with reporters outside Foxe’s dressing room in 1974. (Bettmann Archive via Getty Images)

Arkansas Congressman and the Argentine Stripper

I watched The Front Runner this weekend, the story about Gary Hart’s implosion of a presidential campaign in 1988. What a fascinating movie and slightly prescient of the tabloid times we live in today. It got...

Flying Saucers Over the Capitol and White House

The hot summer of 1952 witnessed some bizarre lights floating over the District. Evidently for many nights in July, sightings were reported of up to seven lights flying around the night sky, including over the Capitol...
NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade

NSA Allows Homosexual to Stay

When this headline hit the papers in 1980, it was a big deal. A really big deal. Being gay was something that would disqualify you from holding a security clearance. Below are excerpts from the article...
Marijuana

Marijuana and Alcohol Consumed by Kids in Silver Spring

This is a bizarre and disappointing article that we dug up in The Washington Post. It was printed on April 2nd, 1977. Montgomery County school officials have learned that a small group of children–six sixth-graders and a...

Takoma Park Bans Guns, Dogs, and Weeds

This is a bizarre piece we found in The Washington Post from July 18th, 1928. And no, we’re not talking about that weed. The town fathers of Takoma Park, Md., have declared war on wild guns, wild...

Vietnam-Era Soldier’s Remains Found 30 years Later at 10th and E St. NW

Thanks to a tip from GoDCer John, we did some digging into the story of a soldier who disappeared from Ft. Myer in 1967. A few Google searches later and we came across the story of...
Washington Post - April 29th, 1895

Where Was Herring Hill in Georgetown?

We once had a neighborhood called Herring Hill? True story. It was named for the fish pulled from Rock Creek, which, I don’t think are quite as plentiful today. Herring hill was the epicenter of the...
Washington Post headline

Shots End Alexandria Saloon Brawl

The sub headline for this article was “Walter Bryant Hurls Beer Bottle and Edward Bryant Uses Pistol.” Who do you think won that fight? We dug up this wild article in The Washington Post, printed on April...
Washington Post headline - December 29th, 1924

Man Killed and Gunman Seized in Daylight Brawl

Below is a story we came across from The Washington Post, printed on December 29th, 1924. Remember, this was during the depths of Prohibition, so beer was non-alcoholic (and pretty terrible). George King and Joe Nally, said...
Washington Post - August 5th, 1928

Prohibition Agents Raid 18th Street Oyster House Speakeasy

These prohibition stories are always great. This one is from a raid that happened on August 3rd, 1928 at 2106 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan. Today, the building is the home of Casa Oaxaca. Below...
Inside of lodging house and opium den in San Francisco, 1890s (Wikipedia)

Police Raid Opium Den on 10th St. NW

This is probably a headline we wouldn’t see today. We found this in The Washington Post, printed on September 10th, 1894. A big opium joint, which had existed for three months at 425 Tenth street northwest, was...
Potomac River

Tragic Potomac Drowning Ends Romance

This is a sad story that we came across in The Washington Postfrom June 29th, 1908. John McCalip, 22 years old, an electrician, at the Senate office building, was drowned yesterday while swimming in Broad Creek, on...
Georgetown waterfront

Drunken Sailor Creates Smallpox Scare in Georgetown

This isn’t the measles scare of today’s California. This was an article that we dug up in The Washington Post from May 3rd, 1881. For some historical context, a week before Billy the Kid escaped from jail...
Naked wild man

Who Was the Naked Wild Man of Tennallytown?

The newspapers during the summer of 1894 were full of bizarre stories about a wild man wandering the vicinity of Tennallytown (when was it renamed Tenleytown?). Beginning on July 22nd, sightings of a “half-nude crazy man” were happening...

Tornado Severely Damages D.C. in 1927

On November 17th, 1927 a large tornado ripped through the area, destroying over 200 homes in D.C. and 300 structures in Alexandria. Up to 50 people were injured, but we only found one reported death, which...
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