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The Willard InterContinental, Washington DC


    The Willard InterContinental, Washington DC
 in Washington

History Mystery

Which historic hotel popularized the term “lobbyist”?
Hint: This hotel is also where Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle of the Hymn of the Republic.

If you guessed The Willard InterContinental (1901) in Washington, DC, you guessed correctly!

The term ‘lobbyist’ originated at the Willard Hotel when Ulysses S. Grant was in office (1869-1877). President Grant would frequent the Willard Hotel to enjoy brandy and a cigar, and while he was there, he’d be hounded by petitioners asking for legislative favors or jobs and thus the term was coined. An American institution, the Willard has hosted nearly every U.S. president since 1853. It was at the Willard that Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic, where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King finished his renowned "I Have a Dream" speech. Today, The Willard continues to epitomize world class hospitality as the hotel of choice for heads of state and leaders of the world’s business, cultural, social, and political elite.


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