Historical Events

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

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 December 1941, as a precautionary measure, about 5,000 boxes of materials from...

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 don’t know about you, but I was there, and I don’t think...

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 Avenue. Source: Library of Congress This was the 36th encampment of the...
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 in DC from the late 1800s and early 1900s. First, a car...
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 end of World War II. This photo captures the excitement and jubilation...
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 are standing in the Lincoln Memorial. Source: U.S. National Archives

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 to DC to present a petition to Congress.
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 White House are part of the National Women’s Party demanding a...
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 the escalating Vietnam War. Source: Penn State Special Collections
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). We found the sermon he gave entitled A Thanksgiving Sermon, on November...

Happy Thanksgivukkah, 1888

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving rarely overlap.  Among its 22 articles covering 2013’s “Thanksgivukkah” holiday mashup, the Washington Post reports that the convergence of turkey and latkes won’t occur again for 77,798 years. How did D.C. media report on this...
Sarah Josepha Hale's letter to Abraham Lincoln

Thanksgiving Proclamations

It was Sarah Josepha Hale that wrote to then President Abraham Lincoln, urging him to establish a dedicated national day of thanksgiving. She sent the letter on September 28, 1863. A digitized version of her letter...

Bugler Plays Taps at Kennedy’s Funeral

Exactly 50 years ago today, JFK was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Below is footage of the gun salute and the bugler playing taps.
Kennedy throwing out the first pitch in 1962

Kennedy Throws Out First Pitch at 1962 All-Star Game

Check out this great photo from the 1962 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was held at the new D.C. Stadium (now RFK).
Jackie Kennedy

11/22/63: Foreshadowing Prayer Printed in Morning Washington Post

In scanning The Washington Post for November 22nd, 1963, I came across this small prayer, printed that day in section D8. It was a small block at the top right of the page and I nearly missed...
Minister Vladimir S. Hurban

Nazi’s Demand to Take Over Embassy of Czechoslovakia (1939)

We came across a fascinating article from March 17th, 1939, printed in The New York Times. This was a few days after Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia. After the occupation, Germany issued an order from Berlin...
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28th, 1963)

Incredible Crowd Photos from 1963 March on Washington

This is an incredible series of photos of the massive crowd gathered in the city for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Source: Penn State Special Collections
March on Washington against the war in Vietnam (21-22 October, 1967)

Incredible Photos of 1967 March on Pentagon Against the Vietnam War

Check out this incredible series of photos from 1967. These show the protests organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam in October of 1967. The crowd gathered around the Lincoln Memorial...
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