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Every generation that preceded ours lacked the wisdom that ours possesses. That is why our generation is free to repeat and recreate the mistakes that previous generations made. Earlier generations in Washington were appalled by the unsanitary living conditions in the alley dwellings, the small, cramped stables that had been converted into housing for humans in the narrow, sunless alleys of DC. Progressive reformers and social workers spent a half century from the 1890’s through the 1940’s to try to improve living conditions in the city and to eradicate the deplorable housing in which poor people were forced to live. Before "ten blocks from the White House" became the catch phrase to describe the 1968 riots in DC, it described the nearness of the alley-dwelling slums to the seats of power in our city.