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Revealed: 100 Moments That Shaped the World

Hilton marks 100th anniversary by uncovering the most significant moments of the last century across culture, politics, science and human endeavour

LONDON and MCLEAN, Va. - This week Hilton (NYSE: HLT), the world’s first global hotel company, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Founded in 1919 in rural Texas, Hilton now has a global reach of 5,700 hotels in 113 countries and territories, and its hotels have provided the backdrop to many of the world’s iconic moments. In celebration of its global relevance and pioneering impact on the hospitality sector, Hilton today reveals 100 moments that have shaped the modern world.

The international survey which polled 7,000 people, voted the conclusion of the second World War, which opened the world up to a new era of recovery and reconnection, as the most impactful moment of the last century, followed by the first organ transplant in 1954 and the first heart transplant in 1967.  

“Our founder Conrad Hilton believed in the power of international travel to foster world peace and encourage human connection. For the past 100 years, our hotels have been the stage for some of the world’s most iconic events, from the first “bed-in for peace” which took place at Hilton Amsterdam 50 years ago, to the world’s first mobile phone call that took place in front of The New York Hilton Midtown in 1973i,” said Simon Vincent, EVP & President, Hilton, EMEA. “Hilton is woven into the fabric of the communities in which we operate, and over the past century, we have welcomed 3 billion guests through our doors, employing 10 million Team Members and contributing $1 trillion in economic impact.”

The top 10 moments that shaped the world were ranked as follows:

  1. The end of WWII and post-war recovery (1945)
  2. The first organ transplant (1954)
  3. The first heart transplant (1967)
  4. The introduction of penicillin (1942)
  5. Man’s first steps on the moon (1969)
  6. The fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany (1989)
  7. The first human in space (1961)
  8. The first vaccine against tuberculosis (1927)
  9. The first artificial heart (2015)
  10. The first chemotherapy treatment (1956) 

Moments reaching the top spot across other categories include the first television in 1928 (technology), the first movie to incorporate sound in 1927 (culture), the first electric refrigerator in 1927 (food and drink) and the invention of the first solar panels in 1954 (sustainability).

Since the opening of its first hotel, Hilton has pioneered the industry and transformed guest travel through its own iconic moments. From introducing room service, in-room televisions, the minibar and airport hotels, last year Hilton became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact. The company was also the first to implement computerised reservation systems and roll out Connected Room – the first hotel room allowing guests to unlock their doors and control their lights, thermostat and TV with a smartphone app. Hilton properties even invented the brownie and the piña colada.

For more information on Hilton’s 100th Anniversary visit


About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 24 world-class brands comprising more than 7,600 properties and nearly 1.2 million rooms, in 126 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 190 million Hilton Honors members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.