Historical Events

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

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower: The First President Videotaped in Color (1958)

I came across this one on YouTube. This was the first time the President of the United States was videotaped and then broadcast in color. This is the earliest surviving color videotape. It was filmed on...
David Burnes' cottage in 1894 prior to razing (PGCist on Flickr)

Washington is Composed of Land from 19 Original Owners

19 original landowners were negotiated with, directly by George Washington in March, 1791. He met them during the day and in the evening, closed the deal with them at Suter's Tavern in Georgetown.
The White House ruins after the conflagration of August 24, 1814. Watercolor by George Munger (WIkipedia)

The War of 1812 and Relocating the Nation’s Capital

Why is the capital in Washington, DC? After the British burned the White House and Capitol in the War of 1812, the capital almost moved back to Philadelphia.
A Pan Am 707 on the runway

Pan Am’s First Passenger Jet to Europe (1958)

Aviation has a strong history in the Washington area. Following on the heels of our last aeronautical first (Concorde at Dulles), here is another first for the region and the country. In the fall of 1958,...
Anti-Saloon League slogan

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours

December 10th, 1913 — Over 4,000 Temperance movement and Prohibition supporters marched in Washington, demanding a new constitutional amendment banning alcohol consumption in the United States. A demonstration of this size had never been seen before. They marched...
The Assassination of President Lincoln (1865)

What Was Lincoln Doing Four Days Before Assassination?

April 10th, 1865 — Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered a day earlier at Appomattox Court House. The Civil War was over and the Union had been preserved. Workmen from the...
Nazi saboteur trial, Washington, D.C. The special seven-man military commission opens the third day of its proceedings in the trial of eight Nazi saboteurs in the fifth floor courtroom of the Department of Justice building. Sitting on the commission left to right are: Brigadier General John T. Lewis; Major General Lorenzo D. Casser; Major General Walter S. Grant; Major General Frank R. McCoy, president of the commission; Major General Blanton Winship; Brigadier General Guy V. Henry; Brigadier General John T. Kennedy. (Wikipedia)

Six Nazi Saboteurs Executed in Washington

Most of you probably are not aware that Nazi saboteurs landed on our shores early during World War II. On June 12th, 1942, a Nazi submarine reached the coast of Long Island, landing four German spies...
"Graf Zeppelin over Capitol." The German airship on its visit to Washington in October 1928 (Shorpy)

Graf Zeppelin Floats Over U.S. Capitol

Here is an amazing photo that I came across on everyone’s favorite photo website, Shorpy. The Graf Zeppelin slowly cruised up the Eastern seaboard, paying a visit to the nation’s capital at about 12:30 p.m., floating...
1924 World Series program

When Did the Washington Senators Win the World Series?

The eternally woeful Washington Senators were headed to the World Series in October of 1924 to face the New York Giants. Actually, during the 1920s, they were not that woeful. In fact, they were one of...
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom program (1963)

March on Washington – “We Shall Overcome”

I started poking through the National Archives database the other day and came across the official program from the August 28th, 1963 March on Washington. This would have been a good one to share on Martin Luther...
Concorde taking off

First Commercial Concorde Flight Lands at Dulles

The first transatlantic Concorde flight arrived at Dulles Airport in 1976 to much fanfare. Read the story and see the photos.
Col. Benjamin F. Fisher and staff on steps of Signal Corps headquarters, 1816 F St., NW

Great Civil War Photographs of Washington

Here is a great gallery of some Civil War photographs I uncovered at the Library of Congress. It appears that the Treasury Department is in the background of the Sanitary Commission photograph at 15th and F...
Address to the American People

President Garfield’s Assassin: Charles Guiteau’s Time in Washington

I posed a question to readers on Twitter whether a bit about Garfield’s assassin, Charles Guiteau, would be of interest and a couple of folks chimed in. So, I think this will be a good one...
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933)

FDR’s 1941 State of the Union: Four Freedoms Speech

Later this evening, the President will give his annual State of the Union address. On such an important day, it would be remiss of me not to share one of the greatest State of the Union...

Film Footage of President McKinley’s Inauguration

Chalk this up to our incredible Library of Congress. A silent film by Thomas Edison, shot on March 4th, 1901 at the Capitol. This one is quite blurry, but this is over a hundred years ago....

Robert Todd Lincoln at His Father’s Memorial Dedication

File this one away in the historic candids section. On May 30th, 1922 and at the advanced age of 78, Robert Todd Lincoln is seen arriving at the dedication of the memorial to his father Abraham...
Grand Review of the Armies - May 1865

The Grand Review of the Armies (May, 1865)

The Grand Review of the Armies happened on May 23rd and 24th, 1865 after the formal end of The Civil War. Much of the Union Army paraded through the streets of Washington (most importantly, Pennsylvania Ave.),...
Richard Nixon

Nixon: I Am Not a Crook

I really wanted to start by skewing these posts towards more anonymous D.C. residents, but I keep coming across gold on YouTube like this. I promise to return to more posts on hidden and lost Washington,...
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