In 1847, seventy slaves went to the Maryland courts to enforce a deed of manumission granting them their freedom. What should have been a simple matter exploded into a nine-year court case that spun furiously around the ominous question at its core: if a man frees his slaves on moral conviction, does that make him insane?
Warren G. Harding, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone were some of the biggest names of the early 1920s. You'd expect these men to meet at some point, but when they finally did, it was in an unexpected place: in the remote hills of western Maryland! Read about the President's camping trip in the summer of 1921.
For those who have visited the Arlington National Cemetery, or simply know a lot about its origins, Arlington House is a recognizable feature of the historic site. However, before it became a dedicated national cemetery, it served multiple purposes once it was no longer a plantation both during and after the Civil War.
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.
The Washington Monument we know today is iconic, but it was never really planned to look that way. Before it grew up, the monument went through many, many proposed designs. After decades in limbo and a construction mired in drama, one engineer's vision triumphed over artists, politicians, and critics.