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.
Before pandas became the celebrities at the National Zoo, President Calvin Coolidge's pet hippopotamus drew the large crowds. Meet William J. Hippopotamus, one of the most famous animals in D.C. history.