Nebraska Press Women History

Organization Founded in 1946

The Nebraska Women's Press Club was founded on March 22, 1946, when newspaper women gathered at Omaha's Hotel Paxton for breakfast, compliments of the Nebraska Press Association, which was not yet open to women. Charter member Anna Kuhle served as the first president.

1947 - The first edition of The Nebraska Press Woman, a quarterly news sheet, was issued in November.

1948 - A committee of two was appointed by the president to revise the constitution of the Nebraska Women's Press Club and to present the suggested revisions for consideration at the annual meeting in March.

1949 - Eighteen club members, meeting at the Waldorf Hotel in Norfolk, hear Blanche Spann Pease, well-known newspaper columnist, speak on "Out on a Newspaper Limb."


1950 - It was suggested the Nebraska club adopt as its slogan "52 by 52" (52members by 1952). The goal was met in 1952. State and national membership dues were $5.

1951 - The National Federation of Press Women Region Six meeting was held in conjunction with the Nebraska Press Women's Club fall meeting in Lincoln, with press women from Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa in attendance.

1952 - The Nebraska club was host to the National Federation of Press Women's annual convention at the Hotel Fontanelle in Omaha, May 29 through June 1. More than 100 delegates registered for the convention.

1953 - Rules established for the club's first scholarship include "a reasonably good scholastic record, good citizenship, outstanding personality and one who enjoys meeting people. (With a treasury balance of $382.35, members had voted the previous fall to establish a $25 scholarship for "worthy journalism students.")

1954 - A highlight of the spring program was the presentation of a $25 cash award and a certificate to Sally Hall, editor of the Daily Nebraskan and a senior at the University of Nebraska. She was the club's first scholarship recipient.

1955 - Past Nebraska President Velma Price of Newman Grove was elected president of NFPW, after serving as national vice president. Helen Green of Fairbury was appointed national corresponding secretary.

1956 - Dora Miller of Diller was appointed to serve as national contest chairman for 1957 for NFPW.

1957 - Spring convention topics include "Press Women's Part in Politics," by former U.S. Sen. Hazel Abel; "Writing, a Hobby or a Headache?" by Eleanor Seberger; "Shots That Count" by Helen Green and "Why I Write Poetry" by Harriet Swan.

1958 - Norma Carpenter of Lincoln, Miller & Paine promotion manager the previous 10 years, was presented as Nebraska's Women of Achievement for the year.

1959 - Featured speaker at the spring meeting in Lincoln was "Dear Abby," Abigail Van Buren, a San Francisco newspaper columnist.

1960 - One of the guests at the spring meeting in Omaha was Rose Kennedy of Boston, who spoke briefly concerning her son, John F. Kennedy, Democratic candidate for president. Revision of the club constitution included changing the group's name to Nebraska Press Women.

1961 - An informal feature of the fall meeting in Grand Island was viewing the landscape wallpaper in the Yancey Hotel dining room < wallpaper identical to the rare historical wallpaper that had been recently installed in the White House.

1962 - "A Day in History," including tours of the Scotts Bluff National Monument, Mitchell Pass and the Oregon Trail Museum, was the theme of the fall meeting in Scottsbluff.

1963 - A memorial tribute to Anna Kuhle, charter member and first president of the Nebraska Women's Press Club who died March 21, was read at the spring meeting in Omaha.

1964 - For the third consecutive year, Dora Miller was top winner in the state communications contest.

1965 -  It was announced at the spring convention that Nebraska Press Women had 43 members, $155.28 in the treasury and bonds worth $650 at maturity.

1966 - Membership dues were raised to $6, with $2.50 for state membership and $3.50 for national. Because of blizzard conditions, attendance at the fall meeting in Ogallala was cut to 10.

1967 - Future University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism Associate Dean Linda Mahoney Shipley was awarded NPW's annual scholarship in 1967.

1968 - Twyla Lubben of Beatrice, luncheon speaker at the spring meeting, presented the program "Faith and 37 Children." Mrs. Lubben and her husband had provided a home for 37 children over a 21-year period.

1969 - The Region Six NFPW meeting was combined with the fall meeting of Nebraska Press Women in Minden.

1970 - NPW opened its first two-day meeting on April 4 in Lincoln. Charter members Velma Price, Willa Stafford, May Yard, Ruby Brookman and Fern Ritter were honored at a banquet.

1971 - Members adopted a resolution supporting passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, in its original form, to the U.S. Constitution.

1972 -  KUON-TV filmed a panel discussion, "Women in Journalism" that was part of NPW's spring convention program. President Beejay Holcomb-Heller moderated a panel of Cella Heitman, Lincoln Journal reporter; Ann Batchelder, Douglas County Gazette publisher; Wilma Crumley, UNL professor of journalism; Helen Haggle, Lincoln Journal women's page editor; and Eileen Wirth Psota, Omaha World-Herald staff writer.

1973 - Two reporters from the North Platte Telegraph, Sharron Hollen of North Platte and Marianne Beel of Valentine, were among the top dozen winners in the National Federation of Press Women writing contest.

