Category: Famous Hotel Incidents

Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was born on the 15th of January, 1929, and was an American Baptist minister who went on to become an activist and was the most visible spokesperson for the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. King was particularly known for his nonviolent approach to civil disobedience, formed by both his Christian beliefs as well as being inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

King was infamous in America during the later stages of his life, even receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, for combating racial inequality using nonviolent means of resistance.

King visited Memphis, Tennessee in March, 1968, to support the black sanitary public works employees who were on strike at that time in pursuit of higher wages and better treatment. In one particular incident, the black employees were only paid for two hours of work when they had to return home due to bad weather, whereas white employees were paid a full day’s pay.

On the 4th of April, 1968, King was leaving his hotel room at the Lorraine motel in Memphis, Abernathy, when he was fatally wounded by James Earl Ray, who shot King in his right cheek, with the bullet travelling through his jaw and becoming lodged in his shoulder. King was rushed to hospital but ultimately succumbed to his wounds, ending the life that many have called the greatest leader in any civil rights movement in history.

King leaves behind a long legacy, and is still regarded today to be one of the best leaders that has ever been able to inspire people to achieve their ends through nonviolent means. Although he was on occasion considered to be controversial, his legacy lives on as a man that ultimately worked towards achieving racial equality in America and across the world.

Keith Moon – Holiday Inn, Flint, Michigan

Famous drummer of The Who, Keith Moon, was well known for his destructive habits when visiting hotels, in one particularly famous incident at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan, he allegedly drove a Lincoln Continental into the hotel pool. Although there is little hard evidence to prove that this incident ever truly happened, the incident has gone down in history as one of Moon’s most notorious destructive acts.

At the same Holiday Inn, Moon was also allegedly responsible for starting a cake fight, as well as blowing up the toilet in his room with unknown explosives. Moon was already well-known for the destruction he would cause to hotel rooms, and the band was famously banned from a number of hotel chains permanently.

The particular indecent at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan, ultimately led to the band being banned from all Holiday Inn’s across America, and the infamy of the incident making life difficult for the band to be able to book any hotel rooms in the future. It was reported that tour managers had to book rooms using pseudonyms in the future in order to avoid rejection.

Death of Anna Nicole Smith

On the 8th of February, 2007, Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in her hotel room, Room 607 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Smith’s friend, Tasma Brighthaupt, who was also a trained nurse, attempted to perform CPR on Smith for approximately 15 minutes until her husband, Maurice Brighthaupt, took over. She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival at 2:49 p.m.

Smith’s dead was made famous due to her living her life in the public gaze for years beforehand. There were a number of leaks surrounding her death, including 911 phone calls as well as autopsy reports. A seven-week investigation into her death was performed by Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper, in conjunction with Seminole police. Perper stated on his report that Smith died of “combined drug intoxication”, where she had combined the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the main drug. It was reported that a total of 11 drugs were found in her system, with a number of them known to negatively compete with each other, and it was ultimately that which led to her death.

Beau-Rivage Palace signing of the Treaty of Lausanne

The Beau-Rivage Palace is one of the oldest hotels that is still in service in Switzerland. The hotel is famous not just for its architecture, but also as being the location for the sighing of the Treaty of Lausanne, which took place on the 24th of July, 1923.

The Treaty of Lausanne was an agreement to settle the conflict that had existed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied French Republic, British Empire, Kingdom of Italy, and a number of other countries where hostilities had existed since the onset of World War I. Originally the treaty was written in French, but translations are available in nearly all major world languages. The treaty was the second attempt at a treaty after the first, the Treaty of Sevres, failed. The Treaty of Sevres originally failed because the Kingdom of Greece and the Turkish national movement fought against the previous terms which included serious loss of territory. The newer Treaty of Lausanne ended the conflict and defined the borders of the modern Turkish Republic, in the treat itself, Turkey gave up all claims to the remainder of the Ottoman Empire, and in return the Allied western nations recognised Turkish sovereignty with its new borders.

The treaty was ratified by Turkey on the 23rd of August, 1923, and all original signatories ratified the treaty soon afterwards, with the treaty ultimately coming into force on the 6th of August, 1924, when the instruments of ratification were officially deposited in Paris.

The current president of Turkey, Erdogan, is seeking revisions in the treaty, although it is unknown if this is political posturing or if he is genuinely seeking to improve the lives of Turkish peoples.

Jimi Hendrix Suite – Cumberland Hotel, London

Jimi Hendrix’ favourite hotel was the Cumberland Hotel in London, which he often referred to as his ‘home away from home’. The hotel would also become the site of his death, after he took an overdose of barbiturates, dying on the morning of the 18th of September in 1970.

The Cumberland Hotel is currently listed as a luxury hotel, with a large reception area that is decorated in marble and glass, covered with lime-tinted lighting. It wasn’t always so prestigious, and back in the 1970s was a lot simpler and was more appealing to the rock stars of the day seeking a simple room to relax in after touring or playing a concert.

In the case of Jimi Hendrix, one of his closest friends and confidants told press that the hotel was where Jimi would take various young ladies in order to keep them away from other young ladies that he was seeing at the time. Although nothing is provable at this point, his friends have speculated that the stress of his lifestyle at that time was unsustainable for him, and led to his frequent, and eventually fatal, drug use.