And there have been residents notable more for behavior that we’ll describe as… colorful.
The latter includes:
The real estate developer who wanted to build a bomb shelter at 4501 Connecticut Avenue, and when the government said no, he built the high-rise known now as “The Avalon” instead.
The farmer accused of throwing stones at his neighbor’s geese.
The rowdy teenage rebels of the 30s, 40s and 50s who made the neighborhood Hot Shoppe their hangout. (As teens, conservative commentator Pat Buchanan and liberal columnist Frank Rich were customers, but there’s no evidence they were engaging in the behaviors that shocked the neighbors.)
Other residents have more inspiring stories:
The visionary HBCU president who laid the groundwork for DC’s only public university and changed Van Ness.
The ambassador and Cold War defector who did not know if a line of unmarked sedans coming up his driveway would be his FBI protectors – or KGB enforcers.
The physicists who lived and worked here, including one who has a crater on the moon named for him.
The woman who guilted Congress into securing funding to build Murch, Deal and Wilson schools. She also built the first Forest Hills Playground.
As for those U.S. presidents:
Harry Truman lived in a two-bedroom apartment at 4701 Connecticut Avenue, first as senator, then vice president, and for a brief time, as the president of the United States. He loved to walk the neighborhood, and he frequently dined at the Hot Shoppe.
And while Lyndon Johnson attended to his duties as a member of Congress and then the Senate, Lady Bird Johnson was a busy, carpooling Murch mom.
You’ll find a great deal more about our neighborhood’s past in our history section.