In the wee hours early tomorrow morning (1:30am PT/4:30am ET), Turner Movie Channel are airing the 1979 movie Over The Edge, which helped to introduce a new generation to the music of Cheap Trick, who were just beginning to break wide open in the U.S. that year.
We’ll get to Cheap Trick’s contributions to the soundtrack in a moment, but first let’s take a look back at the film itself. When Over The Edge was released to just a handful of theaters in May 1979, the relatively new Orion movie company’s first poster and marketing campaign for the film — featuring pale kids with empty eyes, looking like zombies — got it very wrong, very wrong, making it look like they were promoting a horror movie.
Orion — the new film finance and production company had been launched in March 1978 — had been formed by five former United Artists film execs, who named their new company after a constellation that contains five clearly visible stars, and despite their confidence, they weren’t too sure-footed as a stand-alone company yet, and like any new movie company, they wanted their first release to be a hit.
Originally, they’d slated another film — director George Roy Hill’s A Little Romance — to be their first release, and Over The Edge was to be their second released in 1979.
Executives at Orion, however, were initially troubled by some of the violence they’d read in the script (there really isn’t much dude-on-dude violence, though) and they wanted the screenwriters to tone it down, and make it into a kind of Romeo & Juliet love story amid a larger story of disenfranchised youth, but the writers held firm to their original concept (originally it was titled On The Edge).
Written by screenwriter Tim Hunter — son of blacklisted screenwriter Ian McClellan Hunter — and Charles Haas, a fellow screenwriter and one of Hunter’s former film history students at UC Santa Cruz, Over The Edge was inspired by a newspaper article about the then-recent uptick in juvenile crime in Foster City, an upper-middle class planned suburb located about halfway between Palo Alto and San Francisco in Northern California, not too far from the San Francisco Airport.
The story — headlined “Mousepacks: Kids on a Crime Spree” — had been published in the November 11, 1973 edition of the San Francisco Examiner, written by reporters Bruce Koon and James Finefrock.
Writer Mike Sacks’s excellent oral history for VICE remains thus far the most definitive essay and oral history about Over The Edge, and we encourage you to check it out, since it contained just about everything you’d want to know about the film itself, and featured interviews with twenty members of the cast and crew.
Sacks quotes from the original newspaper article in his piece for VICE:
“Mousepacks. Gangs of youngsters, some as young as nine, on a rampage through a suburban town. One on a bike pours gasoline from a gallon can and sets it afire. Lead pipe bombs explode in park restrooms. Spray paint and obscenities smear a shopping center wall. Two homes are set ablaze. Antennas by the hundreds are snapped off parked cars in a single night. Liquid cement clogs public sinks and water fountains. Street lights are snuffed out with BB guns so often they are no longer replaced. It sounds like the scenario for an underage Clockwork Orange, a futuristic nightmare fantasy. But all the incidents are true. They happened in Foster City where pre-teenage gangs—mousepacks—constitute one of the city’s major crime problems.”
The original article detailed how teens had gone into a local junior high gymnasium — probably Nathaniel Bowditch Middle School — and destroyed pool tables and ping-pong tables, and the vandalism had led to the cancellation of programs that were sponsored by the Foster City parks department.
This kind of vandalism was directly related to the fact that the city planners who had designed the ideal communities like Foster City had thought of everything for the adults, but they forgot the fact that at least 25% of the population moving into these pre-fab cities were under the age of 25.
They were given pool and ping-pong tables at the gym, and lame recreation centers that closed at 6pm, but everything was so new and fake-looking it inspired the teens to want to destroy it.
And so, the kids of Foster City felt isolated, restless and bored out of their minds, which is what led to them spending their evenings drinking and getting high, breaking and entering, and vandalizing city property.
Hunter’s and Haas’s screenplay reflected this adolescent ennui perfectly, showing how the design and planning of their pre-fab city New Granada (in place of Foster City) actually plays a part, like a character itself, in how these teens felt about where they were living, and what was going on in their lives.
The director of Over The Edge, Jonathan Kaplan, should be and has been given a lot of credit for bringing Hunter’s and Haas’s vision to the screen. The son of film composer Sol Kaplan and actress Frances Heflin, he had gone to NYU film school and where as an undergrad, Martin Scorsese was one of his professors.
He had directed just one major picture, in 1975, White Line Fever, and also directed the infamous Sex Pistols movie called Who Killed Bambi?, prior to getting this job, coming in to replace Russ Meyer for a spell before the film fell apart completely.
Kaplan — just thirty years old at the time — apparently had a real connection with his youthful cast, this despite the stress everyone felt onset, having a 36-day shoot schedule, with most of the film’s night scenes hurriedly going before cameras first, forcing the young cast to sleep days and bond over long hours at night.
The production itself had to be moved from California, due to the state’s rigid child labor laws, to two locations in Colorado — Greeley and Aurora, roughly ten miles from Colombine High.
Before then, however, Kaplan had to find his cast, and due to both budget constraints and wanting to find unknown young actors who were actually fourteen (rather than find experienced 20-year olds who could look 14), he began working on the casting, out of New York, meeting with more professional young actors, while Hunter and Haas began going to schools and asking the principals or drama teachers to recommend students: those kids turned out to be wrong, but they eventually found the right students by meeting kids who had cut class and were found smoking pot behind the school.
