Why Is It Named...? / 19.01.2018

Before the days of Booz Allen, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, the term 'Beltway Bandit' was applied to the nefarious behavior of a common area criminal -- a true bandit if you will. Application of the term to today's military industrial complex wasn't until the late 1970s. Career criminal Joseph Francis Fearon of Fairfax was the original ring leader of the "Beltway Bandits" of the late 1960s, robbing neighborhood homes neighboring the then-new Capital Beltway (i.e., I-495 -- read the Beltway's history). Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post in 1981 about...

Why Is It Named...? / 20.11.2017

We have seriously slowed down our posts because Ghost Baby is growing up, and there's also Ghost Baby #2. So Mrs. Ghost and I are of course very interested in the D.C. public elementary school system. Being the local history nerd, I wanted to dig into the history of a few city schools to uncover the background behind their names. We did a couple of these in the past, so if you want to learn about Ross Elementary School, Hearst Elementary School or Stoddert Elementary School, check those...

Why Is It Named...? / 07.07.2016

If you go to Adams Morgan on a regular basis, you should probably know at least the basic history of the neighborhood, which is actually the combination of several older Washington neighborhoods: Kalorama Triangle, Lanier Heights, Reed Cooke, and Washington Heights. Of those, you might be familiar with Kalorama, but unless you're a serious local history buff, you probably don't know the others. Hopefully you remember your high school history regarding Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1954 desegregating schools across the...

Why Is It Named...? / 28.09.2015

Langley is often the metonym for the campus of clandestine operations located within it, the Central Intelligence Agency. That campus is full of some very interesting stories, and by the way, it was almost located somewhere else in the area. We're interested in digging up some history on the community, so our next "Why Is It Named...

Why Is It Named...? / 19.05.2015

This was cross-posted on Ghosts of Baltimore. Washington, D.C. Received most of its land, about two-thirds, from the state of Maryland when it was formed in the late 18th century. The rest came from Virginia, and was subsequently retroceded back to the state in 1847. We already know from this old post why it's named Washington, D.C. Now it's time to learn about the origins of Maryland's name. A long time ago, back in 1629, George Calvert, the 1st Baron of...

Why Is It Named...? / 18.05.2015

One of our most popular posts ever was this one about the origin of Arlington's name. How about we dig a little deeper into a specific neighborhood in Arlington? As you can see below, Clarendon started as a development off of the Georgetown to Falls Church road (now Wilson Blvd.) and the Washington, Arlington, Falls Church Railway. Look at the map below and click on it for greater details. The neighborhood dates back to 1900 when it was...

Why Is It Named...? / 02.04.2015

Have you ever found yourself sitting at The Raven in the wee hours of a Saturday evening, wondering why it's called Mt. Pleasant? Well, we'll tell you, and then the next time you find yourself debating the origins with your buddies over a PBR (what is D.C.'s PBR history?), you'll now have the story to tell. A man by the name of James Holmead (there's a street named for him in Columbia Heights) received a land grant in 1727 by Charles Calvert, 5th Lord of Baltimore and governor of...

Why Is It Named...? / 30.03.2015

Who was Mr. Woodley, you're probably wondering. Well unlike Mr. Cleveland's eponymous neighborhood one stop past Woodley on the red line, this neighborhood was not named after some guy. It was named after a house, and one that has an interesting past with some notable people being associated with it. So, why is it named Woodley Park? Well, a beautiful house overlooking the young federal city was built in 1801 and named Woodley House by a notable former resident of Washington, Philip Barton Key. He was the uncle of Francis Scott...

Why Is It Named...? / 14.05.2014

If you're a fan of D.C. history, you'll know that MacArthur Blvd. used to be called Conduit Rd. You probably also know that it was named for General Douglas MacArthur, the famous World War II general. But, the story behind it is a little more interesting than just renaming a street after a prominent American. We did a little digging and found out that the street name was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on March 5th, 1942. Now, it...

Why Is It Named...? / 13.05.2014

For those of you who do not know this, you'll chuckle at how simple this is. There once was a great suburban Washington estate called Tunlaw, in what is today Wesley Heights -- the home stood at 45th and Klingle. The man who operated the estate, Thomas L. Hume, was a friend of Generals Grant and Sherman, often threw lavish parties to entertain the upper crust of Washington society. Hume also had a family home at 3319 P St. (Zillow) in Georgetown. Apparently Hume was an exceedingly large man, because he...