The Once-Ubiquitous Peoples Drug Stores

They used to be everywhere. Peoples Drug Stores were for much of the twentieth century one of those staples of everyday life in Washington, squatting on street corners in almost every neighborhood. The name seemed to have special resonance in the nation's capital, as if it were a commercial incarnation of democracy itself (or perhaps an arm of the Communist Party, depending on your perspective). It grew to be one of the largest drugstore chains on the east coast, with over 500 stores at one point ranging from Georgia to Ohio. And it all began here in the District.

A typical Peoples store on Pennsylvania Avenue at 7th Street SE, in the 1960s (Source: DC Public Library, Star Collection, © Washington Post).

Peoples was founded in 1905 by Malcolm G. Gibbs (1877-1944), a native of Union City, Tennessee. Impatient with the limited opportunities in his small home town near the Mississippi river, Mac Gibbs decided in 1898 to join his brother, Campbell Gibbs, in Washington, D.C. As told by John V. Horner in a 1955 Evening Star article, Gibbs was a rather naive young man. He needed a porter to show him how to use his sleeper berth on the train to D.C., and when he arrived his first experience of the big city was to literally be taken for a ride. He gave a cab driver the address of his brother's rooming house and was driven around for a long time before finally arriving and being charged a full dollar. The next morning he discovered he was less than two blocks from the train station.

Malcolm G. Gibbs (Source: DC Public Library, Washingtoniana Collection, People's Drug Store Collection).

Of course, Gibbs soon gained his bearings. In Union City he had worked for the local newspaper, run by his father, so when he came to Washington he first sought employment at the Star. He was turned down. By one account he then got a job driving a laundry truck but wasn't happy with it. Eventually he responded to a help-wanted ad for a stockroom boy at Mertz's Modern Pharmacy at 11th and F Streets NW. Owner Edward P. Mertz (1861-1941) "noted the young man's frailty and also that he was lame. He doubted that Malcolm would be equal to the demands of the stockroom," according to Horner. But when Gibbs offered to prove his abilities by working for nothing at the start, he got the job and soon won over his boss. Like all those other success stories from 100 years ago, Gibbs worked hard, saved his money, and went to school at night, in time becoming a registered pharmacist. With $800 in 1905, he finally went into business for himself with a broker named Howard W. Silsby (who put in $8,000). They opened the first Peoples Drug Store at 824 7th Street, NW, just north of King's Palace.

It was a fortuitous time to be entering the retail pharmacy business. Small-time apothecaries focusing almost exclusively on prescriptions would soon become an endangered species. Energetic young entrepreneurs like Gibbs were transforming the business, offering a wider and wider variety of merchandise, advertising heavily, and offering discounted prices to lure in large numbers of customers. The formula had worked for the Woodward & Lothrop department store, and it would work for Peoples Drug as well.

From an advertisement in The Washington Herald, August 13, 1911. (Source: Library of Congress).

After four years, Peoples had outgrown its small storefront and moved to a spacious multi-storied building at the busy intersection of 7th and K Streets, NW, on the southeast corner of Mount Vernon Square. As described in The Washington Post, the new store was a marvel of retail innovation, a “department drug store, in which the stock ranges from the simplest drug compounds to teas, coffees, and rarest of perfumes.” Finished in gold and white with many mirrored surfaces, the first floor featured drugs and “drug sundries,” including the prescription counter, as well as an elaborate soda fountain and cigar counter. Upstairs were “rubber goods, surgical instruments, and miscellaneous stock.” As opening souvenirs, the store gave away “a handsome leather cigar case to male customers and a combination mirror, powder puff, and puff box, containing a high grade of face powder, to customers of the feminine sex”—baubles that would probably sell very well on eBay if they were still around 100 years later.

As noted in The Bulletin of Pharmacy in 1922, Gibbs had gone to great pains to design his 7th and K Street store as a giant advertisement for his goods. The plate glass windows at street level extended almost to the ground and were packed with enticing displays. “You can't miss the display from the sidewalk and can even see it from an automobile or passing street-car,” marveled the Bulletin. “It is just like a page in a paper,” Gibbs is quoted as observing.


