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“Lingering Lobbyists”

July 17, 2023

By Kimmy Foulds

President Ulysses S. Grant was known to walk to the Willard Hotel to relax in the lobby after a long day working at the White House where he would have glasses of Brandy and smoked his favorite cigars.

When his routine became familiar, people eventually would seek him out in the Willard Hotel lobby to discuss business, persuading him to support and take action by their influence on several informative issues.

President Ulysses S. Grant termed the conversations in the lobby as lobbyists, which stuck over time in this repetitive situation as did Grant’s scents of cigars that are distinctly noticed as a lingering aroma in the air at the Willard Hotel lobby today.

Among intriguing tidbits about President Ulysses S. Grant: He served as an American Union General in the Civil War and was elected as the 18th President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. Grant puffed up to 20 cigars a day and was reported to have lit up a stogie during battle. Grant died in 1885 of throat cancer.

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