Metropolitan Police Department

Police raid a gambler's den. Several loads of book makers were taken from the E. St. address by the police (Library of Congress)

Police Raid Gambler’s Den on E Street

A huge gambling bust happened on January 31st, 1925. The location was a crowded restaurant on E St. where people would gather for illegal dice games and gambling. The Washington Post reported on it the following...
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...
er a thrilling chase through the busiest streets of Washington, ... a couple of bootleggers and their car come to grief at the hands of the Capitol police - January 21st, 1922

Police in Battle With Rum Car

Prohibition was a rowdy time in D.C., much like the rest of the country. The police had to deal with bootleggers constantly in the city. This article from the Washington Times illustrates that in dramatic fashion....
Three giants of the Metropolitan Police Force - 1903 (Washington Times)

Three Giants of the Metropolitan Police Force

I came across an article in the Washington Times about three giants of the Washington police force … and I mean real “giants,” as in super tall cops. Well, super tall by standards back in 1903,...
Join MPD

Come On! Join MPD in 1918; Free Street Car Rides (In Uniform)

Here is a terrific old advertisement from 1918, soliciting young men between 22 and 35 to join the Metropolitan Police Department (a limited number of intelligent and educated women will also be considered). Click on the...

The Midget Policeman: Julius Daranyi

Yesterday’s post was popular, and thanks to GoDCer Mark’s tweet, I have another oddity to share with you. Below is a scene you’re not likely to see today at 14th and G. This is Julius Daranyi...
1320 Florida Ave. NE - the Sprinkle family home

They Were Neighbors: Officer Sprinkle Lived Here

To satisfy your hunger for more Officer Sprinkle, I took a look into where he lived in 1900. At the time, he was 34 years old, had been married to his wife Teresa for 10 years...
Police call box at 13 1/2 and D St. NW in 1912 (Wikipedia)

Old Police Call Boxes of Washington

Most of you probably walk right by those old police boxes scattered throughout the city. Some of them have been turned into miniature art exhibits — like the ones in Mt. Pleasant. Check out the video...

Five-Year-Old Arrested for Getting His Kite Out of Tree

This is an odd story from the Washington Times. The paper reported on August 11th, 1908 the arrest of a young five-year-old. Yes, a little kid was arrested and it’s a bizarre story. Not only was...
Lieutenant J. L. Sprinkle

Officer Sprinkle Breaks Up Street Brawl

Here’s a daily dose of DCPD badass Officer Sprinkle. Do not mess with this guy. He means business. Also, this sounds like a little bit of a salacious love triangle. The following story was published in...
Inside the District jail during Christmas around 1920 (Library of Congress)

Herbert Copeland: The Last Person Hanged in D.C.

A brief article tells the tale of the last execution by hanging in the District. Copeland was a cop killer and had murdered three policemen in cold blood in May 1918. He shot and killed Officer...
Chinatown Gate

Washington’s Chinese Mafia Wars

The opium den post of last week was the first foray into old Chinatown research, but I’ve uncovered a gold mine of fascinating local history. You probably were unaware of this, but in the 1920s, there...
Old Masonic Temple building (via Jacqueline Drayer)

A “Bomb” is Found and Officer Sprinkle Saves the Day

Once again, our favorite hero has come to the rescue. This tale from the annals of Officer Sprinkle dates back to July 1st, 1914. The Washington Post reported a story about an explosive device found in...
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. Photo credit: Jennifer Kolansky

If Walls Could Talk: Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

Last week’s winner of the “If Walls Could Talk” poll was Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. They altered the look and feel of the tavern-heavy block of Pennsylvania between 2nd and 3rd St. SE and have...
The "Rainbow Row" of homes on Cliffbourne Pl. NW

If Walls Could Talk: The Yellow House at 2513 Cliffbourne Pl. NW – Part 2

This is the second post in a four-part series covering the colorful homes on Cliffbourne Pl. NW, between Calvert St. and Biltmore St. This one is the brightest of the set and it really stands out...
Eckington streetcar accident (1919)

Officials Probe Eckington Streetcar Disaster

This looks bad. And, it is as bad as it looks. I came across this old photo on Shorpy (of course). It was a major streetcar derailment that injured 35 passengers, resulting in the arrest of...
The Looking Glass

If Walls Could Talk: The Looking Glass Lounge

This next installment of “If Walls Could Talk” will be the Petworth watering hole, The Looking Glass Lounge. This is one of my favorite places for a Sunday afternoon beer, especially in the warmer months, out...
Close up of accident at Columbia Rd. and Sherman Ave. NW

Wreck at Columbia Rd. and Sherman Ave. NW

Here are a couple photos from my new favorite site, Shorpy. This was taken on January 5th, 1921 at the intersection of Columbia Rd. and Sherman Ave. NW. Now this is cool … take a look...
Get Ghosts of DC by emailYou don't want to miss our best stuff in your inbox!

We'll send you our newest content as soon as it publishes. And, we'll throw in some of the best old content from the last eight years. We have nearly 3,000 posts, so you'll have plenty to read.

Recommended for youHere's a book we think you'll enjoy.
Take a look