One of those students was Matt Dillon, who was found at a middle school in Westchester, New York, cutting class and smoking in the boy’s room. He had a chipped tooth, and he tried to act tough when they began talking to him about his interest in acting.
Kaplan and talent scout Jane Bernstein asked him what his parents did, and Dillon told them his father was “a fucking stockbroker and my mom, she don’t do shit.”
They met with his family and realized he was as middle-class as they come, perfect for the role although he had zero acting experience. After all, Matt Dillon was only 14.
One of the best things about the movie, tough, which everyone involved got right — and all credit must be given to the director, and to the young members of his cast — was the film’s soundtrack.
According to what actress Pamela Ludwig told writer Mike Sacks, during filming, the young cast would bring a boombox with them to wherever they were shooting, and they would rock out to whatever they were listening to at the time — including songs by The Cars (“My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed”), Van Halen (“You Really Got Me”), the Ramones (“Teenage Lobotomy”), Joe Walsh, etc. — and she even playing tracks by bands that weren’t quite well known just yet, particularly and most importantly, Rockford, Illinois-based rockers Cheap Trick.
Ludwig is practically credited as a music supervisor because she turned the cast and the crew on to Cheap Trick’s albums (her boyfriend, a roadie, had made her tapes of albums that weren’t yet widely known about, and certainly not being played on the radio), and four of their songs would eventually make their way into the film — “Surrender,”“Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace,” “Hello There,” and “Downed” -- and on to the film’s LP soundtrack, which is worth a lot of money today if you can find yourself a copy.
You can get a real sense for how wrong the trailer was for the film (which feels more like a horror movie — more about that in a sec) by watching the first few minutes of the actual film itself, the first image onscreen being a billboard advertising “New Granada: Tomorrow’s city… today” (later, another billboard, this time one that is being dismantled, reads “New Granada: Ideal business environment”), to the churning rock guitars of Cheap Trick’s “Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace,” from their self-titled debut.
The lyrics — the song, one of Cheap Trick’s few cover songs, was written and previously recorded by British rocker Terry Reid — are pitch-perfect:
Yesterday feels like running away
Feels like givin’ the child gettin’ lost losin’ my mind
I’m feelin’ low and i got no place to go
Gettin’ all tied up, feelin’ all tied up yeah
The action gets underway as two teens on a highway overpass begin firing on a police car with a BB rifle.
Their nemesis, Sgt. Doberman (Harry Northup), loses the snipers in a chase and instead grabs 14-year-old Carl Willat (Michael Kramer) and his friend Richie White (Matt Dillon) while they’re walking home, but Richie — who is currently on probation for breaking and entering — refuses to cooperate with Doberman’s questions. Carl’s record is clean and his Cadillac salesman father (Andy Romano) wants to keep it that way so his son won’t end up in reform school on “The Hill.”
All Carl wants to do is to listen to Cheap Trick on his headphones, and it’s pretty great to hear their music in this film considering they were a band who were relatively unknown but were just beginning to break in the U.S. at the time the movie was being filmed, in 1978.
By the time of the film’s release, in 1979, Cheap Trick — lead singer Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson and drummer Bun E. Carlos — had released three albums: their 1977 self-titled debut, followed by In Color (also 1977), and Heaven Tonight (1978) — and although all three were critically-acclaimed by the rock media, none of them were selling particularly well at the time and certainly none had cracked the Top 40.
Things were about to change, however, for Cheap Trick, who toured incessantly then as they do now, playing any gig that came their way. Their reputation was that they were a solid opening band — they played shows with Kiss, Queen, Aerosmith, Motley Crüe, and did a co-headlining tour with AC/DC.
Despite still being relatively unknown in America, it turns out that they were huge in Japan in 1978, where all three albums had gone gold. In April 1978, they had even done their first Japanese tour, flying coach and stepping off their plane to find that there were thousands of Japanese fans waiting for them at the airport.
They ended up having to have 24-hour guards posted at their hotel, and decided to record two of their shows, at at Tokyo’s famous Nippon Budokan, for a Japan-only live album, Cheap Trick At Budokan.
However, a funny thing caught their label, Epic Records, off-guard, when import copies of the album (released in Sept. ’78) began flying off the shelves, and radio stations across the country began playing the raucous live versions of “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me,” and they very quickly released a domestic version of Cheap Trick At Budokan in the States, which would eventually sell over three million copies and climbing the Billboard album charts to #4.
Of the songs included on the Over The Edge soundtrack, “Surrender” seems to be the one that perhaps captures the best overall vibe of the film’s teen angst, getting the feeling that most teenagers feel about their parents absolutely right: they’re fucking weird.
“Surrender” is the lead-off track on the movie soundtrack, and the unofficial theme song too, accompanying one of the movie’s best scenes, which takes place in an unfinished tract home that the boys have taken to calling “their apartment,” where we see a blissed-out Cory (played by the aforementioned Pamela Ludwig) dancing wildly to the song while waving a gun around, imitating guitarist Rick Nielsen’s onstage antics.
You’ll have to watch the clip (or better yet, the movie) to see what happens.
Another great Cheap Trick tune that makes it into the film, and onto the soundtrack, is “Hello There,” which is the perfect introductory song, kicking off both their In Color album and their live album too. (You can hear some of the song in one of the clips we’ve included here).
