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.

streetcars

More 1950s Footage of D.C. Streetcars

Here’s another great video of the old D.C. streetcar system.
82 streetcar line

Excellent 1950s Video of 82 Streetcar Line

This is some really cool old footage. It shows the 82 streetcar line running from Eckington, heading through northeast, up to Mount Rainier, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, and College Park. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpFCFILDOxs It’s really long, but well worth...

Fidel Castro Visits Meridian Hill

Really? I bet you’re thinking this is a truly bizarre image. It shows a 32-year-old Fidel Castro (read the letter he wrote as a teenager to FDR) in Meridian Hill Park holding 16-month-old Sherry Robin Hayes....
Frager's Hardware

Three Stories About Frager’s Hardware

We love and support Frager’s and were so devastated when the place burned down. We have full faith that the business will reopen and continue to serve Capitol Hill residents for their hardware needs. Founded by...
M Street in 1959

View Down M Street in 1959

This is a terrific photo, courtesy of DDOT. Source: Flickr user ddotphotos
11th and Kenyon St. NW in 1951

Awesome 1951 Photo of 11th and Kenyon

This is a great shot of what Columbia Heights looked like in 1951 (according the the label). It’s the intersection where, today, you’ll find Wonderland and the soccer field behind Tubman. The streetcar tracks are running...
Jimmy Dean and Elvis Presley, March 23, 1956

A ‘Nervous’ Elvis Appears on Jimmy Dean’s WMAL-TV Show

A nervous and ‘scared’ Elvis Presley gave one of the shortest interviews in local television history at the old WMAL-TV studios on Connecticut Avenue in upper Northwest back in 1956. Elvis, just starting to emerge as...
Uline Arena

Ghosts of Hockey, Basketball and Rock ‘n’ Roll

This is a cross post by Douglas Barclay, originally posted here. One of the major joys of going to school in Washington DC is the cities unrelenting exposure to history, both large and small. I am...
Capitol Dome

Capitol Dome Painted Red

Well, not really red paint. This is a shot from sometime in the 1950s and the red-colored dome is covered in primer. We came across this photo thanks to a Twitter exchange between @darsal and @MrTinDC.
Madam's Organ

If Walls Could Talk: Madam’s Organ

It’s highly likely you have been to the D.C. institution known as Madam’s Organ at 2461 18th St. NW. It anchors the Adams Morgan strip, and has done so since the current patrons were in diapers....
John Thompson - Class of 1960

Hoover, Thompson, Leftwich and Malloy

More than 50 years later, the names still evoke magical and majestic memories for long-time DC basketball fans. The Archbishop John Carroll Lions of the late 1950’s arguably still reign as this city’s best-ever high school...
May 29, 1959. "Prince George Plaza, Hyattsville, Maryland. Night view." An actual mall (a long, open plaza) when it opened in 1959, the shopping center was enclosed in the 1970s and renamed the Mall at Prince Georges. Large-format safety negative by Samuel H. Gottscho.

Prince George’s Plaza in 1959

This is Prince George’s Plaza  in the “Wonder Years” era. It was actually an open-air mall in those days. Reminds me of this mall photo we posted a while back.
Bryce Harper Sports Illustrated cover - Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Roy Sievers, Bryce Harper and Sports Illustrated

In 1958, Roy Sievers of the Washington Nationals (i.e., Washington Senators) was one of the best sluggers in the game. The previous year, he knocked out a league-leading 42 dingers and he would follow it up...
Ghost Dog visits the Duke Ellington Bridge

Ghost Dog Fetches Three Stories About the Duke Ellington Bridge

Ghost Dog went on another walk this past weekend to seek out three more stories for the GoDC community. This time, she passed through Adams Morgan, en route to the Duke Ellington Bridge (formerly known as...
aerial view of the Ellipse

Don’t Take Our Ellipse Parking

We came across this article in the Washington Post from November 17th, 1955. Seems like people were getting pretty frustrated at the closing of roads and parking near the White House. No one, we are sure,...

Jim Henson and the Birth of the Muppets

Some of you may know this, but for those that don’t, it’s probably surprising. Kermit and Miss Piggy’s creator, Jim Henson, was raised here in the D.C. area. Henson’s father was an employee at the Department...
The Pig at 1320 14th St. NW (foodnomad.net)

If Walls Could Talk: The Pig

Congratulations to the latest “If Walls Could Talk” poll winner, The Pig. Congrats! @thepigdc with a huge late surge to 45%, you are indeed the winner over @rustikdc @darlingtonhouse @nelliesdc @18thamendment — Ghosts of DC (@GhostsofDC)...
Fats Domino in the 1950s

Rowdy Rock ‘n’ Roll: Fats Domino Banned From Griffith Stadium

Beer wasn’t the only thing banned from Griffith Stadium. Rock ‘n’ roll music was not allowed either. The Washington Post wrote about Fats Domino being banned from performing at Griffith Stadium in August 1957. District Commissioners...
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