We all know the grandeur that pervades DC history, often involving a big speech like: “[a] date which will live in infamy”; “ask not what your country can do for you... ”; and “I have a dream... ”
But, what about history’s strange underbelly? What about the weirder stuff that’s happened here, like that time Fidel Castro was a DC tourist, or when those two guys were almost entombed alive inside a memorial forever. Here are some of the stranger moments that have taken place in the District.
When a president sparked a gold rush
Believe it or not, exciting stuff actually used to happen during the State of the Union address -- and besides, it’s not like people had a whole lot else going on. Take James K. Polk’s 1848 address when he confirmed the discovery of gold in California, setting off the treasure-seeking frenzy of the California Gold Rush (news traveled more slowly in those days). If contemporary addresses contained more info on where to find gold, ratings would surely improve.