The 7th and K Streets NW store, circa 1919, day and night views (Source: Library of Congress).

With the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, profound changes had been underway in the drug business. The so-called “patent” medicines (which generally were not patented at all) could no longer contain dangerous ingredients such as alcohol, cocaine, and morphine unless clearly labeled. Sales of items that contained such substances began to decline. However, there was still plenty of room to market all sorts of dubious concoctions, and People's seems to have carried them all. One of my favorites is the perplexingly-titled "Earle's Tasteless Hypo-Cod with Wild Cherry Malt and Iron," billed as a "palatable strength-creating reconstructive tonic" to be taken when recovering from a "long wasting illness," such as the flu. Another item heavily promoted was Buchu Buttons, pills to cure kidney problems. Using a People's coupon, you could get a 50-cent box of Buchu Buttons for just 14 cents in 1911. And while in the store, you could pick up Kornox for your corns, a little Walnutta hair stain, some Graham's blood purifier, and of course Sanitol tooth powder. While these might seem less than appealing to the modern shopper, there were other more toxic choices as well. The May 7, 1911, edition of The Washington Herald advertised “Iron, Quinine, and Strychnine” potion at 47 cents a pint, “Chloroform liniment” at 25 cents for 4 ounces, and “Belladonna plaster” at just 10 cents a packet. Caveat emptor!

From a Peoples advertisement in The Washington Herald, December 31, 1911 (Source: Library of Congress).

In 1912, Peoples opened at its second location, 7th and E Streets NW. Two more stores were added four years later, at 7th and M and at 14th and U. Peoples had gained its reputation as a scrappy discount store on the eastern side of downtown. A turning point came in 1919, when Peoples took over the  W. S. Thompson drugstore at 15th and G Streets NW, across the street from the Treasury Department. Thompson’s was a much more sophisticated establishment than Peoples; it advertised itself as the "pharmacy of the Presidents," having served the White House continually since 1857. To some it was almost sacrilegious for an upstart like Peoples to absorb the venerable Thompson's, and in fact it took several years for the marriage of the two institutions to work out. In the process, the Peoples staff learned a lot about the importance of providing scrupulously dependable prescription services.

From here Peoples began opening stores in the city's wealthier neighborhoods, such as Mount Pleasant in 1922. More stores would be added at a steady rate for decades to come. Like other retailers, Gibbs kept pushing his stores to be live, hyper-kinetic advertisements for themselves. When the new Peoples store at 13th and F Streets opened in 1927, the Post noted admiringly that it was "fully electrified" with over 2 miles of wiring. The signs outside, with raised opal letters and flashing amber borders composed of 225 individual light bulbs, proved difficult to ignore. By the time of its 50th anniversary in 1955, the chain had 155 stores in 7 states.

Interior of Peoples' Mount Pleasant branch (located at 14th Street and Park Road), showing the soda fountain and perfume counter (Source: Library of Congress).

Peoples wasn't the first drug store to have a soda fountain, but it was certainly one of its biggest promoters. Across the country, the heyday of the drug store soda fountain was from the 1920s to the 1950s, and it made going to the drug store on the corner as much fun as dropping in to the neighborhood bar. Soda fountains originally dispensed just cool carbonated drinks and ice cream, but beginning in the 1920s, Peoples' soda fountains also offered sandwiches, cakes, and pies, offering stiff competition to lunchroom chains like Childs' and Thompson's. And they continued to grow. In September 1943, amidst wartime staff constraints, People's store #38 on Connecticut Avenue was the first to convert its three soda fountains into the equivalent of a full-blown cafeteria. By 1965, the soda fountain at the 15th and G Street store, the heir to the old Thompson's store, was big enough to accommodate 84 diners.

