National Press Club

Washington Post column highlights Club history with presidents

July 7, 2017 | By Wire staff report | wire@press.org

In 1975, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan announced his presidential candidacy at the National Press Club, taking on President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976. As president in 1982, Reagan swore in the Club's first female president, Vivian Vahlberg.

In 1975, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan announced his presidential candidacy at the National Press Club, taking on President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976. As president in 1982, Reagan swore in the Club's first female president, Vivian Vahlberg.

Photo/Image: National Press Club archives

A recent National Press Club event that explored the Club's relationship with past presidents, among other historical high points, was captured this week in a Washington Post story.

A metro columnist for the paper, John Kelly, was in the audience for the June 15 presentation at the Club, which involved Tom Risen, a member of the Club’s Young Members Team, interviewing Gil Klein, chairman of the Club's History and Heritage Team, about some of the key events that have shaped the Club’s 108-year history. With the help of Club archivist Jeff Schlosberg, Klein had put together more than 70 photos culled from the thousands stored in the archives.

Kelly's July 6 column noted how the Club’s history portrayed how the city and the relationship between press and presidents had become so much more formal over the decades. The days when President Woodrow Wilson and most of his cabinet showed up for the Club’s first spelling bee in 1913 may not be repeated by President Donald J. Trump.