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World War II

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...
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...
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)....
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...
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...