“Hello There” lyrically serves many functions as a lead-off song, including as an enticement, a greeting to the audience, and an invitation to join in on the fun (and to perhaps smoke a joint?):
Hello there ladies and gentlemen
Hello there ladies and gents
Are you ready to rock?
Are you ready or not?
Would you like to do a number with me?
However, it’s also interesting to note that it was originally written by the band as a song they could play as the first song in their set (it’s less than two-minutes long, too), effectively serving as a soundcheck when they weren’t given one (many opening acts don’t often get the chance to test the sound systems in most clubs and arenas).
It introduces each instrument, one at a time — drums, guitar, bass, voice — and by the time Zander’s voice kicks in, the band’s sound mix was usually figured out, and they could move quickly into playing the rest of their set.
The last song included on the soundtrack and in the film is “Downed,” and we thought we’d share this write-up by our friend, writer Kim Morgan, who wrote about the song in 2006 for her Sunset Gun blog:
“As of now, I can’t stop listening to one of my favorite songs (of all songs) ‘Downed’ from the brilliant album In Color. It’s such a curiously sad, yet wonderfully fuck-it-all song that, of late it makes my head spin and burn and think and feel and and yearn and feel happy. If you’re going through anything, if you feel a little crazy it’s cathartic beyond reason. This just runs through my brain: “Downed, downed out of my head… I’m going to live in a mountain way down under in Australia. It’s either that or suicide. It’s such a strange strain on you. Oooh, I got a mind.” I got a mind. If a song makes you feel happy and crazy all at once that’s a truly awesome (and awesome, that word, used the correct way). I’m going to listen again because I think it may be one of the top five greatest songs ever recorded. Top three. I got a mind.”
The film was supposed to end with the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” playing as the bus heads off towards the prison, but Kaplan told Sacks that it proved too expensive to license, so the producers went a different direction, replacing the “teenage wasteland” lyrics of the Who with Valerie Carter’s riveting cover of “O-o-h Child,” which had a more optimistic feel to it (“things are going to get easier”).
According to an interview Kaplan did decades later with the Village Voice(August 14, 2001), while the film was still in production, a new L.A. Times article had been published, declaring that the coming trend in motion pictures that year was going to be “gang movies,” and so according to Kaplan, Over The Edge“got lumped in with The Warriors, The Wanderers, Boulevard Nights.”
Kaplan: “The Warriors was a huge hit [it had been released in February 1979], but there was violence in the theaters; two people got killed, and they pulled [the advertisements for] the picture because it was such bad publicity for the studio.”
Indeed, The Warriors was blamed for a shooting death that took place at at a Palm Springs, California drive-in, and for a fatal stabbing that same night in Oxnard, another California city. Three nights later, in Boston, there was another stabbing death by kids who had just seen a screening of the film.
The Orion execs were afraid that the advance press about “another gang movie” was going to hurt their business, and they were also afraid of “copycat violence,” so they screened the film for a few weeks in New York and L.A. and then shelved it.
It did get a nice review in 1979 from Roger Ebert, who describes the film’s setting perfectly:
“The movie’s set on those dry, rolling plains west of Denver, where suburbia creeps toward Boulder, and Boulder creeps back. The name of this suburb is New Granada—an oasis of split-level homes and streets curving gracefully toward their dead-ends at the end of the development. The soft plops of tennis balls tick away the afternoons. Oh, and there are kids here, too. They hang out at a Quonset hut that’s the local youth center, and if you know the right kid you can get a deal on grass, hash, ludes, speed, whatdaya need?”
Over The Edge‘s influence has been very widespread. It first started to show up on cable, on HBO, in the 80s and became a regular featured movie there, rescuing it from relatively obscurity.
Jodie Foster saw Over The Edge and wanted to work with Kaplan, saying “Over The Edge was the only teen movie that made any sense.” She ended up with a starring role in Kaplan’s The Accused, and won an Oscar.
In the early 90s, the music video for Nirvana’s bit hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” filmed on a soundstage in Culver City, made to look like the inside the gym at L.A.’s Fairfax High, and it appeared greatly influenced by Over The Edge.
Kurt Cobain had said it was a favorite film, and told writer Michael Azerrad “That movie pretty much defined my whole personality. It was really cool. Total anarchy.” (Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana).
There’s even some mention of that fact in Brett Morgen’s recent documentary about Cobain, Montage of Heck, which we told you about here and here. It also influenced the music video for Fu Manchu’s “Evil Eye.”
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About Bryan ThomasBryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.
Since its founding in 1894, the Historical Society has published books, scholarly journals, and other content about the people and events in the city’s past and present. Full issues of the Society’s publications areavailable online through JSTOR.
The Records of the Columbia Historical Society were published annually from 1894 until 1989. A list of thesetables of contents for all volumes is available.
The following list provides the tables of contents for each issue of Washington History (1989 to present). Print copies of many of the listed issues are available for purchase through the Society’sOnline StoreandAmazon.com.
Fall 2017, 29 (2)
George Derek Musgrove, “Statehood is Far More Difficult: The Struggle for D.C. Self-Determination, 1980-2017,” 3.
David Kathan, Amy Rispin, and L. Paige Whitley, “Tracing a Bethesda, Maryland, African American Community and Its Contested Cemetery,” 24.
Kenneth R. Bowling, “Thank You, General Ross: How Washington Won the Battle to Keep the Federal Government in 1814,” 42.
