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10 Hotels Where History-Making Moments Took Place

From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the first telegram, these hotels witnessed some of history's most rich moments.

Washington DC Willard HotelRon Edmonds/AP/Shutterstock

Willard InterContinental (Washington, D.C)

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the prolific words to the “I Have a Dream” speech in this hotel. Originally named the Willard Hotel, this housed the creation of one of the most moving speeches in civil rights history.

The Barber Shop at the Historic Blackstone Hotel in Chicago Historia/Shutterstock

The Blackstone (Chicago, Illinois)

Nicknamed the Hotel of Presidents, many U.S. presidents took refuge here during monumental moments in history, including when John F. Kennedy dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis and the establishment of Al Capone’s underground barbershop. This and other secrets may be lurking, like these secret speakeasies hidden in hotels.

THE WATERGATE HOTELStefano Archetti/Shutterstock

Watergate Hotel (Washington, D.C.)


One of the most famous U.S. political scandals started to stir at this hotel and office complex. In room 214, two men schemed their break-in to the Democratic National Convention headquarters that ultimately led to the resignation of former President Richard M. Nixon two years later.

Fifth Avenue New YorkHistoria/Shutterstock

Fifth Avenue Hotel (New York, New York)


This hotel was home to the first passenger elevator in a hotel, ever! Demolished in 1908, it was once the epicenter of conversation. If it still existed, do you think it would rank as New York’s most historical hotel in every state?

Omni Parker House (Boston, Massachusetts)via tripadvisor.com

Omni Parker House (Boston, Massachusetts)

The right space can yield the most profound creations—like this hotel in Boston. A reservoir of famous regulars met here: Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Longfellow. Along with literature legends, baseball greats like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams convened here. It also holds the title for the “Longest Continually Operating Hotel in the United States.”

The DorchesterAlex Lentati/Associated Newspapers/Shutterstock

The Dorchester (London, England)

This ravishing hotel is where Queen Elizabeth and her bridal party got ready for her wedding in 1947. It was also the world’s first hotel to be built of reinforced concrete and at an astonishing speed—at a rate of a floor per week! This elegant hotel does not pale in comparison to the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts.

The Grand HotelCarlos Osorio/AP/Shutterstock

(Mackinac Island, Michigan)

At 660 feet, this white-pillared porch is the worlds longest. It can be viewed as you approach the island from the side of Lake Huron. In other news, the American writer Mark Twain lectured in the hotel’s casino in 1895 during his lecture tour.

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkanvia tripadvisor.com

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (TK, Japan)

Japanese culture is renowned for its long-standing traditions — including this hotel that holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest hotel. It has been in the family business for 52 generations, originating in 705 AD. That’s almost as old as the average tree in the Redwood National Park. Located near hot springs, this hotel specializes in this unique spa treatment. Along with Japan, here are 15 of the best hot springs in the U.S.

BROWN'S HOTELJonathan Player/Shutterstock

Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel (London, England)

The first telephone call in London was made from this hotel by inventor Alexander Graham Bell. These walls were the first to hear the famous words “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”

The ShiningWarner Bros/Hawk Films/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Stanley (Estes Park, Colorado)

Stephen King’s bone-chilling book The Shining was inspired by the haunted hallways of this hotel in 1974. There’s a reason the Stanley is included along with the hauntings, cold-spots, and more that can be found on the list of the most haunted hotels in America.

Isabelle Tavares
Isabelle Tavares is a journalism graduate student at the Newhouse School of Syracuse University and former ASME intern for RD.com, where she wrote for the knowledge, travel, culture and health sections. Her work has been published in MSN, The Family Handyman, INSIDER, among others. Follow her on Twitter @isabelletava.