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On 4 March 1933, the first inaugural ball of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was held at the hotel. The hotel was outfitted with a special ramp and elevator to accommodate the needs of the new president. The Shoreham has hosted inaugural balls for every president of the 20th Century. President Bill Clinton played the saxophone at his inaugural ball held at the hotel on 21 January 1993.
On 10 February 1964, the Beatles booked the entire 7th floor of the hotel for one evening while they were in Washington to give a concert at the Washington Coliseum during their first American tour.
The hotel’s owners accepted Henry L. Doherty as a minority financial partner. Doherty and his family moved into an apartment (now Suite 870) in the hotel, along with their maid, Juliette Brown. A few months after the Dohertys moved into the apartment, their maid died in the night. A short time later, the Dohertys’ daughter Helen also died in the suite.
The Dohertys moved out, and the apartment remained unoccupied for almost 50 years. The apartment was renovated into a hotel suite. But guests and hotel staff began to tell stories of faint voices, cold breezes, doors slamming shut and opening of their own accord, and televisions and lights turning on and off on their own. Guests in adjoining suites would complain of noises coming from the closed and empty Suite 870. Other occupants say furniture would be found out of place, and hotel staff said their housekeeping carts would move on their own. The Omni Shoreham Hotel has named the room the “Ghost Suite”. Todd Scartozzi, an Omni Hotels manager, stayed in the Ghost Suite with his family and observed a walk-in closet light turning off and on of its own accord.