Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Press Club of Dallas

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Press Club of Dallas
Title: Press Club of Dallas
Dates: 1958-1979, bulk 1975-1977
Abstract: The collection contains mostly memoranda, meeting minutes, and financial records for the Press Club of Dallas, the bulk of which are from 1975-1977. There are some programs for the Club's annual Gridiron show as well as some member correspondence. The collection provides a brief overview of how the Club was run in the mid 1970's.
Accession No.: MA09-09
Quantity: 1 Box
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St  Dallas, TX 75201

Biographical Note

The Press Club of Dallas began in the late 1940's and was created by members of the two Dallas newspapers at the time, The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times-Herald. Most of the early meetings were actually late-night poker games that eventually started attracting the attention of more and more reporters. The Press Club of Dallas adopted its first constitution in November of 1950, and became official in 1951 when it received its charter from the State of Texas. The first president of the Club was one of its original founders Harry McCormick, a reporter for The Dallas Morning News. McCormick claimed that "The primary purpose of our club is to provide a place for social and professional fellowship among working newsman." In the beginning the club had approximately 100 members.

The first official location of the Press Club was on the 2nd floor of the Baker Hotel which the Club took up residency in the spring of 1951. The bar and dining room led to a major upswing in membership that not only included newspaper reporters, photographers, and production personnel, but also personalities from radio and the newest form of media at the time, television. During this time the Club also began many of its traditional annual events such as the Gridiron Show and the Katie Awards. The Gridiron Show is an awards show that honors and roasts the top media personnel in city. The first show took place on April 21st, 1951.

The Press Club of Dallas came under the eye of the nation in the 1960's with assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas. Much of the news concerning the event that was distributed across the nation came from members of the Press Club. The way that the members of the Dallas Press Club covered the story helped to shape the way that major news stories were covered, largely in the area of television.

The Club was doing very well and by the mid-seventies boasted an approximate membership of over 1000. In 1975 the Club held a huge 25th annual Gridiron Show at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas. The club moved locations several times from this point on to places like the Metropolitan building, Union Station, the Stoneleigh Hotel, and the Southland Hotel. It was determined in the 1990's however that the expense of running a dining room was too great and no longer economically viable for the Club to maintain.

Scope and Contents

The contents of the collection range frm 1958-1979 with the bulk of the materials falling between 1975-1977. The collection contains meeting minutes, both typed and handwritten, monthly financial statements, and various memoranda.

The memoranda contains information such as activity schedules, new member applications, reinstatements, and resignations, deliquent account figures, and membership statistics.

Also contained within the collection is a small amount of correspondence from various club members, member contact lists, by-laws revisions, 2 copies of the "Press Club of Dallas Bulletin from Aug. 18, 1975 and Nov. 22, 1976, 2 programs from the Club's annual Gridiron show from 1958 and 1973, and the songlist from the 1979 Gridiron show.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Lendon Reynolds
Lew Sterret
Alex Burton
Claude Ward
Camille Keith
Martha S. Trenary
Press Club of Dallas

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA09-9 Press Club of Dallas, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Jeff Parker

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence 1975-1977
2 Meeting Minutes July - Dec. 1975
3 Meeting Minutes Jan. - June 1976
4 Meeting Minutes July - Dec. 1976
5 Meeting Minutes Jan. - July 1977
6 Meeting Minutes - Handwritten n.d.
7 Financial Recods June - Dec. 1975
8 Financial Records Jan. - May 1976
9 Financial Records June - Dec. 1976
10 Finacial Records 1977
11 Financial / Budget Information n.d.
12 Memoranda Sept. - Nov. 1975
13 Memoranda 1976
14 Memoranda Jan. - July 1977
15 Member Contact Lists 1975-1976
16 By-Laws Revisions n.d.
17 Gridiron Show Programs / Songlist 1958, 1973, 1979
18 Press Club of Dallas Bulletin Aug. 18, 1975, Nov. 22, 1976