Browse Items (47 total)

During the Civil War, the U.S. Army grazed cattle on the grounds of the unfinished Washington Monument, earning the structure the nickname "Beef Depot Monument." In addition to being the seat of the federal government, Washington was on the front…

The WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were established on July 30, 1942 as a women's reserve corp for the United States Navy. WAVES were restricted to work within the United States. Many worked in Washington in buildings on the…

Soon after the US entered World War II in the early 1940s, the government increased tremendously. The Department of Defense expanded rapidly, but there was not enough space for all of the new employees. To accommodate these new workers, the…

The first Run to the Wall event, now known as Rolling Thunder, was held on Memorial Day in 1988. The rally was organized by Vietnam veteran Ray Manzo who wanted to bring national attention to the plight of prisoners of war and soldiers missing in…

On August 21, 1800, the Marine Band gave its first public concert in Washington on a hill overlooking the area which became the National Mall. At the time, the band probably consisted of two oboes, two clarinets, two French horns, a bassoon, and a…

On June 16, 1861, on the site of today’s National Air and Space Museum, T.S.C. Lowe launched his balloon the "Enterprise." Only months into the Civil War, Lowe launched his balloon in order to convince President Lincoln of the usefulness of the…

In May 1887, militia groups from nineteen states and the District of Columbia participated in a drill competition on the National Mall. They set up their tents on the grounds of the Washington Monument and participated in marching, drilling, and…

For a week in April 1971, Vietnam veterans camped on the Mall near the Capitol to protest the Vietnam War. The veterans set up camp in defiance of recent court rulings declaring it illegal to sleep on the Mall. The protest was organized by Vietnam…

In May 1932, 17,000 World War I veterans and their families arrived in Washington, led by Walter W. Waters. Propelled by hard economic times of the Depression, they called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Forces. They traveled to Washington to ask…

After defeating American troops at the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814, British troops under the command of Rear Admiral George Cockburn and Major General Robert Ross entered Washington, intent on destroying government property. First Lady Dolley…
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