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1980s

What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1980s? Take a look at our great posts with stories, people, photos, and history about the District from the eighties.

Governor Clinton Delivers 1980 Georgetown Commencement

Here’s a rare one. You’re looking at then-governor Clinton of Arkansas, and Georgetown graduate, delivering the commencement speech at Georgetown for the graduating class of 1980. Any of you readers graduate with that class?
Traffic on I-66

What Is Nestoring?

Autumn 1984, Washington DC – It was the best of times, it was the worst of traffic. In September of 1984, The Washington Post published a story about a horrendous Beltway accident. Though numerous...

Where Can You Have an Embassy in Washington, D.C.?

You can't build an embassy anywhere in D.C. Check out this map from 1987 showing where it's okay to have your diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C.
Aerial view of the Willard Hotel during restoration, Washington, D.C.

Photo of Willard Hotel Undergoing Major Renovation

This is an aerial image of the Willard Hotel undergoing major renovations in the 1980s. Source: Library of Congress
Erol's video

Erol’s Video Sold to Blockbuster for $40 Million

Remember Erol’s? They were the awesome local video chain where we rented Goonies, Ghostbusters (the original), or the Gremlins. It was a sad day when the local powerhouse came to an end with the Blockbuster...
NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade

NSA Allows Homosexual to Stay

When this headline hit the papers in 1980, it was a big deal. A really big deal. Being gay was something that would disqualify you from holding a security clearance. Below are excerpts from...
Aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard, looking east (top). This shot shows the Navy Yard’s borders: M Street on the north (left); the waterfront on the south; 11th street on the east, and 2nd street on the west (foreground). On the right bank of the river is Anacostia, September 1963. NHHC Photograph Collection, Navy Subject Files, Washington Navy Yard. (214).

Aerial Views of the Navy Yard in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s

This photo is an aerial view of the Navy Yard just a couple of months before President Kennedy was assassinated. Source: National Museum of the U.S. Navy Here’s another one from the 1970s. Source:...

“The President’s Walk” Was Almost Reagan’s Last

This is a guest post by Angela Harrison Eng The Washington Hilton Hotel is located at 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, near DuPont Circle. At a glance, the hotel is one of many in a...
Aerial view of Alexandria, Virgina taken in the 1980s.

1980s Aerial Photo of Alexandria

Click on the image below to see the larger version and see if you recognize parts of Alexandria from the 1980s. Source: Library of Congress