Category Archives: Retconned

Hanafi Muslim siege 30th anniversary

Thirty years ago today, 12 Hanafi Muslims took hostages at B’nai Brith Headquarters, The Islamic Center, and the District Building. From March 10, 1977 edition of The Post:

A tiny group of Hanafi Muslims, perhaps only 10 people altogether, terrorized the nation’s capital yesterday, killing, wounding and threatening a bloody end for dozens of hostages they captured at three busy locations. Late into the night, the Hanafi gunmen, members of a small black group of Muslims here who were armed with guns and machetes, held anywhere from 20 to 30 to 100 hostages at the B’nai B’rith headquarters on Rhode Island Avenue NW near Scott Circle, the Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue NW at the edge of Rock Creek Park, and in the D.C. City Council Chambers in the District Building downtown.

After 38 hours, the siege, led by Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, was over with two dead and Councilmember Marion Barry shot.

WUSA TV-9 recalls the day with videos of the original coverage.

More from WTOP

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Kornfed, Anchower and Tisdale coming to D.C.

T. Herman Zweibel‘s empire keeps expanding. In April, Washington becomes the 10th city to have local distrubution of the dead-tree edition of The Onion. The paper will be printed by The Post, who will also sell local ads:

“We believe that The Onion will be very well-received among young Washingtonians, and this is a very attractive opportunity for us to provide our advertisers with a new and unique way to reach that attractive young audience,” said Christopher Ma, Post Co. vice president in charge of business development.

Ma oversaw the 2003 launch of Express, the free Post Co. tabloid handed out in the Metro system, and said he sees a crossover readership between Express and The Onion.

The Onion has been available online for over 10 years.

Retconned from Metroblogging DC

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Washington, DC’s 3rd Gift to the World – Capital Beltway

This was a part of Metroblogging DC series about D.C.’s 20 gifts to the world

Castles had moats. Washington D.C. has the Capital Beltway. Few roads compete with the Beltway for cultural meaning. It figuratively represents American politics and government to the rest of the world. Typically, when someone from outside the region says “inside the Beltway” they are not saying out of admiration for the wonks, politicos, lobbyists, journalists and others that work in the nation’s capital. Inside the region, we think of “inside the Beltway” as a way to distinguish whether one lives in suburban sprawl or denser, old development with more mass transit options. Credit Mike Causey with coming up with the term in The Post in 1969, five years after the highway was completed.

Literally, the Beltway is a interstate highway that circles the District. President Eisenhower wanted a loop around the city for the military to circle around in case of an atomic attack. From a more practical perspective, it was designed to have through traffic bypass the city. It was completed in 1964 and christened I-495. Much of it was two lanes in each direction. By the mid 1970s, the explosive growth along it necessitated widening to four lanes each way throughout, with a few exceptions like the Wilson Bridge. In the 1970s, when I-95 (along with other freeways) was cancelled in the District, the Beltway also officially became the main street of the east coast with I-95 running along the southern and eastern portions. In 1989, the I-495 designation was returned to I-95 portion to reduce motorist confusion.

I suppose the gift of the Beltway to the rest of the world is handy way to refer to the politically powerful, with slang. For Washingtonians, the Beltway doesn’t usually seem like much a gift with the traffic. We can probably find something to appreciate about it, can’t we?

Oh and to those Americans who really dislike the powerful that reside inside I-495, remember that you helped send them here. If you ever voted for Bud Shuster, Jesse Helms, Jim Trafficant and Robert Byrd you lose all right to complain.

Actually, I kind of miss Trafficant.

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