Miya Carey, “Becoming ‘a Force for Desegregation’: The Girl Scouts and Civil Rights in the Nation’s Capital,” 52.
Spring 2017, 29 (1)
Rick Reinhard, “Yes, It Can Be Done: A Photographer’s Record of Latino Washington,” 3.
Saran Jane Shoenfeld and Mara Cherkasky, “A Strictly White Residential Section: The Rise and Demise of Racially Restrictive Covenants in Bloomingdale,” 24.
Alcione M. Amos and Patricia Brown Savage, “Frances Eliza Hall: Postbellum Teacher in Washington, D.C.,” 42.
Stephen E. Maizlish, “The Cholera Panic in Washington and the Compromise of 1850,” 55.
Fall 2016, 28 (2)
Ana Patricia Rodriguez, “Becoming ‘Wachintonians’: Salvadorans in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area,” 3
John DeFerrari, “Picturing Metro: A Look Back at the Photographs of Phil Portlock,” 16.
Antoinette J. Lee, “Asian and Asian American Students in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools during the Segregation Era,” 34
Rachel Christian, “William Metzerott and the D.C. Music Trade,” 54.
Spring 2016, 28 (1)
Katharina Hering, “Voice of the Voteless: The District of Columbia League of Women Voters, 1921-1941,” 3.
Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green, “Free Black People of of Washington County, D.C.,” 16.
Jane Freundel Levey, “For the Record: The Art of Lily Spandorf,” 34
Clare Hennigan, “The ‘Last Ditch’ of Oppression,” 56.
Fall 2015, 27 (2)
Peter Sefton and Sally Lichtenstein Berk, “The Dream Dies Hard: Albert Cassell’s Calvert Town,” 3.
Ann Beebe, “E.D.E.N. Southworth’s Civil War,” 27.
Kim Prothro Williams, “The Surviving Cultural Landscape of Washington’s Alleys,” 40.
Martha H. Verbrugge and Drew Yingling, “The Politics of Play: The Struggle over Racial Segregation and Public Recreation in Washington, D.C.,” 56.
Spring 2015, 27 (1)
Alison T. Mann, “Horrible Barbarity: The 1837 Murder Trial of Dorcas Allen, a Georgetown Slave,” 3.
Michael B. Chornesky, “Confederate Island upon the Union’s ‘Most Hallowed Ground’:
The Battle to Interpret Arlington House, 1921-1937,” 20.
Jessica R. French, “Practical Club Work: The Women’s Bindery Union and Twentieth Century Reform in Washington, D.C.,” 36.
Sabrina M. Peterson, “‘The Cairo . . . Offers You the City Itself’: The Story of an Eccentric Building,” 52.
Fall 2014, 26 (2)
Virginia Reynolds, “Slaves to Fashion, Not Society: Elizabeth Keckly and Washington, D.C.’s African American Dressmakers, 1860-1870,” 4.
Lauren Pearlman, “More than a March: The Poor People’s Campaign in the District” 24.
Alison Luchs, “The Press of Change in Downtown Washington: The Bulletin Building, 1928-2014” 44.
Amanda Huron, “Creating a Commons in the Capital: The Emergence of Limited-Equity Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C.” 56.
Spring 2014, 26 (1) – “Jazz in Washington” Special Issue
Blair A. Ruble, “Seventh Street: Black D.C.’s Music Mecca,” 1.
Maurice Jackson, “Great Black Music and the Desegregation of Washington, D.C.” 13.
John Edward Hasse, “Washington’s Duke Ellington” 37.
Willard Jenkins (Interviewer), “Bill Brower: Notes from a Keen Observer” 60.
Rusty Hassan, “Jazz Radio in Washington: A Personal Retrospective” 75.
Anna Harwell Celenza, “Legislating Jazz” 89.
Michael Fitzgerald, “Researching Washington Jazz History” 99.
E. Ethelbert Miller, “Three poems” 32, 73.
Spring/Summer 2013, 25
Jerry Prout, “Hope, Fear, and Confusion: Coxey’s Arrival in Washington,” 1.
Derek Gray and Jennifer Krafchik, “It’s Fingers Were Crossed and Its Guard Was Up: Washington Prepares for the March for Jobs and Freedom,” 21.
William Jordan Patty, “Crime on the Bus: Bus Driver Safety in Postwar Washington, D.C.” 37.
Don Alexander Hawkins, “Unbuilt Washington: The View George Washington Rejected” 53.
Fall/Winter 2012, 24 (2)
Curtis J. Hartman, “Talking Trash: Solid Waste Policy in the District of Columbia,” 85.
Mark Joseph Stern, “The Knickerbocker Tragedy and the Fight for Home Rule in Washington,” 101.
William John Shepherd and Mary Beth Corrigan, “Becoming a Capital City: The Photographs of Terence Vincent Powderly” 117.
Lara Otis, “Washington’s Lost Racetracks: Horse Racing from the 1760s to the 1930s” 137.
Spring/Summer 2012, 24 (1)
Stephen H. Grant, “A Most Interesting and Attractive Problem: Creating Washington’s Folger Shakespeare Library,” 3-24.
Andrew Novak, “The Desegregation of George Washington University and the District of Columbia in Transition, 1946–1954,” 25-46.
Heather Riggins and Lucinda Prout Janke, “The Kiplinger Washington Collection Finds a New Home: The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., Receives 4,000 Images Documenting the City’s History,” 47-63.
