Circa: November 1980

Today GM adds another entry to his occasional Circa series, wherein he looks back to a particular snap-shot of Georgetown in an earlier time. Up next: 1980.

On the eve of the 1980 election, all of Washington was on the edge of its seat following the close race between Carter and Reagan. However, at least a few were out in the streets looking for some booze. And not just any booze: Canadian Club Whiskey.

The reason they were out on the streets looking is that Canadian Club hid a case of its liquor somewhere in the District. Where was it?

Start at a place that was named for America’s most important city. See where a bark takes you. From there, go to what you can’t miss. When you have arrived, face in the direction of a past scandal that was uncovered and made public. Turn in the opposite direction and make tracks for a nearby Metro station. Ride three stops.

Come up and then find the way to a famous ending. Continue in the most obvious direction, when you know the time is right. Before it’s too late, head for the nearest bridge that can take you over water. If it becomes impossible to continue in a straight line, go toward a body of water and find a spot with three banks. From the highest bank, go in the direction of a bridge. When you’ve reach it, walk back 100 paces and you’ll be right over the hidden treasure: a whole case of Canadian Club.

It’s all yours if you’re first to find the person in charge and say, “C.C. please” with feeling.

So where was that case of Canadian Club?


How’s that? The first paragraph has you go from the Washington Monument towards the Watergate then to Metro Center where you’d take the Metro to Foggy Bottom.

From there you’d walk to the intersection of M and Wisconsin, walk down to the canal and then back until you’re standing over the cellar door of Nathans. To get the whiskey, you’d have to go into Nathans and ask for C.C.

According to one account, the contest was won by a 20-something from Oakton, VA. When he walked in to Nathans to ask the manager for C.C., it was revealed that about a dozen people had come the night before asking the night manager, who had no knowledge of the contest.

Canadian Club Ad




Filed under Circa

2 responses to “Circa: November 1980

  1. Rob

    This is in need of a map.

  2. James R. Willhoft

    If anyone wants information on any of the five remaining hidden cases of Canadian Club, contact me @

    Thanks, Jim W.

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