News

5 Websites the Government Forgot It Had

Image via Shutterstock.

MuckRock, an online repository of Freedom of Information Act documents, recently turned up a list of “.gov” websites abandoned in the past decade. We tracked down the intended uses for some of the more curious decommissioned sites.

FiddlinForesters.gov

Screenshot via UNT Web Archive.

The former website of the “official old-time string band of the US Forest Service.” President Obama called it a waste of tax dollars and shut it down in 2011.

Barney.gov

Screenshot via White House Archives.

President George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier Barney was an early web pioneer thanks to this site’s videos shot as the dog roamed the White House with a camera crew in tow.

GetOutdoorsItsYours.gov

Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior via Wikimedia Commons.

The hub of a campaign to get kids outside and active featured a very awkward picture of the Jonas Brothers posing with former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.

UseDollarCoins.gov

Image via Shutterstock.

This site promoting the $1 coin estimated that the currency would save the country “billions”—but not enough, apparently, to justify this site.

AmeriCorpse.gov

Screenshot via UNT Web Archive.

Possibly a hedge against misspellings of “AmeriCorps,” it also conveniently walled off an alternative name that could be used as a term of derision by the program’s detractors.

This article appears in our June 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Get Washingtonian’s Daily DC Updates (Not Just Another Political News Roundup)

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.