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The Best Of

These are the best posts from Ghosts of DC, the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C.

1890s Map of Diarrhea Deaths in Washington

This is one of the more bizarre maps that we’ve uncovered. It certainly demonstrates how different the times were with such a high incidence of death due to diarrhea in the 19th century. Sanitation wasn’t exactly...

Unbuilt Ulysses Grant Bridge Today

This most incredible image shows what the Ulysses Grant Memorial Bridge would have liked like today. It would have been where the current Arlington Memorial Bridge is today.

1967 Map of Unbuilt D.C. Highways

Why doesn't 395 cut through Washington, DC? This is the history of highways in DC.

1917 Film Footage of 180-Mile Journey Down Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Check out this fascinating film footage of a trip down the C&O Canal.
Columbia Heights Tivoli Theater commercial

Photos of Columbia Heights After ’68 Riots

Here is a series of amazing photos that we came across on Flickr showing the 1968 riots in D.C. We’ve posted some stuff on the riots in the past, like this film clip, and these photos....

Never Built Three Sisters Bridge Across the Potomac

This is a story that is most likely unknown to the great majority of GoDCers. Long-time DC residents may remember the controversy over the bridge that was to be built, connecting Virginia and the District, right...
AERIAL VIEW OF WEST/FRONT AND NORTH/SIDE FACADES, LOOKING SOUTHEAST (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): VA-1272 Ball Building, 1437 N. Court House Road. VA-1273 Jesse Building, 1423-27 N. Court House Road. VA-1276 Jesse-Hosmer Building, 1419 N. Court House Road. VA-1275 Moncure (Adams, Porter, Radigan) Building, N. 1415 Court House Road. VA-1274 Rucker Building, N. 1403 Court House Road. - Lawyers' Row Block, North Court House Road between Fourteenth & Fifteenth Streets, Arlington, Arlington County, VA

Mid-1980s Photo of Arlington

Do you recognize this part of Arlington? You’re looking down down N Courthouse Rd. From the cars in the photo, I’m guessing that this is sometime in the early 1990s. Source: Library of Congress Here is...
1906 map showing the original boundary milestones of the District of Columbia

1906 Map of All D.C. Boundary Stones

Working under commissioners that President Washington had appointed in 1790 in accordance with the Residence Act, Major Andrew Ellicott led a team that placed these markers in 1791 and 1792.
Tysons Corner 1936

Why Is It Named Tysons Corner?

The area formerly known as Peach Grove eventually came to be known as Tysons Crossroads and then Tysons Corner after William Tyson.
Maine Ave. SW 1865

Incredible 1865 Photo of the Capitol

This photograph was taken in April 1865, which would have been right around the time of President Lincoln’s assassination. You can see the unpaved roads of Maine Ave, SW. There are buildings in the foreground with...
Washington, D.C., circa 1934. "Washington Monument. Capstone without lightning rods." 8x10 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.

Amazing Photo of Washington Monument Apex

Washington, D.C., circa 1934. "Washington Monument. Capstone without lightning rods." 8x10 nitrate negative by Theodor Horydczak.
Ulysses S. Grant, full-length portrait, facing left, standing alongside his war horse, "Cincinnati"

Which President Got a Speeding Ticket on a Horse?

Ulysses Grant was arrested for directing by William West, an African-American metropolitan policeman. This is a great historical story.
Glebe Rd. and 13th

Why Is It Named Glebe Road in Arlington?

Learn about Glebe Road. It dates back to the 1700s and initially was known as the "Road to the Falls" taking travelers from Alexandria to Great Falls.
Ulysses S. Grant memorial lion in House of Cards opening credits

History Behind Lion Statues in House of Cards Opening Credits

Everyone is House of Cards crazy, and so are we. That’s why we wrote this post on Super Liquors, shown in the opening credits. We’re just waiting on the call for our appearance in season three....

1895 Bird’s Eye View of Brookland

How cool is this? If you live in Brookland, you’re going to love it. Click on it for a larger version and then share it with your friends on Facebook. Source: Library of Congress The map...
President Reagan signing National Minimum Drinking Age Act into law

Washington, D.C. Drinking Age History

When did DC raise the drinking age to 21?
Dulles Airport in 1962

Opening Dedication Ceremony of Dulles Airport in 1962

The airport was dedicated by President Kennedy and former President Eisenhower, a $110 million federal project, largely driven during the latter's administration.
Francis Scott Key Bridge

Drunk Guy Falls Off Key Bridge Railing

This is something that would bring everything to halt on Key Bridge, and probably all of Rosslyn and Georgetown. Twitter would be blowing up and there would be tons of Instagram photos. Below is an amusing...