Georgetown’s Past Featured in WETA Documentary

Courtesy of WETA

This week WETA is broadcasting an excellent documentary on the history of Washington through the 1960′s. Given that this included the Kennedy era, unsurprisingly Georgetown is prominently featured.

Besides rhapsodizing briefly on the link between the Kennedy mystique and Georgetown, the documentary’s first specific Georgetown reference is to mention the late great Rive Gauche restaurant. The fancy French restaurant on the northwest corner of Wisconsin and M was the standard of fine cuisine in the city in its time. Washington native Maury Povich states in the documentary “We always thought when we were young that you had to have a lot of money to go to Rive Gauche. That was picking at High Cotton.”

The documentary also briefly mentions Clyde’s (which opened in 1963, inspired at least in part by a stray New Yorker left lying around a beatnik hang-out on 31st St.) and Blues Alley.

The documentary also mentions the scandalous life and death of Georgetown Lady and JFK mistress¬†Mary Pinchot Meyer. Meyer was found shot to death on the C&O Canal Towpath. Like her lover’s murder, Meyer’s death has inspired countless conspiracy theories.

Finally, GM was particularly surprised to see that Georgetown used to do exactly what he suggested last January. Namely that the street signs acknowledge the old street names too:

Old Georgetown Street Signs

This is exactly the type of sign GM was thinking about. We ought to bring back these signs exactly like this.

Washington in the 60′s is an excellent primer on those ten turbulent years here in our city. It will be shown today at 3:30 pm, Friday at 10:00 pm, and next Monday at 4:00 pm.

For further reading, GM heartily recommends that you pick up a used copy of Dream City.

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4 Comments

Filed under History

4 responses to “Georgetown’s Past Featured in WETA Documentary

  1. Those signs would be marvelous.

  2. those signs are awesome. backlight, basically, by the streetlights, right? they’d look fantastic at night (and actually be useful) if that was the case.

    i like how the sign says “George Town” as well.

  3. Andy

    The “Georgetown” font seen in the street sign is oldstyle Adobe Caslon, which is the official typeface of GU. The stylized “Georgetown,” as seen above, is a combination of italic and script oldstyle Adobe Caslon typesfaces. The Caslon typeface was created in the 18th century and was used in the founding documents of the country and John Carroll’s proposal to establish the Georgetown University. This begs the questions: who inspired the street sign typeface, the university or the times?

  4. Hey, Pat, if James didn’t say anything to you about Mary Pinchot, I heard that your fellow eminent journalist Sam Donaldson covered the Crump trial from gavel to gavel. Why don’t you ask him who he thinks killed Mary?
    And ask him why they kept her private life from being brought up. For the record, I am not a Kennedy-basher. Far from it. They shot my President, and I want to know why by next November. Hope you do, too.

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