1930s

What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1930s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the thirties.

Josh Gibson, Homestead Grays

Don’t Forget Josh Gibson

We have posted a couple times about the legendary slugger Josh Gibson. He is both a fascinating subject to learn about and a terribly tragic figure. We came across this short biographical clip that we thought...
legalize beer cartoon by Pat Enright

Charge of ‘Beer Orgy’ Angers White House

That’s a pretty good attention grabbing headline from the Washington Post. And I think this is appropriate, given the current media focus on the White House’s home brewed beer. There was even an official response by...
Babe Ruth at bat against Washington

Babe Ruth’s Final Game and Home Run as a Yankee

Babe Ruth and the Yankees came to town in September of 1934 for one last hurrah. They were to play the Senators in a doubleheader on Saturday, September 29th, followed by a Sunday afternoon game. Already...
Budweiser Clydesdales in D.C. after the repeal (cnbc.com)

First Legal Drink at Midnight Upon Repeal of Prohibition

Do you like your beer, wine or liquor? The Sheppard Bone-Dry Act of 1917 would have put a major damper on your libations when it was signed by President Wilson. November 1st, 1917 would be the...

A Brief History of Brunch in D.C.

About 5,500 weekends ago, Washingtonians woke up and lazily flipped through their newspapers.  It was Sunday, November, 11, 1906 and something bold and new was described for the first time in The Post: New Portmanteau Words....
Aerial view of a traffic jam, 14th Street and the Mall, Washington, D.C., Apr. 1937. 30-N-37-1360A. (National Archives)

Ugh, Traffic Sucks

Think your commute home today will suck? Check this out … Constitution Avenue circa 1937. By the way, do you know why it’s called Constitution Avenue? If not, read this post. Related articles Bus Strike Creates...
neon sign Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park (tawbaware.com)

Three Big Movies at the Uptown Theater

It’s been a while since our last “Three Things…” post, so we queried the Twitterverse for GoDC suggestions on our next one. DrCapsFan, an old school GoDCer (i.e, a follower since week two) threw out a...

A Day in the Life of Washington, 1936 [VIDEO]

This has to be one of the best finds in a long time … and this appears to be authored by fellow GoDCer Brian at National Journal. The film he uncovered is from the Works Progress Administration,...
Lacross game at Central High School circa 1930 (Shorpy)

Oxford-Cambridge Lacrosse Team at Central High School

Check out this photo from around 1930. What is up with the ridiculous striped uniforms? This is a shot of a lacrosse game being held at Central High School (now Cardozo). The game was between Oxford-Cambridge and...
Spring Valley Baist real estate map in 1913

From a GoDCer: Miller-Built Homes in Spring Valley

I received the following email the other day from a GoDCers up near AU Park and Spring Valley. Hello, I love your website. Thank you for researching DC history! I grew up in AU Park —...
1937 Chevy taxi

Revenge Against Cabbie: Taxi Stolen, Pushed Into Potomac

This is a guest post by Aaron. He also wrote a really popular post on red metro trains. It must have made a splash. But nobody saw anything. An overturned taxi lay atop the rocky shore of the...
Ted's Bulletin front (source: tedsbulletin.com)

If Walls Could Talk: Ted’s Bulletin

It has been over two months since our last “If Walls Could Talk” post (Shaw’s Tavern), so it’s high time we crank out another one. We’re going to head down to Barrack’s Row on Capitol Hill...
Watergate steps (source: SmugMug user George Calhoun)

Do You Know the Other Watergate?

Before “Watergate” became synonymous with a group of buildings and a scandal, it was the name applied to something else. And it’s something that most of us are very familiar with, especially if you’re an avid...
East Potomac Golf Club (East Potomac Park), Washington, D.C., aerial view from above Haines Point looking north toward the Mall (Library of Congress)

View of East Potomac Park From the Air (1935)

Here is a great old photograph of East Potomac Park and Hains Point (which we learned about yesterday). This was taken by an airplane (obviously) from the photo section of Bolling Field. You can clearly see...
The Westchester (Flickr user Anomalous_A)

Three Things About The Westchester at 4000 Cathedral Ave. NW

We’re on a roll with these “Three Things…” posts, so why not crank out another one. This time, we’re going to focus on The Westchester at 4000 Cathedral Ave. NW. Christy, The Westchester’s resident ambassador for...
Aerial view in front of the Willard Hotel at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, showing pedestrians and rather dense traffic in autos and streetcars. - 1939

View of 14th and Pennsylvania Ave. From the Willard Hotel

I can spend two or three hours researching an in depth “Three Things…” or “If Walls Could Talk” post and ultimately end up with the same number of readers as a quick afternoon photo post. Today,...
Wreck of the Crescent Limited train on the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge over the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., in the United States. Flood waters from a storm undermined the bridge's pilings, which led to the crash on August 24, 1933. The engineer died in the wreck. (Library of Congress)

Train Plunges Into The Anacostia. Passenger Swims to Safety and Walks Home

This is a guest post by GoDCer from Poolesville, Jack (the guy that tipped us off to some great stories, like the decapitated convict). On the afternoon of August 23, 1933 the Weather Bureau updated an...

Film Footage of Washington in 1931

This is amateur 16mm film shot and uploaded to YouTube. The voiceover is amusing, but the scenes are a great step back in time over 80 years.
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