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John Muller

John Muller is a local journalist, historian and tour guide. He is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (The History Press, 2012), which has been selected as the DC Public Library’s 2013 DC Reads selection. For more information visit He is currently at work on “Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: Adventures of Capital Correspondent,” which will be published by The History Press in the fall.

Entries by John Muller

DC Housing Authority Launches 100-day Effort to Contact 60,000 People

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 3:38 PM

While working in social services in Washington, I had clients with seven addresses in less than three years, while others had a new cell phone number every other month. The constant turnover in contact information is a reality that hinders the delivery of essential city services such as housing.

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"Alley Life" Leads Off Two Days of Panels at the DC Historical Studies Conference

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2013 | 7:35 AM

Earlier this year Rev. Oliver "OJ" Johnson led students from the Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia through an alley in Historic Foggy Bottom. Standing in front of 23 Snows Court, one of his early childhood homes, Johnson was choked up with emotion before sharing, "Last...

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Stagecoach Alleys of Barry Farm and Imaginary Yellow Lines in Anacostia

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 11:46 AM

An alley in Barry Farm that abuts the property line for the US Coast Guard is impassable. Photos by the author.

"We have to stop. I'll break my axle if we go any further." In providing a tour a couple weeks back...

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The Mothership of Southeast's Abandominiums

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 5:16 PM

The Overlook Parkway Abandominiums are featured in this week's Washington City Paper. Photos by John Muller.

In this week's Washington City Paper reporter Aaron Wiener gives a timely glimpse into a world that is largely unknown and unseen; the scourge of...

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Injustice in the District Obscured By Sweep of Emotion to Zimmerman Verdict

(1) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 12:29 PM

In reaction to George Zimmerman's acquittal in Florida this weekend, a handful of peaceful marches and demonstrations were organized along U Street NW, Malcolm X Park (Meridian Hill Park) and outside the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, the killer of a Howard University student remained at-large; additionally,...

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MLK Library Ready to Unveil Digital Commons Space for Students, Social Entrepreneurs and Tech Startups

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 2:37 PM

Although the entire D.C. Public Library's branch system has been renovated and rebuilt over the past decade, modernization of the downtown Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library has been slow coming. Before Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, who announced her retirement in May, departs, the MLK Library will receive...

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Barry Farm Redevelopment Meeting Excludes Press

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 8:51 AM

In order to prevent chaos from ensuing at tonight's meeting to reintroduce the seven development companies that are competing to become the Master Planning and Development Team for the redevelopment of Barry Farm Dwellings, only confirmed residents will be able to attend. Press is welcome to "cover the event" but...

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Dedication of Frederick Douglass Statue Has Become a Farce

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 12:57 PM

If you want to go to the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass statue this Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the United States Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall, don't bother: You're not invited.


The decision to close the event to the...

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Barry Farm Redevelopment Process in Washington Must Be Legitimate

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 11:04 AM

Last Tuesday, a collection of residents led by activist group Empower DC shut down a public meeting intended to share and discuss the latest redevelopment plans for the Barry Farm Dwellings in Southeast. While tenants of Barry Farm deserve a say in what happens to their homes, this...

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Notes on Frederick Douglass' Long Journey to the U.S. Capitol

(1) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 3:12 PM

On February 23, 1895, three days after Frederick Douglass died in his Anacostia home and two days before his funeral was held at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, just blocks from the White House, Richard F. Pettigrew from South Dakota rose on the Senate Floor to

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