Hilton History

1893 At the direction of Bertha Palmer, the first American “brownie” is created in The Palmer House Hilton kitchen. It is served at the Columbian Exposition World Fair.
1919 Conrad Hilton enters the hotel business in Cisco, Texas. On his way to buy a bank, Hilton purchases The Mobley, a local hotel, instead.
1925 The first hotel formally named a Hilton opens in Dallas, Texas. Elevators, laundry shoots, air shafts and other non-customer facilities are built along the west side of the building so no guest rooms face the western sun. The setting sun can be brutal in summer time Dallas, especially before air-conditioning existed.
1927 Hilton opens its first hotel with cold running water and air- conditioning in the public rooms (Waco Hilton, U.S.A.).
1943 Hilton becomes the first coast-to-coast hotel chain in the United States with the purchase of two hotels in New York City: the Roosevelt and the Plaza.
1946 Hilton Hotels Corporation is formed and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HLT), the first hotel company to be listed on the stock exchange.
1947 The Roosevelt Hilton in New York City becomes the first hotel in the world to install televisions in guest rooms.
1948 Hilton becomes the first hotel company to introduce a multi-hotel reservations system, the Inter-Hilton Hotel Reservation System, August 15. This is the beginning of the modern day reservation system. The first serious Hilton general managers meeting is held at the Stevens Hotel (now Hilton Chicago) December 16-18. This is the first organizational attempt to introduce company wide policies. Hilton Hotels continues to lead in the adaptation of business and industrial methods of hotel operations and begins the first food and beverage pre-costing system. The new system is adopted with great success in the Stevens Hotel (now Hilton Chicago)l in Chicago and is extended to The Palmer House Hilton and other units of the Hilton group, revolutionizing both the hotel and restaurant industries. Hilton Hotels Corp. merges the various credit records and cards from its separate hotels into one uniform system. The first uniform credit card that can be used at any Hilton Hotels property is mailed to the previous 175,000 plus cardholders.
1949 Hilton International is born when Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico, the first Hilton outside the U.S. opens. Conrad Hilton becomes the first hotelier to appear on the cover of Time magazine December 12. He later becomes the first hotelier to make Time’s cover twice when he appears in the July 19, 1963 issue.
1950 The Stevens Hotel (now Hilton Chicago) creates its first special amenity for female travelers – a folder containing “social note paper,” a sewing kit and a booklet with names and telephone numbers for baby sitters, places to get a dress patched or ironed and gift shops. Many male travelers take these hotel kits home to their wives as gifts. The film "Born Yesterday" starring Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford and William Holden films at Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
1953 Conrad Hilton delivers a speech at The Palmer House Hilton November 13, before the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, entitled “Hiring the Handicapped Pays!” This prescient speech is given thirty-seven years before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990.
1954 Piña Colada is born at Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico.
1955 HILCRON — Hilton creates its first central reservation office. Reservations can be made at any domestic or international Hilton hotel and by telephone, teletype and telegram. Hilton begins a multi-million dollar program to air condition every hotel in the Hilton chain. Hilton Istanbul, a development involving Hilton, the U.S. Department of State and Turkish government, opens in June. It is the first modern hotel built from the ground up in the post-World War II Europe. It later becomes the first hotel in the world to appear on a postage stamp and eventually is granted its own postal code. Mermaid actress, Esther Williams inaugurates the Aqua Star pool as The Beverly Hilton opens August 12, 1955.
1957 Hilton offers its first brand-wide direct-dial telephone service following an initial launch at The Conrad Hilton Towers in Chicago in the late 1940s.
1959 Hilton opens its first airport hotel (380-room San Francisco Airport Hilton) and pioneers the airport hotel concept. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attends a dinner in her honor at The Conrad Hilton (now Chicago Hilton) with Conrad Hilton.
1963 Hilton establishes its first department of women’s services to stimulate greater interest amongst women traveling either in connection with a convention, or independently for business or pleasure. These services evolve into the Lady Hilton concept.
1964 The Beatles meet Ed Sullivan at London Hilton on Park Lane.
1965 Lady Hilton, the brand’s first concept designed for women travelers, is introduced. Select hotels have female-only floors or rooms. The rooms include items geared toward the traveling woman. In September Hilton becomes the first upscale lodging company to develop the concept of franchising hotels. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger perform in the East Penthouse on the 45th floor of Hilton New York October 28, 1965. The piano played by the musicians is still at the hotel today.
1967 The Beatles meet Ed Sullivan at London Hilton on Park Lane and also attend a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same hotel.
1968 Jimi Hendrix performs two concerts to sold out crowds in Washington Hilton's International Ballroom March 10.
1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono honeymoon in a Presidential Suite at Hilton Amsterdam and host their famous 'Bed-In' for peace for a full week.
1970 Hilton becomes the first NYSE-listed company to enter the domestic gaming business with the purchase of the Flamingo Hotel and the Las Vegas International – later named Las Vegas Hilton.