In 1977, the Washington Star's Pat Lewis chronicled a day in the life of the soda fountain at Peoples store #11 on Capitol Hill, "the last of the old-fashioned Peoples soda fountains," complete with amiable down-and-outers such as the "67-year-old man, unshaven and in tattered clothes" who ordered a coffee and doughnut and then told the waitress to "put it on my bill." "My check comes next week," he explained. Others at the counter were sitting next to each other as they had done every day for years, and Lewis discovered that they didn't even know each other's names. A Catholic University professor came in and sat at the counter, and his breakfast was silently put in front of him, without his having to order anything. The waitress knew what he wanted.  

Detail from a 1970s matchcover (Author's collection).

After decades of success, everything was changing at Peoples in the 1970s. Founder Malcolm Gibbs had died back in 1944, and, while continuing to expand, the chain had lost its dynamism. In 1974, an Ohio-based drug store chain, Lane Drug Corporation, gained a controlling share of Peoples' stock, and within a year Ohio-native Sheldon W. (Bud) Fantle (1923-1996) moved to Washington to become chairman and chief executive of Peoples, which the Washington Star-News called a "big but ailing chain."

Fantle set about reinvigorating Peoples with the same kind of zest that Mac Gibbs had embodied in the early days. He overhauled the stock at each store, tailoring it to local area's best-selling items, and began a campaign of aggressively purchasing other drug chains. Old stores were overhauled with the latest 1970s decorations. At a special ceremony in July 1975, Fantle was joined by Mayor Walter Washington at the grand reopening of the flagship store at 15th and G, freshly decked out with bright, headache-inducing wallpaper (see the photo below). It's not known how long that wallpaper lasted.

Interior of the renovated Peoples at 15th and G Streets NW in 1975. (Source: DC Public Library, Star Collection, © Washington Post).

Soon Peoples was once again an industry leader, and Fantle was seen as masterful turn-around artist. But the changes were not all easy or appreciated. One by one, the beloved soda fountains, for example, were being closed. Fantle said they could no longer compete with the fast-food restaurants that were sprouting up everywhere. In 1988, a Georgetown resident upset about the closing of the local soda fountain, suggested in the Post that the name of the company be changed from "People's" to "Corporate's."

By the 1980s, all three of DC's drug store chains—Peoples (by far the largest), Dart Drug (founded by Herbert Haft in 1954), and Drug Fair (owned at the time by Sherwin-Williams)—were experiencing hard times. The big grocery chains, Giant and Safeway, had discovered that by opening their own pharmacies they could steal much of the drug stores' business, and the competition was withering. The Canadian firm Imasco, Ltd., acquired Peoples in 1984, only to see its profitability plummet over the next three years. In 1987, Fantle left the company and soon took over its ailing competitor, Dart Drug. Dart had developed a bad reputation, and Fantle worked to give it a new image, renaming it Fantle's. It didn't work; the Fantle's chain closed in 1990, after just two years.

That same year, New York-based Melville Corporation acquired Peoples. Melville was a large retail holding company that also owned the 811-store CVS drugstore chain. The new owners kept the Peoples name for several years, but in 1994, after a survey showed that most people wouldn't object to a change, the 89-year-old brand was abandoned, and the former Peoples stores all got CVS signage. Another homegrown retail icon of 20th-century Washington had become extinct.

Special thanks to Faye Haskins and Derek Gray of the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Public Library for their invaluable assistance.
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Comments

  1. Well, they didn't ask _me_ when the People's Drugstores changed to CVS. I objected. And still do.

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    1. Were you ever a teacher in Maryland?

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  2. I miss People's, too!

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    1. I worked for People's at 7-corners in Northern Virginia in the early to mid 1970's. they were a good company to work for.

      I remember when Bud Fantle came on board from the Ohio chain he successfully built. He made a rule that all stores had to lower its merchandising isles from the 6.5 feet they were down to around 4.5 feet. He gave us a month and then he'd start coming into stores at random with a yard stick. He'd measure to that predetermined height and then would walk down the aisle with the yardstick held at that height. If anything was above it, he'd knock it down and break it. Some stores lost a lot of merchandise during that period.

      There was a lot of competition between People's, Drug Fair and Dart Drug.

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    2. A late reply, but just saw this. I remember that two-floor at Seven Corners. I was a kid in the area from 1961 to my college years in the 70s. There was an escalator between the two levels.

