National Press Club

This Week In National Press Club History

July 15, 2014 | By Elizabeth Smith Brownstein | eksmithb@verizon.net

Martin Luther King, Jr. poses for camera in front of the NPC seal before his luncheon address on July 19, 1962

Martin Luther King, Jr. poses for camera in front of the NPC seal before his luncheon address on July 19, 1962

Photo/Image: Getty Images

July 17, 2003: Former President Gerald R. Ford makes his fifteenth and last appearance at the Club for his foundation’s annual journalism awards luncheon, given for coverage of the presidency and defense issues. Columnist Hugh Sidey describes Ford as the only president he knew who genuinely liked reporters.

July 19, 1962: Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr become the first African-American to speak at a National Press Club luncheon. He discusses non-violent resistance and freedom, and receives the Nobel Peace Prize two years later.

July 19, 1985: Mementos reflecting journalistic history are sealed in time capsules and placed behind the cornerstone of the National Press Building in a lobby ceremony. An hour-long video documentary specially created for the capsules includes scenes from White House and congressional press rooms, state-of-the-art journalism with reporters at computer terminals, satellite dishes on the building’s roof. One capsule holds artifacts from the 1926 box, including an invitation to that year’s cornerstone-laying ceremony addressed by President Calvin Coolidge, who declares that the press is one of the “cornerstones of liberty.”

July 20, 1994: William Raspberry, Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly columnist for The Washington Post and 2004 Fourth Estate Award winner, speaks at a National Press Club luncheon.

This Week In National Press Club History is brought to you by the History & Heritage Committee, which preserves and revitalizes the Club’s century-long history with lobby displays, events, panel discussions and its oral history project.

For more information about the Committee, or to join it, contact Chair Gilbert Klein at gilbert.klein@yahoo.com