1971 John Lennon handwrites the words to "Imagine" on a piece of Hilton New York stationery while at the hotel. Diamonds Are Forever films at Las Vegas Hilton
1973 Another breakthrough in customer service is achieved as Hilton develops the first centralized reservation service using computer technology, HILTRON, which unites all Hilton hotels. The system is the most sophisticated computerized hotel reservation referral and reporting system in the industry and serves HHC and HI until 1999. January 9, 1973, Elvis Presley stays on the 14th floor of the Ocean Tower (Ali'i Tower) at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa while in Hawaii for his "Aloha From Hawaii" concert. He donated the proceeds from the concert to the construction of the Arizona Memorial. Dr. Martin Cooper makes the first cellphone call while walking past Hilton New York April 3, 1973. A press conference held at the hotel the same day marks the milestone.
1976 “HNSIS” goes into operation, allowing the first complete computerization of Hilton national sales accounts, bookings, records and reporting system.
1979 Freddy Mercury writes "Crazy little thing called love" while in taking a bubble bath in a suite at Hilton Munich Park.
1983 Scarface films at The Fountainbleau Hilton in Miami
1987 Hilton introduces its first guest loyalty program, Hilton HHonors.
1992 "The Bodyguard" starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner films at The Fountainbleau Hilton.
1994 Hilton HHonors Reward Exchange enables travelers to earn both points and air miles. Michael Jackson performs his last concert in the U.S. and stays in Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa’s Alii Tower’s Mahele Presidential Suite, the same suite that was occupied by Elvis decades earlier.
1995 Hilton enters cyberspace as its first website, www.hilton.com, is launched. Computer users worldwide can now make room reservations and find out about hotel programs and special offers 24 hours a day. James Bond movie "Goldeneye" was filmed at Langham Hilton in London.
1999 Hilton launches HILSTAR, a new central reservation system. On the night of the Golden Globes, hosted each year at The Beverly Hilton, actress Angelina Jolie promises the press that if she wins an award, she will jump into The Beverly Hilton pool. Jolie is victorious and dives into the Aqua Star pool - Randolph Duke gown and all. The Insider films at The Seelbach Hilton Louisville
2000 Britney Spears stays at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa and pefrorms at a concert for MTV at the resort.
2002 Hilton introduces Hilton Worldwide Resorts, its first collection of premium resorts and exotic vacation experiences.
2003 The first local language Hilton websites are created for United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Scandinavia.
2005 Hilton installs Hilton Serenity Beds and other signature amenities in dorm rooms at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. to create optimal sleeping environments for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
2006 Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International are reunited. An exclusive Cuisinart® dual-cup single-brew coffeemaker is designed for Hilton Hotels, marking the first time the Cuisinart brand is used in an out-of-home setting. Six movies, including "Spiderman III", "Michael Clayton" and" American Gangster" film at Hilton New York.
2008 Hilton Vancouver Washington makes history in 2008 as the first hotel to be both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Seal certified. Blindness films at Hilton Toronto Frost/Nixon films at The Beverly Hilton
2009 Hilton Hotels operates in 76 countries, more than any other full-service hotel brand. Hilton launches its first application for mobile devices. The app enables guests to make reservations, check-in, search hotels, view HHonors account activity, book HHonors reward stays and order Hilton Requests Upon Arrival amenities. Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, films at Hilton St. Louis by the Ballpark, Hilton St. Louis Airport and Hilton Miami Airport Hilton Hotels & Resorts joins Twitter
2010 Hilton becomes the first major hotelier to reach 50,000 fans on Facebook, the most popular social networking site in the world. Hilton Hotels & Resorts launches Global Media Center Hilton Hotels formally becomes Hilton Hotels & Resorts and introduces a refreshed brand logo soon after Hilton Hotels Corporation changes its name to Hilton Worldwide. Already one of the world's largest spa providers with 123 spas in operation across its portfolio, Hilton Hotels & Resorts introduces its first global spa concept: eforea: spa at Hilton. Less than five months after its October 21, 2010 opening at Hilton Short Hills, eforea: spa at Hilton operates in China, Thailand and the United States. Hilton Hotels & Resorts partners with Formula One Hilton Hotels & Resorts cooking with Top Chef DC partnership
2011 Hilton Hotels & Resorts partners with The Amazing Race Asia Hilton Hotels & Resorts offers Peter Thomas Roth amenities Hilton Hotels & Resorts partners with Hawaii Five-O Hilton Hotels & Resorts celebrates 50 years in Hawaii Hilton Hotels & Resorts Launches Hilton Huanying. Inspired by the Chinese word for “welcome” (Hilton Huanying), the program is tailored for Chinese travelers abroad. Hilton Hotels & Resorts hits a high note again in its 23rd year as the Official Hotel of the GRAMMY® Awards. Hilton Hotels & Resorts Launches Resorts Portal hilton.com/resorts
2012 Hilton Hotels & Resorts launches first Facebook app
2016 Hilton Worldwide expands its footprint to 100 countries and territories around the world with the opening of Hilton N'Djamena in Chad First Hotel Brand to release 360-degree video featuring Hilton Barbados Resort
Denotes Industry First verified by archivist.