      I was usually in the Brentano's Books down on the lower level as my mother shopped at "Woody's" or Garfinckel's. There was also a huge electronics parts store across one of the highways, Lafayette Electronics. I found some transistors for a science project I made in around 1967.

      (I later joined Intel Corporation as it was releasing the microprocessor, so I think my Seven Corners experience turned out well.)

      I mostly remember Drug Fair, as that was the one closet to us when we moved down to the Rose Hill/Hayfield region east of Springfield and south of Alexandria.

      (But having living out here in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley of California for more than 45 years now, I mostly remember our local chain, called Long's Drugs. The Longs family were in-laws of the families that started Safeway, Skaggs, Alpha Beta, Albertson's, Lucky, and (maybe) Ralph's. The Longs brand was absorbed into CVS. I think the old chains all either became part of Rite-Aid or CVS, plus Wahlgreen's is still independent. Rexall, Sav-On, Thrifty, all absorbed.

      --Tim May, near Santa Cruz

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  3. I learned about the consumerism of Halloween at People's. It's were I got my first cheap mask in elementary and saw displays and displays of candy. Oh, the memories. I'm getting old if they've been gone 17 years.

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  4. Gallery of People Drug Store photos here:
    http://www.shorpy.com/Peoples-Drug-Stores

    The night shots are almost haunting.

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  5. My wife and I still call it Peoples

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  6. Great article! Thanks for bringing back a flood of memories for me.
    I worked for the Peoples store in West Springfield in the early 70's. Some of the fondest memories from my early working life. I became the drug clerk for Herbert Arthur Mattix Macall (HAM) who was our pharmacist at the time. Also worked with/for Steve Palmer. Steve was a great guy and wonderful mentor. Great loyal customers, and a great group of employees. Loved that place. Sorry they have all become CVS stores. Peoples was a very personable drug store chain and everyone knew each other’s name. Very sad they are no longer.

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    1. I worked at 7-Corners and Leesburg Pike stores, for Steven Sanford Stacks, John Groux and Mr. Shoup. Mr. Brodt was our District Manager and he scared the pee out of me.

      I started in 1972 and during that summer I worked full time making $1.80/hr, which made my weekly take home $59.01. I couldn't spend it all. I went into management and would have been made manager by '78 but I could tell things were becoming less settled at the corporate level so I joined the Air Force.

      Farid Rushdi

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    2. Mr. Brodt was a great man, just so detail oriented! I was setting up an end-cap one day, and he came over and completely re-did it for me. Next time he came in he complimented me on the ones I had done. We were always on the watch out for him...

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  7. They don't call them drug stores anymore either. That was a southern thing, that the Yankees threw out along with the soda fountains.

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  8. Great article. I love the pictures on shorpy.com also, thanks for the link.

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  9. I worked at GEICo at 14th and L Streets NW in the mid 1950s and we took all of our breaks at Peoples Counter - yummy english muffins with lots of butter and jelly; delicious coffee. I still called CVS Peoples for years but now it is nothing like the old Peoples and that is a sad thing. When my daughters were young in the 1960s/70s I often treated them to a delicious hamburger at the Peoples Lunch Counter in Wheaton Plaza. Ah - the good ol' days.

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  10. I still call them drug stores and I am from New Jersey (went to school mostly in DC). People's had the best ice cream! And I remember the People's Lunch Counter in Wheaton Plaza.

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  11. I didn't see a mention of the Peoples Drug Store, formerly at the corner of 18th & Columbia Rd, NW, or the Peoples Hardware Store, beside it. Interestingly enough, the hardware store survived the demise of the drug store, which was replaced by a McDonald's. Peoples Hardware lasted for a few more years, being watched over by a large, white German shepherd (her brother, Murphy, stood vigil in the window of the old Comet liquor store on Columbia Rd.)

