If you were a western settler in the 1870s looking for a home where the buffalo roamed, you might have had a hard time finding one. Homes on the range saw ever-dwindling numbers of buffalo (officially known as American bison), due to systematic campaigns of extermination that targeted not only bison, but gray wolves and cougars as well. Enter William Temple Hornaday, a hunter and taxidermist who witnessed the near extinction of the bison and decided that “preservation . . . is an imperative duty, for otherwise it will be too late.”
"If you were to ask the first comer you meet in the street whether he knew 'Hiawatha' he would immediately be able to whistle it," wrote the Washington Post in 1904. Read about one of the most anticipated musical events of that year, featuring Anglo-African composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his namesake Choral Society.
Those who think that the “Exorcist stairs” are the spookiest landmark in Georgetown clearly haven’t heard of the Laurie family. In the nineteenth century, in a townhouse where 3327 N Street NW stands today, two women known as “the Witches of Georgetown” were talking to ghosts and making pianos levitate. Or, at least, that’s what legend tells us.
Huntley Meadows Park near Alexandria treats visitors to over 1,500 acres of restored wetlands, forests, and meadows. It is home to a stunning diversity of wildlife, all visible from a boardwalk, observation tower and trails. But if Henry Woodhouse, an aviation enthusiast with a shady past, had gotten his way, this gorgeous slice of Northern Virginia might have become the biggest airport in the world.
A woman accuses a powerful man of manipulating and taking advantage of her for years in a secret relationship. Sensational accusations emerge, causing a media frenzy. Lawyers on both sides prepare a protracted case which is followed in its every detail by the press and public. A popular Congressman faces a fall from grace. But this isn't a modern scandal—it happened a century ago in DC, and the woman at its center wanted only to see justice done.
It's no secret that the CIA sometimes thought more about whether it could and less about whether it should. Project Acoustic Kitty was one of those times. Does "trained cat" sound like an oxymoron to you? It should, but it cost the CIA $15 million to find out the same thing!
Victor Frankenstein wasn't the only scientist to raise the dead! In 1903, Alexander Graham Bell departs for Italy to escort the Smithsonian's founder back to the United States. The only problem? James Smithson has been dead for almost 75 years. How exactly do you declare THAT at customs?
As Washington, D.C. has become more gentrified, leaving much of its former history and culture behind, mumbo sauce is one aspect of D.C.'s homegrown culture that has managed to stick around. However, even mumbo sauce's place in the shifting scene of D.C. has been challenged in recent years.
Where can you see lacy Arabic architecture, the tombs of ancient Romans, and artifacts from medieval France? Why, in Washington DC, of course! Read about one man's dream to crown America's capital with all the centuries that came before it: by building the biggest, most audacious museum the world had ever seen.