Harry S. McAlpin broke the White House press corps color barrier in February 1944, becoming the first African-American reporter to gain entry to the exclusive White House press conference. Despite almost being denied entry to White House Press Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) because of his race, McAlpin took the first bold steps in what would be a stellar career in journalism and beyond.
McAlpin, a reporter for the National Negro Press Association and the Atlanta Daily World at the time, joined a gathering of reporters waiting to enter the Oval Office to be addressed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The WHCA official stopped McAlpin and told him that White reporters were upset at his presence, but said if he waited outside they would share notes and let him join the association.
McAlpin ignored the request, and entered the Oval Office with the rest of the journalists. At the end of the conference, McAlpin approached President Roosevelt, who shook his hand and said, “Harry, I’m glad you’re here.”
The WHCA blacklisted McAlpin but his White House credentials remained intact and he covered Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman for 51 African-American news outlets. His actions paved the way for the Negro Newspaper Publishers association and other news correspondents to gain accreditation to the Congressional Press Galleries and the State Department in 1947.
McAlpin, who went on to practice law and headed the NAACP in Louisville, Ky. in the 1960s, will be honored by the WHCA at its annual dinner on May 3 in Washington, D.C.
A scholarship award named after him will be presented at the event, though he never officially belonged to the WHCA. McAlpin’s son, Sherman, a retired U.S. Air Force Veteran who now works for the Navy, will be in attendance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
The senior McAlpin passed in 1985. In 1990, the WHCA elected Bob Ellison as its first African-American president.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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