• Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation Ship under construction in Alexandria (Source: Library of Congress)
    Wartime Shipbuilding in Alexandria
     
     
    When WWI brought a shipbuilding boom to Alexandria, city residents rejoiced. However, their glee would be short lived.
  • Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington
    Alexandria History
     
     
    200 years after George Washington was born, high society in Alexandria recreated his last birthday party with impressive -- if also pretentious -- accuracy.
  • Torpedo Factory in 1922. (Source: Library of Congress)
    Local Landmark
     
     
    Before becoming an art center, Alexandria's Torpedo Factory manufactured weapons for Second World War... but not all of the torpedos worked as hoped.
  • Cartoon from Washington Times.
    Strange But True
     
     
    Even as Virginia outlawed horse racing and gambling, Alexandria's St. Asaph racetrack was a hotbed of creative illicit activity at the turn of the century.
  • 1835 Map of Washington, D.C.
    It Happened Here
     
     
    The bill that created D.C. from Maryland and Virginia was enacted in 1801. Almost immediately, Virginia was looking for a way to get its territory back... and finally did on July 9, 1846.
  • Death of Col. Ellsworth After hauling down the rebel flag, at the taking of Alexandria, Va., May 24th 1861; Creator: Currier & Ives. (Source: Library of Congress)
    Civil War in Alexandria
     
     
    The 1861 killing of his friend Colonel Elmer Ellsworth quickly showed Abraham Lincoln the war's bloody cost.

A Friday Photo: Jazz for the Bears

A Friday Photo: Jazz for the Bears

I came across this photo while doing some research about the National Zoo. It's a picture of jazz quintet playing a concert for a polar bear in the 1920s. Errr... what? I'd really like to know what precipitated this. Did these dudes just wake up one morning and say, "Hey, let's go down to the zoo and play a set for the bears." "Good idea, I'll see if Gertrude is free to dance for them."? Well, in any case, the bear seems to be enjoying it. Or maybe he's just waiting for his chance to take a swipe at them through the bars.

See the full size photo »

Southern Maryland Dutch Country

Amish horse and buggy on the road in Southern Maryland. (Courtesy of St. Mary's College of Southern Maryland Archives.)

Amish horses and buggies in the Washington, D.C. Metro area? Yep. It's true. Over 200 Amish families live and work in St. Mary’s and Charles counties in Maryland, less than 40 miles from downtown D.C. The settlement, which is centered around the town of Charlotte Hall, dates to 1939 when seven families migrated to the area from Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania for the cheap Maryland land(!) and to escape pressure from the Pennsylvania state government.

The Legend of the Bunny Man

Bunny Man Bridge in Clifton, Virginia has haunted local teens for decades. (Photo source: Flickr user Motoboy92)

You’re sixteen years old, caught up in the intoxicating freedom that comes with your new driver’s license, and it’s Halloween night. You and your friends are driving around your small town looking for a quiet place far away from adult supervision. You decide to park on the side of the road near a secluded railway overpass. It’s the perfect place to get “up to something,” as your mother would say: woods creeping up on either side and the complete darkness you can only find on rural roads without streetlamps or nearby houses.

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