•  The sinking of the RMS Titanic, as envisioned by Willy Stöwer. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
    Washington's Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain honors Major Archibald Butt and artist Francis Millet, two men who died together on the ship of dreams.
  • Frank Kameny protests outside Independence Hall
    American Activism
    Frank Kameny lost his job with the federal government because he was gay. He challenged his dismissal all the way to the Supreme Court and became an unrelenting leader in the fight for gay rights.
  • 84 Years Later
    Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the man who designed D.C., lay in an unmarked grave from 1825 until 1909.
  • Portrait of Josiah Henson, 1876
    A truth stranger than fiction
    He was immortalized in Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel. But though it made him a well-known and popular figure in the nineteenth century, Josiah Henson was determined to tell his own story.

The Saengerbund Clubhouse: Parties, Concerts, and Bowling

“Washington Sängerbund in 1862.” https://www.saengerbund.org/history.html

The Washington Saengerbund was officially established on April 20th, 1851, and has gone on to become the longest enduring German singing society in the District. From 1874 to 1893, the society met above Charles “Baldy” Dismer’s restaurant at 708 K St. NW in Mount Vernon Square. During that time, the organization enjoyed exponential growth, consisting of nearly 500 members both active and passive by 1894. This influx of members created an evident need for the society to have its own clubhouse, and this dream became a reality in November 1893 when the Saengerbund purchased a house at 314 C Street NW, which would become the site of many extravagent parties, concerts, and bowling matches for the next 27 years.

1898 pen-and-ink drawing of a periodical cicada's life cycle

Brood X in the Eighteenth-Century Headlines

As a historian, seeing the media “buzz” surrounding cicadas makes me wonder how our ancestors reacted to their periodical swarms. Who were the first people to realize what was going on? Did they understand the seventeen-year cycle? Were they afraid, curious, or unbothered? As I suspected, Washington-area locals have been fascinated by Brood X for a very long time. 

The First Delegate

Norton Chipman

A century before Walter Fauntroy and Julius Hobson competed for the modern District Delegate seat, another man held the seat. His election and the eventual elimination of his seat are a lesser known part of the history of race and democracy in the District.

Dr. Loguen-Fraser in Puerto Plata. (Source: Wikipedia).

Dr. Loguen-Fraser's Solemn Vow

To close off Women's History Month, learn about Sarah Marinda Loguen Fraser, the first woman to receive an M.D. from the Syracuse University College of Medicine, and the fourth Black woman to become a licensed physician in the United States. While her extraordinary life took her all around the world, including New York, the Dominican Republic and France, some of the most important landmarks of her life happened in Washington, D.C.