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Paul Williams
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History Nerd
History Nerd

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Entertainment for the Animals at the National Zoo
A five member band and a dancer entertain the polar bears in the 1920s.  Since the
National Zoo’s inception in 1889, many Woodley Park
residents, including those at the nearby Kennedy-Warren apartment building,
have awoken to the sounds of lions growling, w...

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817 Q Street, NW: The International Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
            In
the 1920s, a group of disgruntled Pullman porters in New York City asked an
African-American labor militant, A. Philip Randolph, left, a strong advocate of
the rights of black working men and women, to form an independent union of
sleeping ca...

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59 Rooms: The Spectacular Firenze Mansion in Cleveland Park, built in 1927
One of the largest, if not the largest, private homes in
Washington is nestled behind a dense row of trees between north Cleveland Park
and Forest Hills, at the intersection of Broad Branch Road and Albemarle
Street.   Known as Firenze House since
1941, it ...

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The Mysterious Wrought Iron Gates at 11th and Florida Ave NW Revealed!
            Washingtonians
traveling today along Florida Avenue between 10 th and 11 th Street might take notice of the elaborate stone and wrought iron fence below that
surrounds the entire square, now occupied by an elementary school and high rise
housing...

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British Legation, Connecticut Ave at N Street, NW.  Architect John Fraser             Architect John Fraser was first
listed in Washington’s City Directory in 1872, when he maintained an office at
515 7 th Street, N .W.   In 1874,
he moved his operation to ...

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Washington, DC House History Map Updated!
Well, it took us three years due to a house and office move of late, but its here!  We've updated the Google Maps that chart the locations, along with a wee bit of history, of each house and building we have researched.  Check it out, and discover the histo...

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The Unusual Origin of Howard University By One of Its Founders, Charles Boynton
Boynton Mansion at N Street and Vermont Avenue, NW The first President of Howard
University, Charles B. Boynton, took office on March 19, 1867, marking the
official beginning of the esteemed institution that had been conceived in his
house near the intersec...

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Almost Razed: History of the 1700 Block of Seaton Place, NW
            In what is
coined the Strivers Section today, the 1700 block of Seaton Place, located
between U, V, 17 th Streets and Florida Avenue, was first developed
in the early 1870s, and completed by 1908.   It was the subject of noted photographer Gordo...

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History Mystery: Steamer Trunks of the Grant Family
Many years ago, an owner of 1711 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
approached us with a history mystery; she had found several steamer trunks with
the name ‘Grant’ painted on them, and wondered if it were at all possible they
could have once belonged to the Ulysses ...

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History of the odd Ffoulke Mansion at 2013 Massachusetts Avenue, NW: A Man and His Tapestries
One might be hard pressed to
assign an author a combined article about Welsh ancestry, Quaker religion, antique
tapestries, Royal weddings, early retirement, and even Pope Urban VIII, but
they are all integral to one mansion that once stood at 2013 Massachu...
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