National Press Club

This Week in National Press Club History

February 8, 2010 | By Elizabeth Smith Brownstein |

Feb. 7, 1955 : Louis R. Lautier becomes the first African-American admitted to the National Press Club.

Feb. 7, 1911 Actress Sarah Bernhardt tells the Club that she owes a lot to the American press.

Feb. 10, 1982 : Vivian Vahlberg is elected the first woman president of the National Press Club.

Feb. 10, 1945 : Vice President Harry S. Truman, a regular visitor to the Press Club as senator, plays the piano for actress Lauren Bacall perched on top of the piano, leading to the famous picture now on display in the Truman Lounge.

This Week in National Press Club history is brought to you by the History and Heritage Committee, which is dedicated to preserving and revitalizing the Club’s history through displays, panel discussions and lectures, and interviewing members as part of the Club’s oral history project. For additional information on the Club’s rich history, contact the Club’s archives.

For more information on upcoming History and Heritage Committee sponsored events, or to join the Committee, contact Bill Hickman at