Archive for the ‘People’ category

Greater Petworth Fourth of July Celebration, 1916

July 3, 2015

A few months back I was lucky enough to purchase a series of 10 photographs documenting the Fourth of July parade in the Petworth area in 1916. I liked these photos for a number of reason, including the early date and the inclusion of a contingent from Princeton Heights. For those unfamiliar with local history, Princeton Heights is the area within the Park View neighborhood north of Princeton and south of Rock Creek Church Road.

I was able to find an accompanying article from the Washington Evening Star, and as the two photos that accompany the newspaper article match two of the photos in my collection, I presume that the photographer worked for the Star. You can read the full article here.

Below are three of the photos, and you can see all ten on Flickr here.

Princeton Heights(The Princeton Heights contingent on Randolph Street.)

Presidential candidates(A few of the many candidates in the 1916 presidential race: Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and Wilson’s running mate v.p. candidate Thomas R. Marshall.)

Petworth float(The Petworth float, in the form of a navy vessel.)

Mapping Historic Segregation in Washington DC Resource Now Available

June 18, 2015

It is impossible to fully understand Washington’s neighborhoods without a good understanding of the housing segregation that once held sway here. It is a legacy that in many ways shaped the city, which in turn still has an impact today. This makes it all the more critical to understand this past.

Historians Sarah Shoenfeld and Mara Cherkasky have begun to document this history in maps. Their Mapping Segregation in Washington DC effort is a public history project documenting the historic segregation of DC’s housing, schools, playgrounds, and other public spaces. To date the project has focused on racially restrictive housing covenants. Racial covenants had a dramatic impact on the development of the nation’s capital decades before government-sanctioned redlining policies were implemented in cities across the country.

The interactive Website is now live, and free to explore here. Shoenfeld and Cherkasky’s work is far from finished, and only reflects information they’ve been able to gather so far.

Restricted Housing DC(Details showing Restrictive Covenants in the Park View area.)

Humanitini: DC’s New Americans? Thursday, May 21, at The Coupe

May 20, 2015

DraftFlyer1Here’s a local opportunity to participate in the Humanities Council of Washington, DC’s Humanitini Program. On Thursday, May 21, the next program will be held at The Coupe in Columbia Heights. The program is free and runs from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, though registration is requested.

Thursday’s program will focus on New Americans, and leads in with the question How long will the enclave of immigrant communities such as DC’s Ethiopian, Chinese and Greek communities retain their unique identities in wake of so much historical assimilation and displacement?

Following are the details from the Humanities Council Web site:

At the turn of the 20th century, Washington, DC was a patchwork of European immigrant communities representing a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities. Like most east-coast metropolitan areas, there were Irish, Italian, German, Greek, and Jewish enclaves, each with relatively insular cultural traditions and self-sustaining economic systems. But at various points over the ensuing five decades these communities would become shadows of their former selves, leaving traces scarcely visible to the casual streetscape observer.

In more recent years, other previously vibrant immigrant communities have become increasingly diffuse. The Chinese community’s cultural predominance in the Chinatown neighborhood hinges on the programming and awareness conducted by the Chinatown Community Cultural Center and the dwindling population of the Wah Luck House. Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, once bastions of the DC’s Central American culture, have experienced a dramatic exodus to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. The Washington, DC metro area is currently home to more people of Ethiopian descent than any city outside Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The core of this community is a small portion of the Shaw neighborhood sometimes (controversially) known as “Little Ethiopia.”

How long will these communities retain their unique identities in wake of so much historical assimilation and displacement? Have ethnic enclaves in other cities experienced so much fluidity, either nationally or globally, or is the phenomenon unique to Washington? How are historians, anthropologists, and other scholars working to preserve the cultures of extant immigrant communities while reclaiming those that have been rendered invisible?

Speakers: 

Moderator  – Jill H. Wilson, Senior Research Analyst, Brookings Institute

Panelists: Christine Warnke, Ted Gong, Olivia Cadaval, Quique Aviles, Ana Rodriguez, Trymaine Lee

Historic Neighborhood Groups — Park View Citizens’ Association

March 13, 2015

The Park View Citizens’ Association is the second post today from the series on historic neighborhood civic groups from the 1940s. This article was originally published ion the Washington Post on November 11, 1940.

Park View map 1940

Park View banner

Park View article 1940

Historic Neighborhood Groups — Petworth Citizens’ Association

March 13, 2015

Keeping the series on historic neighborhood civic groups from the 1940s going, this is the first of two articles that I’ll post today from the Washington Post. It focuses on Petworth. The original article was published on November 10, 1940.

Petworth Citizens map 1940Petworth Citizens 1940 article

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, 1900-1950

March 4, 2015

Here’s a program that’s a collaboration among historians Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Shoenfeld of Prologue DC, historian/GIS specialist Brian Kraft of JMT Technology Group, and others. That sounds fascinating. It is funded in part by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

From an email:

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC, 1900-1950

Focusing on historic housing segregation in the Northwest DC neighborhoods of Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Park View, and Pleasant Plains

Thursday, March 5, 6:30 pm – Great Hall, Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G Street, NW

Sunday, March 8, 3 pm – Mount Pleasant Library, 16th and Lamont Streets, NW

Mapping Segregation in Washington DC is a public history project whose goal is to create a set of layered, online maps illustrating the historic segregation of DC’s housing, schools, recreational facilities, and other public venues. Our first year has been focused on racially restrictive housing covenants mostly east of Rock Creek Park, and the legal challenges to them.

Come learn why many of DC’s “historically black” neighborhoods were once exclusively white, and how more recent shifts in the city’s racial identity have been shaped by this history.

Come see for yourself the maps we’ve created to show restricted neighborhoods, the legal battle lines, and who lived where over the years. Maps tell stories that words cannot.

1952 Washington population map(Map showing demographic change in Washington based on 1930, 1940, and 1950 census data.)

Historic Neighborhood Groups — North Capitol Citizens’ Association

February 24, 2015

The next historic neighborhood civic group we’ll feature from the 1940s is the North Capitol Citizens’ Association. In looking at the map it appears to cover  the Bloomingdale, Eckington, and Stronghold neighborhoods. In reading the article, I was particularly drawn to the article’s heading declaring that the association wanted better facilities at intersections rather than more parks. The article was originally published in the Washington Post on November 7, 1940.

North Capitol Citizens map

North Capitol Citizens article


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