#BlackHistoryMonth Harry S. McAlpin

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Harry S. McAlpin was born July 21, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. On February 8, 1944, McAlpin became the first African American reporter to attend a U.S. Presidential news conference. He was a journalist for the National Negro Press Association and the Atlanta Daily World. While waiting to enter the oval office for the press conference, McAlpin was approached by a reporter from The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). The man who approached him was also the head of the White House Correspondents Association. McAlpin was informed that the other white reporters were angry that he was going to be able to attend the press conference. He was also told it was nothing they could do to stop him from attending the press conference, but if he willing chose not to attend the press conference, the other reporters would provide him with their notes and they would make him a member of the White House Correspondents Association. McAlpin declined their request and attended the press conference in the Oval Office. At the end of the press conference, McAlpin walked pass President Franklin Roosevelt’s desk and the president shook his hand and said “Harry, I’m glad to have you here.”

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