Matthew B. Gilmore, “Metro Washington Studies: Recent Scholarship on the Washington, D.C., Area,” 64-71.
John Philip Colletta, “The Worman of C. Mills: Carl Ludwig Richter and the Statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park,” 3-36.
Ed Hendrickson, “Defending Washington: The District of Columbia Militia,” 37-58.
Blair A. Ruble, “Why Washington History Matters: Lessons from U Street,” 59-63.
Margaret Richardson, “The Queen City of the World: Washington’s Architecture Depicted in Vignettes of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving,” 64-77.
Bell Clement, “City Thinking, City Spaces: A Review Essay,” 78-84.
Thomas A. Bogar, “The Origins of Theater in the District of Columbia, 1789-1800,” 5-16.
John Richardson, “Alexander R. Shepherd and the Race Issue in Washington,” 17-36.
Tom D. Crouch, “The Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation’s Capital, 1909-1919,” 37-56.
Mark W. Grabowksi, Douglas W. Owsley, and Karin S. Bruwelheide, “Cemetery Vandalism: The Strange Case of William Wirt,” 57-68.
Gail Dickersin Spilsbury, “A Washington Sketchbook: Historic Drawings of Washington,” 69-87.
Edna Greene Medford, “Some Satisfying Way: Lincoln and Black Freedom in the District of Columbia,” 5-22.
Eric S. Yellin, “It Was Still No South to Us: African American Civil Servants at the Fin de Siecle,” 23-48.
David F Krugler, “A Mob in Uniform: Soldiers and Civilians in Washington’s Red Summer, 1919,” 49-78.
Paul E. Ceruzzi, “How Tysons Went High Tech, 1965-1993,” 79-97.
Combined Issue 2007-2008, 19 & 20 [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Jeremy Korr, “Political Parameters: Finding a Route for the Capital Beltway, 1950-1964,” 5-29
Julie Polter, “Dreams, Schemes, and Plat Maps: Mary Logan and Columbia Heights,” 31-49
Faye P. Haskins, “Behind the Headlines: The Evening Star’s Coverage of the 1968 Riots,” 51-67
Kim Prothro Williams, “The Garden Club of America: Entrance Markers to Washington,” 69-75
Don Alexander Hawkins, “An Unpublished Map and the Location of the Federal District,” 77-85
Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen, “The Legacy of the Bonus Army,” 87-96
Combined Issue 2006, 18 (1,2)
Matthew Pinsker, “The Soldiers’ Home: A Long Road to Sanctuary,” 4-19
Pamela Scott, “The City of Living Green: An Introduction to Washington’s Street Trees,” 20-45
Charles H. Atherton, “An Insider’s Reflections on the Development of Washington 1960-2004,” 46-77
Michael G. Rhode, “The Rise and Fall of the Army Medical Museum and Library,” 78-97
Lyle Slovick, “George Y. Coffin: A Schoolboy’s Life in 19th-Century Washington,” 98-119
Anna Watkins, “To Help a Child: The History of the German Orphan Home,” 120-138
Fall/Winter 2005, 17 (1)
Jogues R. Prandoni and Suryabala Kanhouwa, “St. Elizabeths Hospital: Photos from 150 Years of Public Service,” 4-25
Holly Tank, “Dedicated to Art: William Corcoran and the Founding of his Gallery,” 26-51
Holly Tank, “William Wilson Corcoran: Washington Philanthropist,” 52-65
Cassandra Good, “A Transcript of My Heart: The Unpublished Diaries of Margaret Bayard Smith,” 66-82
Fall/Winter 2004-2005, 16 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Clayborne Carson, “The Fateful Turn Toward Brown v. Board of Education,” 6-10.
John Hope Franklin, “To and From Brown v. Board of Education,” 11-13.
Lisa A. Crooms, “Race, Education and the District of Columbia: The Meaning and Legacy of Bolling v. Sharpe,” 14-25.
Mark David Richards, “Public School Governance in the District of Columbia: A Timeline,” 23.
Donald Roe, “The Dual School System in the District of Columbia, 1862–1954: Origins, Problems, Protests,” 26-43.
David A. Nichols, “The Showpiece of Our Nation”: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Desegregation of the District of Columbia,” 44-65.
Marya Annette McQuirter, “Our Cause is Marching On”: Parent Activism, Browne Junior High School, and the Multiple Meanings of Equality in Post-War Washington,” 66-82.
Okianer Christian Dark, “The Role of Howard University School of Law in Brown v. Board of Education,” 83-85.
Bell Clement, “Pushback: The White Community’s Dissent from Bolling,” 86-109.
Ossie Davis, “Marching Toward Justice,” 110-113.
Walter B. Hill, Jr., “NARA and Brown v. Board of Education, 1954,” 114.
Spring/Summer 2004, 16 (1)
Donna M. Wells, “Walter Edward Washington (1915-2003): A Photo Tribute,” 4-15.
Justine Christianson, “The Uline Arena/Washington Coliseum: The Rise and Fall of a Washington Institution,” 16-35.
Rubil Morales-Vasquez, “George Washington: the President’s House, and the Projection of Executive Power,” 36-53.
Mark David Richards, “The Debates over the Retrocession of the District of Columbia, 1801-2004,” 54-82.
Fall/Winter 2003-2004, 15 (2)
Dana Lanier Schaffer, “The 1968 washington Riots in History and Memory,” 4-33.
