As of January 1944 no African-American journalist had ever been admitted to a White House Press Conference.
In #February 81944, Harry McAlpin, a former #Navywarcorrespondent and reporter for the #NationalNegroPressAssociation and the #AtlantaDailyWorld, #receivedhisrequestedcredentials to attend an upcoming press conference with #PresidentFranklinRoosevelt.
As he waited with the other reporters to go into the Oval Office to hear the president, he was approached by a reporter from The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), a man who was also head of the White House Press Correspondents Association. Essentially the reporter told him that other reporters were upset by the fact that McAlpin was going in, but they couldn’t stop him. The reporter added that if McAlpin himself chose not to attend, the other reporters would willingly share their notes with him so that he would have the same story. In addition, they would make him a member of the White House Press Correspondents Association.
#HarryMcAlpin ignored the fellow’s warning and entered the Oval Office with the other reporters. At the end of the press conference, #heapproachedPresidentRoosevelt who was seated at his desk. #RooseveltshookMcAlpinshand, and said, “Harry, I’m glad you are here.” McAlpin’s appearance at the press conference was notable enough for at least one major newspaper to write about it (#NewYorkTimes, #February9, #1944). Three years later, in 1947, the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association as well as some individual African-American news correspondents received accreditation from the Congressional Press Galleries and the State Department. (The early journalists accredited were James L. Hicks, Percival L. Prattis and Louis Lautier.) McAlpin’s Later Career
In 1967 Harry McAlpin was #practicinglawinLouisville,Kentucky where he previously had been chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In April he was one of the two leaders who were spearheading a protest against the board of aldermen in Louisville who voted down an ordinance that would have opened more neighborhoods to African-American citizens. McAlpine issued a statement that