Why Is It Named...?

What is the history behind the names of popular locations in Washington?

Looking eastward along the I-495 Capital Beltway in Virginia, east of Springfield, toward the Beltway bridge over the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) Railroad (today's CSX Railroad) in the distance. The highway was nearing completion but not yet open to traffic at this time. Notice that the roadway has three lanes, and that the roadway is paved with reinforced Portland cement concrete. When originally built, the Beltway in Virginia had six lanes (three each way) between I-95 at Springfield and across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and all the way through Maryland. This photo was taken in 1963 by the Virginia Department of Highways.

Origin of the Term “Beltway Bandit”

Before the days of Booz Allen, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, the term 'Beltway Bandit' was applied to the nefarious behavior of a common area...
Eaton School children in the 1910s

Why Is It Named? The D.C. Public Elementary School Edition.

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...

Why Is It Named Adams Morgan?

If you go to Adams Morgan on a regular basis, you should probably know at least the basic history of the neighborhood, which is...

Why Is It Named Langley, VA?

Langley, VA is the headquarters for the CIA. What's the history behind the area's name?
George Calvert - Baron of Baltimore

Why Is It Named Maryland?

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...
1900 Howell & Taylor map of Arlington showing early Clarendon

Why Is It Named Clarendon? And, What Does It Mean?

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...
Aerial view of Pennsylvania Avenue looking west, showing Federal Triangle and the National Mall. (2006)

Why Is It Named Federal Triangle?

Do you know the origin of the name "Federal Triangle"? Did you know that at one point the area was called "Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle"?

Why Is It Named LeDroit Park?

Well, you might not know this, but there really was a Mr. LeDroit ... sort of. LeDroit Park was...

Why Is It Named Mt. Pleasant?

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,...

Why Is It Named Woodley Park?

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...
Oak View - home of President Cleveland - Oct. 3, 1897

Why Is It Named Cleveland Park?

We're guessing a good number of you know the answer to this. There's also a good group of you who don't know, are quite curious,...
Tysons Corner 1936

Why Is It Named Tysons Corner?

Tysons Corner has a fascinating history going back to the days of William Tyson.
Welcome to the Palisades sign

Why Is It Named MacArthur Boulevard?

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...
Tunlaw Rd. and 39th St.

Why Is It Named Tunlaw Road?

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...

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