Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago today, Monday, January 11, 1960, Senator John F. and Mrs. Kennedy arrived back here in the Nation's Capital after a weekend of relaxation at Montego Bay.
The Senator and his wife arrived in the District at 8:55. JFK attended a dinner with labor leaders held in the South America Room of the Statler Hotel.*
Mr. Kennedy's eventual opponent in the general election, Vice-President Richard M. Nixon had announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination on January 9, 1960.
*The Statler Hotel, located at 1001 16th Street NW in Washington, D.C. was designed and built by Holabird and Root LLC. AR Clas Associates. Begun in 1940, the hotel was completed in 1943.
The Stater, which has 13 floors, is on the register of Historic Hotels of America. It is noted for being the first hotel to accept as a guest an African-American named Larry Doby.
Mr. Doby was a member of the Cleveland Indian baseball team of 1947 who were in town to play the Washington Senators. Following the lead of Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League, Larry Doby was the first black baseball player in the American League.
The original Statler Hotel chain was founded by Ellsworth Milton (E.M.) Statler (1863-1928). Mr. Statler was born in Somerset County, PA and built his first hotel in Buffalo, NY in 1907. It was the first hotel to offer a private bath or shower and running water in every room.
The Statler Hotels were purchased by Hilton in 1954 for $111 million, the largest hotel transaction at that time.