National Press Club

This Week in National Press Club History

September 16, 2014 | By Elizabeth Smith Brownstein | eksmithb@verizon.net

NPC President William Lawrence of The New York Times welcomes Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to the speaker’s podium during the historic luncheon on Sept. 16, 1959.

NPC President William Lawrence of The New York Times welcomes Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to the speaker’s podium during the historic luncheon on Sept. 16, 1959.

Photo/Image: Benjamin E. Forte, News Associates Inc.

Sept. 16, 1959: Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev begins his tour of the United States at a Club luncheon, refusing to speak until women journalists are admitted to the ballroom to cover his appearance. He speaks about ending the Cold War, nuclear disarmament and a divided Germany. When asked about his famous comment, “We will bury you,” he replies, “My life would be too short to bury every one of you if this should occur to me.” He returns to the Club after his coast-to-coast tour for a press conference.

Sept. 17, 2013: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, chair of the National Governors Association, tells a full-house Clubluncheon that the United States needs more academic rigor, higher educational standards and should demand more of its students. “We are falling behind,” she says. “It’s up to governors to build new pathways to the middle class, which must be flexible, efficient and meet both students’ and employers’ needs."

September 18, 2013: The Club holds a centennial spelling bee featuring lawmakers against journalists. In the first such contest in 1913, five senators and nine representatives competed against fourteen journalists in the Willard Hotel. President Woodrow Wilson and members of the Cabinet were in the audience. Rep. Frank B. Willis of Ohio won. This time, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia took home the prize, correctly spelling “nonpareil,” after competitors were felled by words such as “shenanigans, hydrangea and verisimilitude.”

Sept. 18, 2006: Herbie Hancock, one of the foremost jazz pianists of the past 50 years, “speaks through his keyboard” at a luncheon.

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

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