1950s

What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1950s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the fifties.

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...

1950s Film Footage of Washington

Film footage of Washington shows how different things were. Listen to some of the narrative, including the past about George Washington’s slaves “living happily in their quarters.” Yes, that was really said.

1951 USGS Map of Washington

We came across a great archive of maps thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey. This one shows much of Washington and some of suburban Maryland in 1951.
Reno Rd. NW

Reno Road Almost Renamed Washington Avenue

A little-known story about upper northwest is that Reno Road, which cuts right through the heart of North Cleveland Park to Chevy Chase, was almost renamed Washington Avenue, in honor of the west coast state. An...

Flying Saucers Over the Capitol and White House

The hot summer of 1952 witnessed some bizarre lights floating over the District. Evidently for many nights in July, sightings were reported of up to seven lights flying around the night sky, including over the Capitol...

1950 Horizon-to-Horizon Photo of Washington

This is a cool photo of Washington taken by the U.S. Air Force using a horizon to horizon camera. Check it out. Source: Library of Congress

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 actually the combination of several older Washington neighborhoods: Kalorama Triangle, Lanier Heights,...
1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Presidential Limousine - Bubble Top Parade Car - Presidential Motorcade - President Eisenhower - Queen Elizabeth - United States Visit - Washington DC - October, 1957

Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth Driving in Presidential Limo

This wonderful old photo of Pennsylvania Avenue in 1957 shows President Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth in an old Lincoln Cosmopolitan. Source: Flickr user Dave Gelinas And here’s another. Source: Flickr user Dave Gelinas Source: Flickr user...
White House- Washington DC- circa 1950 Photographed by my grandfather with Leica 111c 35mm circa 1950

The White House in 1950

This beautiful photo of the north side of the White House was taken in 1950. Click on it for more. Source: Martin Archer on Flickr Here’s another cool shot of the President’s House. Source: Flickr
Corner store at 4th and M Streets SW, northwest corner, looking up 4th Street toward L, 1100 block

What Did Southwest Washington Look Like in the 1950s?

Here’s a shot of typical life in Southwest Washington back in the 1950s. You’re looking at a corner store at 4th and M St. SW. Source: Dig DC The same corner today looks a little different.

This Was F Street at Night in 1955

This amazing old photo shows F St. NW, looking east from 13th St. in 1955. Pretty cool. Source: Flickr user rockcreek Here’s a similar view today on Google Street View, which is not nearly as cook....
Cars in front of the Washington Monument in 1956

GoDCer Shares His 1956 D.C. Vacation Pictures

Check out this great set of photos GoDCer Bill sent in (a while ago, sorry I’m just now posting them). The wild part is that tours passed by the front of the White House back in...
Griffith Stadium in Washington during the 1956 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Rare 1956 Color Photos Inside Griffith Stadium

These are so cool. We found them on Twitter by one of our favorite tweeters, @MLBcathedrals. These photos are from 1956 during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Amazing 1950s Film Footage of D.C. Streetcars

This is some awesome footage of the old streetcar system here in D.C. from the 1950s. What’s really great is seeing some recognizable spots in the city, like the Dupont Underground, East Capitol St., and of...

1957 Guided Tour of Washington, D.C.

This film footage from 1957 is excellent. Make sure you watch the whole thing and check out the familiar sites.
Dulles Airport tower being built

Old Photos of Dulles Airport Under Construction

Here is a great series of photos we found at the Library of Congress showing Dulles Airport during construction. And finally, here’s a post-construction photo from the parking lot, looking at the new terminal. Source: Library...
Hickory Hill - the Kennedy estate on Chain Bridge Road

JFK Opposed Widening Chain Bridge Road

Sometimes we forget that famous people are also regular people with problems other than running a country. JFK was a young senator from Massachusetts when he lived off of Chain Bridge Road in McLean. He and...
Key Bridge

Mother Gives Birth to Child on Key Bridge

You probably don’t believe that headline, but it indeed happened back in 1956. On August 29th, The Washington Post reported that a woman from Fairfax gave birth to a healthy baby while en route to the hospital....