Posts in category D.C. History Hits

What If? Washington: A Castle-less Ca...

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The Castle, burning, 1865. (Kiplinger Washington Collection, KC0785) Imagine. What if the Smithsonian Castle had burned all the way to the ground when flames surrounded the building in 1865? One of the most distinctive – and wonderfully odd, really, with its mismatched turrets and cloister-influenced nooks and crannies – and immed [...]

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft...

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Cow
Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Holstein cow, was the last to live at the White House.  (CHS 00861, c. 1910) When it comes to White House animals, Presidential pets are the most well-known. Andrew Jackson had Polly, an infamous swearing parrot, James Buchanan had an elephant at the White House (a gift from the King of Siam), and Teddy R [...]

So Where Did D.C. Get Its Street Name...

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Lamppost with Kalorama Road street sign (c. 1910-20). General Photograph Collection (CHS 14430), Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Most of Washington’s streets are named with the well-known alpha-numeric system with diagonal avenues named for states. But what about the street names outside the alphabetic grid? Where did they get th [...]

Hand Over Washington History

The statue currently outside the Carnegie Library was commissioned for the Poor People's Campaign in 1968. Find out more about the campaign in the current issue of Washington History!
The statue currently outside the Carnegie Library was commissioned for the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. Find out more about the campaign in the current issue of Washington History! Have you ever walked by the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square and wondered about the massive hand sculpture that sits just outside the building? Artis [...]

On This Day: Columbia Heights on Octo...

Image of 16 and Harvard Street NW from 1949
Columbia Heights was a very different place 65 years ago, but the view of the National Baptist Memorial Church near 16th and Harvard Streets NW hasn’t changed all that much. Love the 1940s buses streetcars and taxicab! National Baptist Memorial Church, 16th and Harvard Streets NW (John P. Wymer Collection, HSW) Share this:Click to share [...]

Return of the D.C. History Minute

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The Historical Society produced a series of 60-second features in 2008 titled “D.C. History Minute.” Originally an audio-only presentation,  these fantastic resources on the D.C. area’s people and places are currently being updated, enhanced with new images, and being re-released on the Historical Society’s YouTube cha [...]