Browse Items (42 total)

The first airplane carrying US mail left the Washington Polo Grounds, now in West Potomac Park, on May 15, 1918. The US Post Office Department created air mail service to speed up the delivery of mail traveling between Washington, Philadelphia, and…

The Smithsonian Metro station opened on July 1, 1977 giving visitors and residents a new option for taking public transportation to the Mall. At the official opening, the Metro's General Manager presented the Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian…

By 1871, the Washington Canal was little more than an open sewer. Although many people proposed ways to make the canal functional, no solution was ever put into practice. In February 1871 Congress revoked the charters that made Washington and…

In 1862 the Washington & Georgetown Railroad Company opened Washington, DC's first streetcar line running nine horse-drawn cars on tracks extending from the US Capitol to the State Department. The growth of public transportation was fed by the…

This plate from an American series shows men on horseback on what would become the National Mall with the Capitol building in the background. The plate shows the original design for the Capitol by Dr. William Thornton, which would be redesigned after…

On May 24, 1844 after receiving $30,000 in appropriations from Congress, inventor Samuel Morse sent the first official telegraph message from Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland. In a series of dots and dashes, later known as Morse code, Morse…

In 1872, the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station opened near the Capitol, crossing the parks and lawns of the National Mall. The first train departed at 5 a.m. on July 2 with sixty passengers. The depot buildings were opened in 1874. The presence…

The Center Market, one of the first formal markets in Washington City, opened in mid-December 1801. The market's location was proposed in the early plans of the city and George Washington had set aside land for its establishment in March 1797. Laws…

In 1909, visitors standing at the entrance of the United States National Museum (now the Museum of Natural History), saw horse-drawn carriages and carts, vendors, and storefronts, of Center Market. The small building in the foreground is a guard…

People from all walks of life shopped at Center Market, from Presidents and First Ladies to local residents. In addition to the stalls and businesses inside the main building, vendors set up stalls outside the building. This photograph from 1910…
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