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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Willard Hotel
Location: Pershing Park
( Pennsylvania & 15th )
With all the other commemorative plaques on its front, it is only fitting that the Willard Hotel should have added a plaque to its own history. There has been a hotel on this site since 1821. Among the guests at the Willard have been Presidents Taylor, Fillmore, Buchanan, Lincoln, Grant, and Coolidge, as well as the Marquis de Lafayette, Swedish singer Jenny Lind, Charles Dickens, Lloyd George, and John Howard Payne (composer of "Home Sweet Home").
Julia Ward Howe wrote the song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" while staying at the Willard. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote parts of his famous "I Have A Dream" at the Willard. Legend has it that the term "lobbyist" was coined by President Grant to describe the dozens of people who approached him in the lobby of the Willard seeking patronage jobs or legislative favors.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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