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Insights and Artifacts
Spring 2002 Courier

Diana Bailey Authors Book on the History of the Mayflower Hotel

Author Diana Bailey, familiar to many for her service on the Norfolk Historical Society Board of Directors, has produced a book on the intriguing history of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Bailey has edited more than 20 pictorial histories. She also has edited an in-depth accounting of naval aviation pioneers, and she collaborated on the biography of golf legend Chandler Harper. Virginian-Pilot writer Guy Friddell, in a review of The Mayflower: Washington's Second Best Address, praised Bailey's "wonderfully readable" and "luminous account" of the Washington landmark. President Harry Truman gave the hotel its nickname because it was so popular with congressmen and dignitaries.

"Bailey has uncovered a trove of pictures," Friddell wrote. "A skilled photographer herself, when she needed a special shot, she took it. It is America's family album covering 76 years."

The book recounts the comings and goings of the rich and famous, and explores the six renovations that have helped the Mayflower remain a popular destination. Bailey also writes of the dream of businessman Allan E. Walker to build a hotel that would outshine Europe's best. Bailey was there to photograph the moment when Mary Katherine Walker, the only surviving daughter of the founder, made her first visit to the Mayflower, in honor of the hotel's 75th birthday.

For a copy of the book, call the Mayflower Hotel at (202) 347-3000.


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