Benjamin R. Justesen, “George Henry White and the End of an Era,” 34-51.
Mark Herlong, “Recipes and Remedies from Antebellum Washington: That varnum-Hill Family Household Book,” 52-73.
Matthew Gilmore, “Resources,” 74-79.
Spring/Summer 2003, 15 (1) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Barbara M. Franco, “The Challenge of a City Museum for Washington, D.C.,” 4-25.
Frank Ceresi and Carol McMains, “The Washington Nationals and the Development of America’s National Pastime,” 26-41.
David Hathaway and Stephanie Ho, “Small But Resilient: Washington’s Chinatown Over the Years,” 42-61.
James M. Goode, “The Civil War in Washington: Rare Images from the Albert H. Small Collection,” 62-79.
Fall/Winter 2002-2003, 14 (2)
Special Issue Commemorating the Centennial of the McMillan Plan with guest editor, Pamela Scott.
Priscilla McNeil, “Pretty Prospects: The History of a Land Grant,” 6-25.
Matthew B. Gilmore and Michael R. Harrison, “A Catalog of Suburban Subdivisions of the District of Columbia, 1854-1902,” 26-55.
Michael R. Harrison, “Above the Boundary: The Development of Kalorama and Washington Heights, 1872-1900,” 56-69.
Ed Hatcher, “Washington’s Nineteenth-Century Citizens’ Associations and the Senate Park Commission Plan,” 70-95.
Thomas P. Somma, “The McMillan Memorial Fountain: A Short History of a Lost Monument,” 96-107.
Spring/Summer 2002, 14 (1)
Special Issue Commemorating the Centennial of the McMillan Plan with guest editor, Pamela Scott.
Kenneth R. Bowling, “From ‘Federal Town’ to ‘National Capital’: Ulysses S. Grant and the Reconstruction of Washington,” D.C., 8-25.
Michael R. Harrison, “The ‘Evil of the Misfit Subdivisions’: Creating the Permanent System of Highways of the District of Columbia,” 26-55.
William B. Bushong, “Glenn Brown and the Planning of the Rock Creek Valley,” 56-71.
Fall/Winter 2001-2002, 13 (2)
Mary Beth Corrigan, “Imaginary Cruelties? A History of Slave Trade in Washington, D.C.,” 4-27.
Hillary Russell, “Underground Railroad Activists in Washington, D.C.,” 28-49.
Richard Longstreth, “The Unusual Transformation of Downtown Washington in the Early Twentieth Century,” 50-71.
Spring/Summer 2001, 13 (1)
Zachary M. Schrag, “Mapping Metro, 1955-1968: Urban, Suburban, and Metropolitan Alternatives,” 4-23.
Gary Scott, “Clara Barton’s Civil War Apartments,” 24-31.
Caroline Mesrobian Hickman, “Building for Science: Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory,” 32-51.
Leland J. White, “Dividing Highway: Citizen Activism and Interstate 66 in Arlington, Virginia,” 52-67.
Fall/Winter 2000-2001, 12 (2)
Austin Kiplinger, “Growing Up in Washington I: An Inside-Outside View,” 4-15.
“Growing Up in Washington II: Great Depression and World War II,” 17-21.
Richard T. Loomis, “The Telephone Comes to Washington: George C. Maynard, 1839-1919,” 22-40.
“Growing Up in Washington III: The Baby Boom Years and their Echo,” 41-45.
Faye P. Haskins, “The Art of D.C. Politics: Broadsides, Banners, And Bumper Stickers,” 46-63.
“Growing Up in Washington IV: Memorable Moments,” 64-70.
Spring/Summer 2000, 12 (1)Coming into the City: Essays on Early Washington (Double Issue)
Kenneth R. Bowling, “A Foreboding Shadow: Newspaper Celebration of the Federal Government’s Arrival,” 4-7.
Elaine C. Everly, “The Local Impact of the War Office Fire,” 8-11.
Rubil Morales-Vazquez, “Imagining Washington: Monuments and Nation Building in the Early Capital,” 12-29.
William C. diGiacomantonio, “”To Sell Their Birthright for a Mess of Potage”: The Origins of D.C. Governance and the Organic Act of 1801,” 30-48.
C.M. Harris, “Washington’s ‘Federal City,’ Jefferson’s ‘federal town,'” 49-53.
Catherine Allgor, “‘Queen Dolley’ Saves Washington City,” 54-69.
Pamela Scott, “Moving to the Seat of Government: ‘Temporary Inconveniences and Privations,'” 70-73.
Don A. Hawkins, “The City of Washington in 1800: A New Map,” 74-77.
Marilyn K. Parr, “Chronicle of a British Diplomat: The First Year in the ‘Washington Wilderness,'” 78-89.
Mary Beth Corrigan, “Making the Most of an Opportunity: Slaves and the Catholic Church in Early Washington,” 90-101.
Cynthia D. Earman, “Remembering the Ladies: Women, Etiquette, Diversions in Washington City, 1800-1814,” 102-117.
Cynthia D. Earman, “A Census of Early Boardinghouses,” 118-121.
Ruth Ann Overbeck and Lucinda P. Janke, “William Prout: Capitol Hill’s Community Builder,” 122-139.