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  12. Great article. My two favorite Peoples Drug Stores were the one on Capital Hill at 7th and Pennsylvania Ave SE and the other one in the Eastover shopping Center across from Southern Ave. SE.At that time I was attending Gonzaga High and the D.C. Transit bus would stopped at Indian Head Hwy and Southern Ave. SE and I had to wait for the W.M.A.T (Maryland Bus)I passed the time eating and drinking the delicious hamburgers and tasty milkshakes.
    Also G.C. Murphy's had a great lunch counter. If C.V.S. brought the lunch counters back it would be a winner.I only wished my children had a opportunity to experience those lunch counters.

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    1. I remember gc murphy cold cut sandwiches n popcor ...lol....does anyone remember a store 8n bladensburg md called jupiter...lol

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    2. I remember gc murphy cold cut sandwiches n popcor ...lol....does anyone remember a store 8n bladensburg md called jupiter...lol

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  13. Also, an interesting little fact about the people's chain: When Stokely Carmichael gathered a crowd around the corner of 14th and U on the evening of MLK's assassination, the first store window that was broken was the People's on the southwestern(?) corner of the intersection.

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  14. So I'm sitting here and I actually still have a shoe shine sponge, year on package says 1982. I was trying to remember where it was from. and it clicked then I started singing the way they sang People's drug store in the commercials on TV. And this ended up making me google Peoples drug.

    I lived and still near the Springfield, VA one in springfield Plaza. (now a CVS) I'm 40 now but 30 years back I remember they had awesome Sidewalk sales. First few days they would be discounting and cleaning up the leftovers to make room for new products. The last day of sidewalk sale they would hand out the paper grocery bags and you would fill the entire bag for like $5. It was awesome. I always waited for those sidewalk sales and was extremely excited to go. Unfortunately I don't remember any food counters but boy does that sound like an awesome idea.

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  15. My father in UK sent me a b/w photo of relatives who went to Canada in the 1800s. On the back of the pic is a very faint stamped certification mark which (under much magnification)shows 'The People's Drug Store Photo Finishing Institute', around the edge, with what seems to be a location name? ending in 'STONE or TONE in the stamp centre. The date is JAN 19 1949 or 1919 (3rd number written over by good 'ole 92y/o Dad by mistake!!).He has no knowledge re date nor location but says one man in pic is 'Charlie' J Cunnington (or Humpherson?)from Bewdley UK.
    If anyone could clarify store location/date/Charlie's details I would be extremely gratefull. He was my Grt Uncle I am told and went to Canada with 5 siblings.

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  16. I'm told that at the Peoples at 8th & PA Ave, SE on Fridays, you could buy a sandwich, soda, pie with icecream for a quarter. Does anyont know about this?

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    1. This is true a long time ago I worked at 11th and G St 1961 5 Cent Coke 15 cent Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pickles and a scoop of Ice Cream 5 Cents Total price 25 cents

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  17. I used to live at Connecticut and Calvert, across the street from the People's. Breakfast at the lunch counter there was one of my favorite things. Thank you so much for this history of the chain that I still miss.

    (I actually slipped up and called the CVS "People's" a couple of weeks ago, and my mother and I went off on a little nostalgia trip.)

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  18. I'm in my 70's and grew up in D.C./Chevy Chase. I had many favorites, Wisconsin Ave. & Albamarble, Connecticut Ave, by Chevy Chase Circle, by the Avalon Theater & Schupps Bakery. Oh those soda's and milk shakes.
    My Uncles were, Richard Gibbs and Barnett Gibbs and Malcome Gibbs, they were all managers at one time.

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  19. I used to love getting a BBQ sandwich with coleslaw at the soda fountain

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    1. It was also one of my favorites they also had a sandwich called a Beefenburger when I worked at 11th and G st they had a fountain on the main upstairs was a Mezanine and Down stairs was a Caffetiria

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    2. Worked for Ma Bell in the 1960's loved the lunch counter at 7th & Pa. yes the BBQ was great and was about 30 cents,but the coffee in the china mug was a great waker upper

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  20. Tina (Lawless Wright) WilsonDecember 6, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I started working for Peoples in 1972 while in 12th grade. Started working at the one at Janaf Shopping Center in Norfolk, VA and worked also at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach, and Indian River Shopping Center in Chesapeake. I still think of myh time with the company and miss working there.... Spent 11 years of my life working for a great company...

