Secrets of the City

The Willard Intercontinental Washington, D.C.
Washington, District of Columbia

WILLARD Hotel lobby.jpg

It was in 1869 in the Willard's hotel lobby that President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “lobbyist.” Often bothered by self-promoters as he sat in the hotel's lobby and enjoyed his nightly cigar and brandy, President Grant referred to these pesky individuals as “lobbyists.” A lobby lingerer wanting political gain was henceforth called a "lobbyist" as in a person who takes part in an organized attempt to influence legislators.