The Boltbus has been a part of my and the Hayfoot’s life since we met six years ago. At first it was her going to meet a friend for the weekend. Then, as we knew each other better we would both go down to see the sites. It was in a Washington hotel room that I proposed. Now, with her working in the area one of us is on the bus every few weeks. It is part of our everyday life.
One thing I always note when the bus is approaching DC is how there are two Washingtons: the official one that tourists and public officials inhabit and the inner-city version one sees entering town. Like New York City Washington has gentrified a great deal over the past 15-20 years. The Boltbus itself is a product of that gentrification. Still, there are pockets here and there where one sees signs of the civil unrest of the 1960s. No, I am not old enough to remember the 1968 riots there and elsewhere, but I have been around enough to remember when the wounds were still raw. It is something I think about every time the bus is pulling in.
Here is some incredible, recently discovered film footage courtesy of media company CriticalPast. Looking closely at some of the additional footage, I noticed that some of the soldiers were from the Big Red One, which until a few years perviously had been stationed at Governors Island.