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    1. Your Dm. miss all PDS Emplyee's.Back then we came to work for who paid us. I tride to give women & Blacks a equale chance.

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  21. I started at Peoples at Friendship Heights May 1969.I worked in P.G., Montgomery County and D.C. and now in S.C. I still work for Peoples sorry CVS now going on 44 years. I remember alot of, but not all of the facts you published Thank-you

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  22. I worked the soda fountains at Peoples in PG Plaza around 1961 while in NW High School. The manager was Paul LeRoux, a great guy to work for. You might remember him as a short slender dark haired frenchman usually wearing a pharmacist's shirt buttoned along the shoulder.

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    1. I went to NW HS, grad. in '65!! My dad, Malcolm Shapard, came from Union City, TN (where the originator, Malcolm Gibbs, of the People DS came from!) and got his first DC job at one of the Peoples DS (can't remember which one)!!!

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  23. Oh, just to savor that gastronome delight (egg salad on whole wheat toast),
    washed down with a REAL milk shake. The imprint still lingers in my favorite memories. The Peoples Drug, located at Wisconsin Av and Albermarle street was our one of choice.

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  24. I briefly lived in D.C.as a child in 1968 & remember seeing Peoples Drug Stores all over the city.In Balto.,MD we used to have drug stores called ''Read's'' which have been replaced by RiteAids-miss the drugstores of yesteryear, because they had soda fountains & some of them(like Woolworth's also had lunch counters !!!

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  25. I grew up going to the Peoples at Wisconsin Ave & Newark St. Even though I was a kid the staff knew me and my dad (with whom I often went) by name. To this day I regularly call CVS "Peoples"... I do try and correct myself when talking to "newer" residents!

    In the mid-80's, I attended Central College, in Iowa. It's located in Pella: a small town in the middle of corn fields. Not at all like DC! But don't you know that the next town over, Oskaloosa, had a Peoples?! Suddenly, Iowa felt just like home!

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  26. There was a small Peoples on the corner of King and Alfred streets, Alexandria. On the floor above was a radio station studio where Arthur Godfrey broadcast from in the forties. At the soda fountain , their egg salad reigned supreme.

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  27. I worked at the main office of Peoples Drug in Alexandria Virginia late 70s, early 80s. I worked in the
    personnel department.

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  28. I worked at the 15th and G Peoples 1962 to 1963 Tobacco Counter One day President Kennedy's Motorcade stopped in front of the store and a man came in and asked if the Employees could step outside that the President would like to Thank us for the good service we had given the White House and him He Smoked Anthoney and Cleopatra Cigars I know spelled the Cigars wrong What a Great memory.

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    1. I worked several No. Virginia stores in the 1970's. I know the store closest to the White House was decked out in Bi-Centennial and patriotic colors in 1971 or so and that all the White House had to do was call and someone would run their order over personally.

      Never saw a president, but I was really ticked that I had to work one Sunday and couldn't watch the Redskins game on TV, and around 5:30 or so in walks Terry Hermerling, Walter Rock, George Starke, Charlie Harraway and Mike Bragg and bought some ice and beer. Turns out Hermerling lived in the Chateaux Apts. across the street and they were going over to his house to have a post-game party. After ringing me up, and telling them my "I missed the game to work" story, they invited me over after I got off!!

      I got there just as things were winding down, but met Mike Bass, Bill Brundidge and Brig Owens. Without question, it was a life highlight that night.

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  29. I wanted to also mention I work at the NW 11th and G St Peoples They had a Soda Fountain and Downstairs they had a Cafeteria with full meals Someone said they remembered the BBQ Sandwich with slaw it was the best Also they had a Sandwich called the Beefinburger yes 5 cent Cokes any flavor you wanted added to it. Peoples was my first job When I was 16 I went into the Navy and Peoples held a Job for me And I went to work for Tates on NW G st Was a very good Company to work for Thank You.

