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In the Paper

The Last New Year’s Eve Before Prohibition

It’s really hard to believe, but the year 2020 is nearly upon us. I suspect the denizens of Washington, D.C. on December 31st, 1919 felt the same way about 1920 approaching. It’s entirely likely that they were desperately dreading the...

1953’s Air Travel Predictions

We love old predictions of the future like this. This was an article from The Washington Post printed on December 18th, 1953, the day after the 50th anniversary of their first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. (They also flew...

February 22nd, 1919

Five Things in the Paper 100 Years Ago

Let’s try something new. We browsed the papers from Saturday February 22nd, 1919 to come up with some fun and interesting things to share with you. This is what we came across in The Evening Star on that date. Origin of Keeping...

1904 Columbia Heights Real Estate Ad

Check out this great old advertisement from The Evening Star back in 1904. It shows a number of great properties for sale in then-new Columbia Heights, which was booming with development. Source: Library of Congress

Balloon “Bootleggers” Chased By Police

Did you know that selling balloons on the streets of D.C. was made illegal back in 1934? There was quite a booming industry of balloon vendors trolling the streets, getting parents to buy balloon for eager young children. Below is...

Washington, D.C., circa 1918. "Childs Restaurant, 1423 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

Horse Dealers Claim Automobiles a Fad

This is a great old article that we dug up in The Washington Post from May 14th, 1900. We see this same ignorance or protectionist tendencies to this day. Look at taxis versus Uber and Lyft, or hotels versus AirBnB. We...

The President's 40-horsepower White Model M steam-powered touring car. March 1909. Photographed on the White House grounds in the early days of the Taft administration. In the back is the State Department, now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. George Grantham Bain Collection.

U.S. Senate Imposes 50 Percent Tariff on Foreign Cars

No more foreign cars! They’re an abomination and a detriment to our economy … and society at large. Or so said many nearly 110 years ago. No, this wasn’t Trump’s America, it was the land of Roosevelt and Taft. Below...

Booming Georgetown in 1922

This great newspaper clipping is from The Washington Times on January 29th, 1922. Source : Library of Congress

1860s photo of a hackman and his hackney (in London)

History of the Washington Hackmen (i.e., Carriage Driver)

Pre-dating Uber drivers by about 160 years, the hackmen of Washington used to provide transportation to locals and visitors alike. Hackmen used to rule the streets of the city, taking people wherever they wanted to go. (A hackman was one...

Third in a series of four panoramic photographs of Washington, D.C., from left to right (west to east) taken from a tower in the Smithsonian Institution Building. The Mall area is covered with trees. The streets on the left perpendicular to the Mall are 12th Street and 11th Street. The long building on the right is Center Market bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. Up and behind Center Market on the right, the large building is the Pension Bureau Building bounded by F and G Streets, N.W., between 4th and 5th Streets, designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs, completed in 1887, later occupied by many government agencies and now known as the National Building Museum

Why Does the National Mall Look the Way It Does?

What do you think? Is Washington the most beautiful city in the world? I have to believe that I’m biased, but I do think it is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Okay, there’s Paris, Vienna,...

D.C. Lacks National Representation … Still

This print is still appropriate today … sadly. We found this in the awesome collection provided by the DC Public Library. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s amazing, and curated by an old GoDC fan, Jerry. The print was...

cutaway drawing of the Evening Star Building

Great Cutaway Drawing of Evening Star Building in 1922

This is such a cool cutaway drawing of the Evening Star Building at 11th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. We posted a great photo of it some time ago, but this was something we had to share after GoDCer Ellen sent...

The Alexandria Gazette - January 2nd, 1904

Front Page News 110 Years Ago Today

Here is the front page of the Alexandria Gazette, exactly 110 years ago today, January 2nd, 1904. Source: Library of Congress

Washington Celebrates Christmas in 1913

One hundred years ago today, these two images were the front pages of The Washington Times and The Washington Herald, respectively. Merry Christmas GoDCers! Have a great, relaxing time around the tree with your families. Source: Library of Congress Source: Library...

A Regular Friday Morning 50 Years Ago

Everyone else is going to be covering the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination and there will be no shortage of stories about it. Here at Ghosts of DC, we want to shed some light on the other things that happened...

view down Pennsylvania Ave. in 1905 during Roosevelt's inauguration

Height of Buildings Op-Ed: Skyscrapers Are a Menace (1905)

The debate over building height is certainly not a new one for Washington. It seems to be heating up again and we thought it would be interesting to dig up previous arguments from the archives of The Washington Post. Source: Library...

Sambo and His Funny Noises

Racist Comic Strip from Sunday Star

It’s just shocking to see the blatant racism of 100 years ago. Here’s a comic strip, printed in The Sunday Star on January 5th, 1908. The strip is called Sambo and His Funny Noises.

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The Most Glorious American Epic: The Birth of a Nation

Here’s a fascinating article from the Washington Times, printed on April 22nd, 1916. For those of you unfamiliar with The Birth of a Nation, it’s a crazy racist film which was banned in a number of American cities, sparked large...

Washington Times - July 28th, 1914

July 28th, 1914: Austria Has Chosen War

This is the front page of the Washington Times from Tuesday evening, July 28th, 1914, the day Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Source: Library of Congress