Fall/Winter 1999-2000, 11 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
John W. Hechinger, Sr., with additional research by Gavin Taylor, “Black and Blue: The D.C. City Council vs. Police Brutality, 1967-1969,” 4-23.
Jenell Williams Paris, “Fides Means Faith: A Catholic Neighborhood House In Lower Northwest Washington, D.C.,” 24-45.
Frances Copeland Stickles, excerpted and edited, “Mary Shipman’s Diary: A Young Woman Tours Official Washington, 1887,” 46-64.
Spring/Summer 1999, 11 (1) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
David Weinstein, “Women’s Shows and the Selling of Television To Washington, D.C.,” 4-23.
Eric Ledell Smith, “Lillian Evanti: Washington’s African-American Diva,” 24-43.
James W. Moeller, “Pepco, the Potomac, and Nuclear Power,” 45-61.
Elizabeth A. Hanson, “The Woodville Collection: Five Generations in Georgetown,” 62-72.
Fall/Winter 1998-1999, 10 (2)
Margaret Thomas Buchholz, “Josephine: The Washington Diary of a War Worker, 1918-1919,” 4-23.
William M. Wright, “White City to White Elephant: Washington’s Union Station Since World War II,” 24-43.
Leslie T. Davol, “Shifting Mores: Esther Bubley’s World War II Boarding House Photographs,” 44-62.
Spring/Summer 1998, 10 (1)
Edward Mangum, “Washington’s Arena Stage Emerges from Church Cocoon,” 4-23.
Jane C. Leoffler, “Frederick Gutheim, Capital Catalyst,” 24-45.
Joanne Seale Lawson, “Remarkable Foundations: Rose Ishbel Greely, Landscape Architect,” 46-69.
Fall/Winter 1997-1998, 9 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Clifford Krainik, “National Vision, Local Enterprise: John Plumbe, Jr., and the Advent of Photography in Washington, D.C.,” 4-27.
Kathryn S. Smith, “Remembering U Street,” 28-53.
Paul Wice, “Safe Haven: A Memoir of Playground Basketball and Desegregation,” 54-71.
Spring/Summer 1997, 9 (1)
Douglas Gomery, “A Movie-Going Capital: Washington, D.C., in the History of Movie Presentation,” 4-23.
Julie D. Abell and Petar D. Glumac, “Beneath the MCI Center: Insights into Washington’s Historic Water Supply,” 24-41.
Sarah S. Amsler, “Washington in Mid-Century: Wymer’s Photo Survey, 1948-1952,” 42-53.
Joseph Nuesse, “Segregation and Desegregation at the Catholic University of America,” 54-70.
Fall/Winter 1996-1997, 8 (2)
Jeffrey F. Meyer, “The Eagle and the Dragon: Comparing the Designs of Washington and Beijing,” 4-21.
Bobbie Leigus, “A Georgetown Childhood in Mid-Century,” 22-37.
Mara Cherkasky, “‘For Sale to Colored’: Racial Change on S Street, N.W.,” 40-57.
Martin G. Murray, “Traveling with the Wounded: Walt Whitman and Washington’s Civil War Hospitals,” 58-73.
Spring/Summer 1996, 8 (1)
Bernard Mergen, “Slush Funds: A History of D.C. Snow Management,” 4-15.
Kurt Helfrich, “Modernism for Washington? The Kennedys and The Redesign of Lafayette Square,” 16-37.
Richard R. Evans, “The 19th-Century High-Tech Systems of Christian Heurich’s Mansion,” 38-53.
Steven J. Diner, “The City under the Hill,” 54-61.
Charles Wesley Harris, “In Whose Interest? Congressional Funding For Washington In the Home-Rule Era,” 62-70.
Fall/Winter 1995-1996, 7 (2)
Sam Smith, “The Canaries in Studio A And Other Tales Of Washington Radio,” 4-25.
Barbara Franco, “Personal Connections to History: The Context for a Changing Historical Society,” 26-35.
Howard Gillette, Jr., “The Wartime Washington Of Henry Gichner,” 36-53.
Kathleen Trainor, “‘But the Choir Did Not Sing’: How the Civil War Split First Unitarian Church,” 54-71.
Spring/Summer 1995, 7 (1)
Patricia M. Cook, “‘Like the Phoenix’: The Rebirth Of the Whitelaw Hotel,” 4-23.
Judith H. Lanius and Sharon C. Park, “Martha Wadsworth’s Mansion: The Gilded Age Comes to Dupont Circle,” 24-45.
Helen Tangires, “Contested Space: The Life and Death of Center Market,” 46-67.
Fall/Winter 1994-1995, 6 (2)
Kathryn Allamong Jacob, “‘To Gather and Preserve…’: The Columbia Historical Society is Founded, 1894,” 4-23.
Kathryn Schneider Smith and research assistance by Lucinda Prout Janke, “Today’s Historical Society: The Promise of Past and Future,” 24-43.
David K. Johnson, “‘Homosexual Citizens’: Washington’s Gay Community Confronts the Civil Service,” 44-63.
Alan Lessoff, “Washington Insider: The Early Career of Charles Moore,” 64-80.
Spring/Summer 1994, 6 (1)
Julie Berebitsky, “‘To Raise as Your Own’: The Growth of Legal Adoption in Washington,” 4-26.
Martin K. Gordon, Barry R. Sude, and Ruth Ann Overbeck, “Chemical Testing in the Great War: The American University Experiment Station,” 28-45.
