Historical Events

These posts are about historical events in Washington, D.C.

Soviet Diplomat Testifies on the Hill

So here is a headline you certainly won't see every day, and you certainly wouldn't see something like this in the 1980s. In the...

D.C. Emancipation Act: April 16th, 1862

This week celebrates the 152nd anniversary of the D.C. Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia and came eight months before...

Baltimore Mayor Protests Future Dulles Airport (1949)

This is a great story to cross-post with our sister site, Ghosts of Baltimore. Airline traffic was getting too heavy for National Airport to handle...
1857 Inauguration

First Known Photo of Presidential Inauguration (1857)

This is an extremely rare photograph of James Buchanan's Inauguration at the East Front of the Capitol Building on March 4th, 1857. It's a...
Marion Barry arrested by the FBI

How Post Photographer Got Picture of Mayor Barry’s Cocaine Bust

Sometimes the story behind the story is almost as sensational as the original news. Nearly everyone remembers when former Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for...
Women marchers organized by country, state, occupation, and organization, led by Miss Inez Milholland and Mrs. Richard Coke Burleson, during the suffrage march, March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of Suffrage March Line (1913)

Here's an interesting drawing that we dug up. It shows the suffrage march line from March 4th, 1913. Source: Library of Congress
Knickerbocker Theater disastervideo

Footage of 1922 Knickerbocker Theatre Disaster Aftermath

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h62ec3Ilgno Many of you will be familiar with these images from the Knickerbocker Theater disaster. We haven't yet written about it, but there's an excellent...
1873 Inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant

1873 View of Ulysses Grant’s Second Inauguration

Here's an old print from 1873, showing Ulysses Grant's second inauguration, looking down Pennsylvania Ave. Source: Library of Congress
James Madison

1817 Presidential Proclamation: Outer Walls of All Houses Shall be Built...

Here's an interesting bit of old history. This is a presidential proclamation suspending certain building regulations for Washington on January 1st, 1817. January 1, 1817 By...
President Reagan signing National Minimum Drinking Age Act into law

When Did D.C. Raise Drinking Age to 21?

When did DC raise the drinking age to 21?
1978 Washington Bullets

“Warm Up the Fat Lady” The Night the Bullets Won...

Elvin 'The Big E' Hayes and Bobby Dandridge were in the house at the Verizon Center the other night to watch the struggling Washington...

Evacuating Materials from the Library of Congress

We are grateful for the picture below, since so many of the amazing images on this site come via the Library of Congress! In...

Obama’s First Inauguration Seen From Space

This is one of the most incredible images we have found on the Internet. It shows the Inauguration of President Obama in 2009. I...

Grand Army of the Republic Parade in 1902

Here is a great series of three photographs from 1902. It depicts a parade of the Grand Army of the Republic going down Pennsylvania...
Car buried in snow

Snowy Winter in Washington

There's no snow in the forecast for a white Christmas, so to take its place, check out some of these photos of major snow...
Jubilant crowd on V-J day dancing on the White House lawn

V-J Day Jubilation at the White House

What a terrific scene, the likes of which most of us don't understand. August 14th, 1945 was Victory of Japan day and the final...
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Leaders of the march], 08/28/1963

Leaders of the Civil Rights March (1963)

What a terrific old photo from 1963. This is, of course, the Civil Rights March from August 28th of that year and these gentlemen...

Women’s Party Arrives With Petition in 1913

Here's a photo that we dug up from the Library of Congress. It shows a procession in the summer of 1913 coming from Hyattsville...
Picketing the White House at Wilson's second inauguration, March 4, 1917

National Women’s Party Picketing the White House in 1917

Here's a photo from March 4th, 1917. This was the date of Woodrow Wilson's second Inauguration and the women picketing the East Wing of...
The clean-cut collegiate looks of these two young peace activists do not fit the common stereotype of the long-haired radicals and "peaceniks" who protested against the escalating war in Southeast Asia. They were joined by several hundred thousand anti-war protestors who descended upon the nation's capitol to dissent against what they believed was an immoral war.

I Won’t Fight in Vietnam (1965)

Here's a photo we came across on Pinterest user Estella Gonzales' pinboard. Several hundred thousand people had descended on Washington to protest our involvement in...
A Thanksgiving Sermon, Alexander Crummell

Reverend Alexander Crummell’s Thanksgiving Sermon, November 26, 1895

Reverend Alexander Crummell was an African American who was recognized by WEB Dubois for his abilities in the book Souls of Black Folk (1903)....