World War II

Washington, D.C. Passengers, drivers, and dogs were tired by the time they reached the gas pumps on the day before stricter gasoline rationing went into effect

Poor Dog Waiting in Line For Gas Rations

I saw this photo and I had to share it. This is a photo from June 21st, 1942. We were in the early days of World War II and in the middle of rationing. This poor pup was...
Visibility zero unless you lend your binoculars to the navy

U.S. Navy Needs Your Binoculars for World War II

Between 1936 and 1943 the Work Projects Administration (WPA), about 2,000 posters were designed to promote the arts, community activities, and used for education. The Library of Congress has digitized 907 of these posters. The one...

Fascinating World War II U.S. Army Documentary About Alexandria

Now this is an interesting old film we found on YouTube. It’s a bit long, but if you’re from Alexandria, you’ll find it entertaining and recognize quite a few of the old buildings. What do you...
Austrian flag

Austria Owes D.C. World War II Taxes

On this date, 50 years ago, The Washington Post printed a story about the government of Austria owing the District back taxes on their embassy for lack of payment during World War II. The building in question...
tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Hundreds of Tanks Rolling Down Pennsylvania Avenue

This is definitely (hopefully) something you would not see today. It’s a large parade of tanks heading from the Capitol Building towards the White House. Source: National Geographic The caption claims it’s 1947, but the discussion...
Photograph of President Truman and French President Charles de Gaulle, during welcoming ceremonies on the White House lawn, with officers saluting in the background. (August 22nd, 1945)

Charles de Gaulle: First White House Visitor Following World War II Peace

Americans love France, but we hate the French. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, but we do have a very bizarre relationship with France. It’s kind of unfair, given that they pretty much legitimized the...
Washington, D.C. Salvage drive, Victory Program. Schoolboy volunteers to go from house to home collecting scrap paper

Mt. Pleasant Paperboys Collect Scrap Paper on Ingleside Terrace for the War Effort

Back from lunch? Check this cool photo out from World War II. This is a great photo of some schoolboys going door to door on what appears to be Ingleside Terrace in Mount Pleasant in May...
Washington, D.C. Sailor taking a picture of his girlfriend at a monument in front of the Capitol on a Sunday afternoon

World War II Sailor Photographs Girlfriend in front of the Capitol Building

I wonder what happened to this couple. It’s possible that this photo was staged for the war effort. Also, take a look at the soldiers milling about in the background. This photo reminds me of this...
Hitler salutes the troops

Nazi Connection to State Department Statue

An athletic-themed statue outside of the State Department is marked with few words — but it has an interesting history. Discobolus is a bronze copy of a fifth century B.C. Greek sculpture by Myron.  You’ll see similar...
1943. On maneuvers in wartime Washington. "A soldier and a woman in a park, with the Old [Russell] Senate Office Building behind them." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency, photographer unknown. Office of War Information.

Man Ogles Woman Near Russell Building (1943)

We’re sharing a ton of great old photos this week and this is a great moment, frozen in time from 1943. It’s a shot of a soldier, sitting near a woman posing for a photograph. If...
Buddy Lewis

Buddy Lewis: All-Star Third Baseman and War Hero

This is a tremendously obscure YouTube video, but for any baseball nuts in the GoDC community, you’ll dig this. The video features Buddy Lewis, former Washington Senator and World War II veteran. He played his entire...
B-29 Superfortress in flight (Wikipedia)

Three Things You Didn’t Know About National Airport

The popular “Three Things…” post about Dulles Airport prompted me to give equal treatment to our other local, older and much more convenient airport: National Airport (not Reagan National Airport, thank you very much). Actually, the...
Walter Spangenberg, captain in the Woodrow Wilson High School Cadet Corps at the school's Regimental Ball during WWII - October 1943 (Shorpy)

Walter Spangenberg of Woodrow Wilson High School Cadet Corps

This is a far more charming photo of Washington in 1943 than the mock execution being held on the grounds of Woodrow Wilson High School. More than likely, Spangenberg was in the background of that photo,...
1940 U.S. Census

1940 Census: D.C. Was Bigger Than Today, Housed A “Hobo Jungle Camp”

This is a guest post by Aaron. Newspapers called it a “New Deal Boom.”  The Great Depression was coming to an end.  The District’s peacetime population exploded as government grew and workers – men and women...
Pearl Harbor 1941

The Morning of Pearl Harbor

In Washington, late into the evening of December 6th, reporters worked their normal, likely frantic, hours and submitted their articles in time to be published the following morning. War had been raging in Europe now for...
Sailor of woman at the Tomb of the Unknown Solder in 1943 (Library of Congress)

Anonymous World War II Couple Visits Unknown Soldier

This is an amazing old color photo that I came across on the Library of Congress’ website. It was taken by John Collier in May 1943. The unnamed sailor at left appears to be somewhere between...

Winston Churchill Addresses Congress: “The Masters of Our Fate”

Continuing the Anglo-American theme of today, here is a second video of a British Prime Minister in Washington. Winston Churchill took a steamship through German submarine-infested waters around Christmas in 1941, just after the Empire of...
Capital Beltway

What Is The History of the Capital Beltway?

Love it. Hate it. It has some of the most confusing terminology for out-of-towners. Inner loop of what? Outer loop? But there’s only one Beltway. Wait, I’m on 495, but also 95, and that’s 295? That’s...
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