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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Washington: 1918

Washington: 1918

September 30, 1918. "Fourth Liberty Loan." Crowds gathered for a war-bond rally on Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol in the distance. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


I could not help but be struck by the resemblance of the Army officer at the right side of the photo to that of Dwight D. Eisenhower during this time period. I have spent the past couple of days looking up information and find he could well have been in Washington on that date. He commanded Camp Colt, Pa., but was reporting to Washington twice a week to the commander of the Tank Corps, who had his HQ there. I attach a photo of Eisenhower about three years prior to the Shorpy photo.

Waiting for Sousa?

Washington Post, Sep 30, 1918


Band of 300 Pieces Here Today for Parade and Concerts

Banks Will Remain Open Tonight and Tomorrow Night Until 9 O'Clock to Encourage Early Pledges - Part Payments of $5 and $10 Monthly on $50 and $100 Bonds Will Be Taken by Banks

Led by John Phillip Sousa, the famous Great Lakes Naval Band, which includes more than 300 pieces, will give a series of concerts today to help subscriptions to the fourth liberty loan. The band is bigger and better this year than ever, and will be turned over to the liberty loan committee of the District for the entire day and evening.

The band will head a big parade through the streets this afternoon, will give two concerts during the day, and will provide a musical climax for the evening at a mass meeting to be held at 7:30 o'clock in Liberty Hut.
The Sousa Band will arrive early this morning on a special train, which is used throughout the country on behalf of the fourth liberty loan ... The band will proceed along B street west to Pennsylvania avenue, west along Pennsylvania avenue to Fourteenth street to H, west on H to Nineteenth street and Pennsylvania avenue, then east on Pennsylvania avenue to East Executive avenue, and south on Executive avenue to the south steps of the Treasury were a second big concert will be given at 4:30.

To offer every facility to the people for entering their subscriptions early all banks will remain open until 9 o'clock tonight and tomorrow. Every bank will help persons of small means own a liberty bond by accepting $5 cash and $5 a month on a $40 bond and $10 cash and $10 a month on a $100 bond.

Such a Great Photo

I am sure I am not alone as one who has forgone the endless drivel of the day's news to venture into the past with Shorpy, Dave, and the wonderful comments and observations of viewers which lead me to explore things I would have never questioned otherwise.

This photograph is one of endless wonderment as there is so much to see and ponder. A short list of what pops into my brain on viewing would include many unfit for comment and some that may be. At first glance I thought it seemed a George M. Cohan production without enough flags.

How many people can I find in the crowd obviously aware of the photographer? And of course the cars and trolleys. I am always taken by the lack of front wheel brakes on the autos of this period as I was in later years with the American designers painfully slow adoption of the disc brake and radial tire.

Today I explored brake history and found this:

As Shorpy was voted one of the best 100 sites this year
it indicates that the appreciation for a quality undertaking has not been lost despite all evidence to the contrary. Thanks Shorpy.

Several buildings are still around

In addition to the Willard on the far left, the Evening Star Building, a sliver of which is visible just behind the Raleigh Hotel, still stands (at least its facade does). Farther down the street in the mist you can make out the twin spires of the Apex Building, also still standing. On the right side, turrets of the still-standing Old Post Office building appear just above the large tree.

My Choice

I don't know what kind of vehicle it is but I'll take the sporty model in the center with the fine wire wheels and dual porthole rear windows. Anybody know what make that one is?

Cough Cough

Rally for the American Lung Association to follow immediately.

Nothing in the photo remains today

Except the Capitol building: people, cars, buildings are all gone.

[Not so. The Willard Hotel is still very much there. - Dave]



A smoggy day

Those old cars certainly did belch. Looks like LA!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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