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  30. I grew up in DC and later moved to what was semi-rural Maryland...there was always a Peoples around which was an instant connection with comfort. When you walked in a Peoples the scent of the milk shakes and other food seemed to greet you...they had the best ice cream sundaes. My favorite was the candy bars that sold for 5 cents a piece or 6 for a quarter....used to be a good deal when going to the movies with friends. I used to buy a bottle of coca cola syrup at Peoples used to settle upset stomachs and mix it with carbonated water to make powerful sodas. The other neat thing was if you got a prescription filled the pharmacist would give you a coupon for a free soda while your prescription was being filled. Peoples was just another loss to the cruel business world.

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  31. Whither DGS, the District Grocery Store chain? An early-day 7-11 store.

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    1. DGS Was opened on Holidays and Sundays when everyone else was closed Not open on the Sabbath

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  32. My first job was at Peopl e's Drug in Arlington on Lee Hwy. It was the best job I ever had.

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  33. First job was at People's in 1993, South Lakes Village Center in Reston, VA. I have to say that was the best job ever! I started on Labor Day, 21 years ago this very day! We used to have to wear a shirt and tie. Ha!

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  34. Beefburgers. Enjoyed many a beefburger at both the 10th & F NW and 15th & G NW locations. Delicious lunch item.

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  35. Way back....My grandfather was an optometrist at a People's in the 1930's.
    Evidently, at that time, an in-store optometrist was required to sell glasses.

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  36. I still sometimes call the stores Peoples. One funny yet sad memory was in 1995-96. I was in graduate school in Illinois, and had wound up taking a friend up to meet family at Gurnee Mills mall north of Chicago. Walking around the mall, I saw a display of Peoples Drug brand batteries. It didn't hit me until I had nearly walked out of the store that they were a few hundred miles out of place ... and by then, unfortunately, also out of time.

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  37. I remember when I first started working after high school. I had a temp job at Dupont Circle, but walked to the Peoples drug at G & 15 for their blue plate specials. Great meals and cheap!

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  38. Worked at Peoples in Hampton,Va. Had the greatest manager in the world, Mr. Clarence Jones.He not only taught me the business but also some very valuable life lessons. It was truly a family there.

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  39. Started as a clerk in 1977 and still working for CVS here in Northern Va. A lifetime of memories over 38 years.

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  40. As a child in Alexandria, it was always a treat to walk to our People's with my father. He'd pick up what the family needed, and I was given some change to buy lemon drops or Nick-L-Nips.

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  41. My first summer job was behind the fountain at the Eastover Peoples. Hated the breakfast shift, because I could not fry an egg without breaking the yolk.
    You "arm of the communist party" comment reminds me of a friend who moved to the area, and found her shopping area had a Peoples Drug Store, Consumer Co-op grocery store, and a Citizens Bank, and wondered what kind of socialist place she'd moved to.

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  42. I enjoyed going to the People's at Montgomery Mall. The arcade in the front was a great hang-out and had the newest games. The toy aisle was also impressive for a drug store.

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  43. I survived My career with PDS and CVS after 40 years, What a ride, Miss those good ole days, I was manager in Northern Va. Tyson Corner, Mclean, Falls Church, Va. Beach, Emporia, Va. I had a good life.

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  44. There used to be a People's Drug Store just down the street from where we used to live in College Park MD. We lived on Rossburge Drive. There was a trading post and Highs Milk Store. This was circa 1963

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  45. Cleaning up my dad's garage this evening, I unearthed an old yellow plastic spray bottle of Peoples window cleaner. It's still good and I'd like to recommended it for shining up antique windows.

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  46. I grew up with Peoples Drug. They were in every strip-mall/shopping center in the area, and my existence as I currently know it is partly due to it. My parents met because of Peoples, where my mother worked while in high school (at the store on Indian River road at Sparrow road in what is now Chesapeake Va), where my Grandfather was the manager at the time. He also was the manager at the Janaf store in Norfolk, Va. He passed on in 2002. But if you ever saw him at one of the stores he managed, you can honestly say you saw Walt Disney!

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