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The histories behind the Federation

Nebraska Women's Press Club

The Nebraska Women's Press Club was organized on March 22, 1946, when 40 newspaper women met at Omaha's Hotel Paxton for breakfast, compliments of the Nebraska Press Association. The first president was Anna Kuhle, co-editor with husband Charles, of the Leigh World newspaper. She also was a freelance writer of note, having sold many articles.

In 1950, it was suggested that the club adopt as its slogan, "52 by 52" (52 members by 1952). The goal was met. State/national membership dues were $5.

purple jagged-edged circle with text 80 years in black and in white, around the edge above 80, dates of the orgnization.

The Nebraska club was host to the National Federation of Press Women's annual convention in Omaha in 1952. More than 100 delegates were registered.

In 1955, past Nebraska president Velma Price of Newman Grove was elected president of the NFPW after having served as national vice president. (In 2011, Lori Potter of Kearney became the second Nebraskan elected president of the NFPW. She had served in nearly every office in the state group before becoming active nationally.)

Revision of the club constitution in 1960 included changing the name to Nebraska Press Women. One of the guests at the spring meeting in Omaha that year was Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy of Boston, who spoke briefly concerning her son, John Kennedy, Democratic candidate for president.

In 1970, members adopted a resolution supporting passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, in its original form, to the U.S. Constitution.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Hazel Brannon Smith of Lexington, Miss., was the keynote speaker at the 1982 spring convention in Kearney.

At the 1987 spring convention, members unanimously voted to amend NPW's bylaws to eliminate gender references found in the constitution and to replace them with gender-neutral terms that are task or position oriented.

In 1990, Nebraska Press Women members hosted women from 42 states at the NFPW fall board meeting, conducted in conjunction with the NPW fall convention in Lincoln.

Ruth Brown looking at a plaque on the wall of the Hall of Fame
Ruth Brown looks at a plaque commemorating the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1996, Nebraska Press Women met in Grand Island and brought Dave Tomlin of the Associated Press in New York back to Nebraska as keynote speaker.

In 2004, two NPW members won national sweepstakes awards in the National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest. Barb Micek was awarded first place and Carla Chance third place at the September convention in Lexington, Ky.

NPW celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2011 by launching the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame and by co-hosting with Iowa the National Federation of Press Women Conference in Council Bluffs, where NPW's Lori Potter was elected national president. NPW's new Marrianne Beel Scholarship for a high school student interested in pursuring journalism was also fully funded.

In April 2016, Nebraska Press Women celebrated its 70th anniversary with former Chicago Tribune managing editor Jan Hirt as featured speaker at its spring convention. Historic photos and newsletters were displayed, and "Write Brained" pins and pens were distributed to mark the milestone. NFPW President Julie Hoffman of Council Bluffs, Iowa, attended. Sherry Thompson of Omaha is the current NPW president.

newspaper clipping of photo and caption showing scholarship being presented to winner in 1955 or 1956
NPW awards a scholarship to a journalism student in 1955 or 1956. NPW awarded its first scholarship in 1954.

group of attendees looking at the camera
Attendees at the 2016 Nebraska Press Women Spring Convention April 23, 2016, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gather for a photo to celebrate the affiliate's 70th anniversary. Special guests included NFPW President Marsha Hoffman and NFPW Contest Director Julie Hoffman of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
pair of longtime members, one seated, look at camera while talking
Longtime Nebraska Press Women members Mary Ann Koch Blackledge, left, of North Platte and Joan Burney of Lincoln share a laugh at NPW's 70th anniversary convention April 23, 2016, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Blackledge was a new inductee into the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame. Burney was a 2015 inductee and also was the 1993 NFPW Communicator of Achievement.