Marvin Caplan, “Trenton Terrace Remembered: Life in a ‘Leftist Nest,'” 46-65.
Michele F. Pacifico, “‘Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work’: The New Negro Alliance of Washington,” 66-88.
Fall/Winter 1993-1994, 5 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Ben W. Gilbert. “Toward a Color-Blind Newspaper: Race Relations and the Washington Post,” 4-27.
Don Alexander Hawkins, “Unbuilt Washington: The City as it Might Have Been,” 28-41.
Christopher A. Thomas, “The Marble of the Lincoln Memorial: ‘Whitest, Prettiest, and . . . Best,'” 42-63.
John Michael Vlach, “Evidence of Slave Housing in Washington,” 64-74.
Spring/Summer 1993, 5 (1)
Candace Shireman, “The Rise of Christian Heurich and His Mansion,” 4-27.
Elizabeth Barthold, “The Predicaments of the ‘Parklets’: Understanding Washington’s Smaller Parks,” 28-45.
Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, edited with an introduction, “Duty and ‘Fast Living’: The Diary of Mary Johnson Sprow, Domestic Worker,” 46-65.
Fall/Winter 1992-1993, 4 (2)
Spencie Love, “‘Noted Physician Fatally Injured’: Charles Drew and the Legend that Will Not Die,” 4-19.
Elizabeth Hannold, “‘Comfort and Respectability’: Washington’s Philanthropic Housing Movement,” 20-39.
Olivia Cadaval, photographs by Rich Reinhard, “‘Tirarlo a la Calle/Taking it to the Streets’: The Latino Festival and the Making of Community,” 40-55.
Kevin Conley Ruffner, “Civil War Letters of a Washington Rebel,” 56-71.
Spring/Summer 1992, 4 (1)
Barbara Orbach and Nicholas Natanson, “The Mirror Image: Black Washington in World War II-Era Federal Photography,” 4-25.
Abby Arthur Johnson, “‘The Memory of the Community’: A Photographic Album of Congressional Cemetery,” 26-45.
Sarah Davis McBride, “Ornaments of Education: The Material World of National Park Seminary,” 46-68.
Fall/Winter 1991-1992, 3 (2)
Kenneth R. Bowling, “The Other G.W.: George Walker and the Creation of the National Capital,” 4-21.
Susan L. Klaus, “‘Some of the Smartest Folks Here’: The Van Nesses and Community Building in Early Washington,” 22-45.
Lilian Thomas Burwell, “Reflections on LeDroit Park: Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Her Neighborhood,” 46-61.
Spring/Summer 1991, 3 (1) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Don Alexander Hawkins, “The Landscape of the Federal City: A 1792 Walking Tour,” 10-33.
Priscilla W. McNeil, “Rock Creek Hundred: Land Conveyed for the Federal City,” 34-51.
William C. diGiacomantonio, “All the President’s Men: George Washington’s Federal City Commissioners,” 52-75.
Silvio A. Bedini, “The Survey of the Federal Territory: Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker,” 76-95.
Pamela Scott, “L’Enfant’s Washington Described: The City in the Public Press, 1791-1795,” 96-111.
Bob Arnebeck, “Tracking the Speculators: Greenleaf and Nicholson in the Federal City,” 112-125.
Fall/Winter 1990-1991, 2 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
William Bushong and Piera M. Weiss, “Rock Creek Park: Emerald of the Capital City,” 4-29.
Mary M. Ison, “Uriah Hunt Painter and the ‘Marvelous Kodak Camera,'” 30-47.
Michael Andrew Fitzpatrick, “‘A Great Agitation for Business’: Black Economic Development in Shaw,” 48-73.
Alison K. Hoagland, “The Carnegie Library: The City Beautiful Comes to Mt. Vernon Square,” 74-89.
Spring 1990, 2 (1) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
Dian Olson Belanger, “The Railroad in the Park: Washington’s Baltimore & Potomac Station, 1872-1901,” 4-27.
Horace M. Albright, “My Trips with Harold Ickes: Reminiscences of a Preservation Pioneer,” 28-50.
Leo J. Kasun, “Henry Arthur Taft: Glimpses of Everyday Life,” 50-67.
Jean Kling, “Alice Pike Barney: Bringing Culture to the Capital,” 68-89.
Fall 1989, 1 (2) [OUT OF PRINT: Digital version available on JSTOR]
James M. Goode, “Flying High: The Origin and Design of Washington National Airport,” 4-25.
Frank Rives Millikan, “St. Elizabeths Hospital: End of the Cathedral Era,” 26-41.
Paul S. Green, Text, and Shirley L. Green, Photo Editing, “Old Southwest Remembered: The Photographs of Joseph Owen Curtis,” 42-57.
Diane Shaw Wasch, “Models of Beauty and Predictability: The Creation of Wesley Heights and Spring Valley,” 58-76.
Spring 1989, 1 (1)
Diane K. Skvarla, “Nineteenth Century Visitors,” 7-23.
Marvin Caplan, “Eat Anywhere!: A personal recollection of the Thompson’s Restaurant case and the desegregation of Washington’s eating places,” 24-39.
Jane Freundel Levey, “The Scurlock Studio,” 40-57.
Glenn S. Orlin, “Roads and Parks in Harmony,” 58-69.
Benjamin Franklin Cooling, “To Preserve the Peace,” 70-86.