1974 - Among those on the fall meeting program was Mrs. Terry Carpenter of Scottsbluff, who gave her views and comments on the women behind the politician. Terry Carpenter served one term in Congress and several terms in the state Legislature.

1975 - As of Jan. 31, the NPW treasury held $803.75, plus other assets of $500 and interest of $185.39, making a net worth of $1,499.14. Dues were $16, of which $10 went to national.

1976 - Nebraska Press Women in attendance at the spring meeting in York heard from Nebraska Primary election candidates for the U.S. Senate: Hess Dyas, Ed Zorinsky, Richard F. Proud and John Y. McCollister.

1977 - NPW members voted to approve a $50 scholarship to be given on a rotating basis to a journalism student at UNL and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and another scholarship of $50 to one of the other state colleges on a rotating basis.

1978 - In a year of firsts: NPW and the Nebraska chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, hosted a joint spring meeting; 19 schools participated with 344 entries in NPW's inaugural high school communications contest; Lilas Thomas was named NPW¹s first annual Woman of Achievement; Marianne Beel of Valentine, North Platte Telegraph correspondent, captured the first Sweepstakes Award for the highest number of points accumulated in the annual NPW Communications Contest; and John Saunders, publisher of the Bellevue Leader, became the group's first male member and 110th member overall.

1979 - Seventy members submitted 433 entries to make the NPW Communications Contest the largest in the group's history.

1980 - Four members of Nebraska Press Women - Lilas Thomas, Carolyn Dinsmore, Elaine Nielsen and Ruth Hermance - participated in NFPW's Youh Project, "On the Job with a Media Pro", with the cooperation of Ogallala High School, KOGA radio, and the Keith County News.

1981 - Fall convention goers were entertained by the Ogallala Chamber of Commerce belly dancing group.

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

1983 - NPW members spent a day "Coping with Technology," at the fifth annual summer Professional Development Workshop in Grand Island. NPW's non-profit status became official.

1984 - NPW's infamous Kazoo Khorale, led by longtime NPW songleader Joan Burney, serenaded Lois Lambley, winner of the newly renamed Nebraska Press Women's Achievement Award, at the fall convention in Grand Island.

1985 - NPW's winter executive board meeting took on a new twist as members met in four locations - North Platte, Norfolk, York and Lincoln - to participate in a teleconference call. Lois Lambley of North Bend was selected the NFPW Communicator of Achievement.

1986 - Nebraska Press Women celebrated the organization's 40th anniversary at the spring convention in Omaha, with NFPW President Lois Jacobs and Nebraska folklorist Roger Welsch among the special guests in attendance.

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

1988 - The NPW Fall Convention/Mystery Weekend Special was held at the historic Arrow Hotel in Broken Bow. NPW members wore theme costumes and helped solve a "whodunit."

1989 - Growth Net co-chairs Theresa Klein and Peggy Lowe began compiling an NPW freelancers listing to be mailed to advertising agencies, magazines and other outlets that employ writers, photographers or producers on a freelance basis.

1990 - Nebraska Press Women was host to women from 42 states at the NFPW fall board meeting held in conjunction with the NPW fall convention in Lincoln.

1991 - Billed as the "Best Convention by a Dam Site," the Nebraska Press Women spring convention was in Alma with former NPW member Dave Tomlin, deputy director of newspaper membership with the Associated Press in New York, as guest speaker.

1992 - NPW treasurer Joni Potts reported a balance of $6,520.84 in the NPW checking account. Assets of $11,809.38 were in three investment accounts.

1993 - At fall convention in Omaha, members voted to add a state affiliate only category to NPW membership on a two-year trial basis (which became permanent); a $24 increase in NFPW dues (to $50) meant NPW/NFPW dues were $70 in 1993. Joan Burney of Hartington was named the national Communicator of Achievement winner at the annual NFPW convention in Kansas City.

1994 - Those attending the fall convention in Lincoln were treated to a repeat performance of "Bread and Roses," an original play by NPW member Judy Nelson; and a keynote address by Nebraska native Kathy Christensen, senior producer and managing editor for ABC's "World News Tonight" with Peter Jennings.

1995 - As a result of a survey of the NPW membership by Professional Development Director Jill Claflin, the board of directors listed five points of importance for NPW: Increasing visibility with media management and educational institutions; recruiting new members; improving professional development opportunities at state conventions; growing the leadership and communications contest. The NPW constitutions was amended to include the state affiliate membership category.

1996 - Nebraska Press Women celebrated its 50th anniversary at the spring convention in Grand Island. Dave Tomlin of the Associated Press in New York was keynote speaker. Lori Potter of Kearney was named first runner-up in the Communicator of Achievement awards announced at the NFPW annual convention in Charlotte, N.C., in June.

1997 - At their spring convention in Chadron, NPW members were among the first to view "Around the World in 72 Days," a documentary about daredevil journalist Nellie Bly produced by the Nebraska ETV Network for PBS.

1998 - Carla Chance of Cedar Creek won the second place sweepstakes award in the NFPW communications contest. Results were announced at the contest banquet at the National Press Club during the annual convention in Washington, D.C.

1999 - Jill Claflin, longtime NPW member, returned to North Platte for the spring convention to speak on Habitat for Humanity. Claflin works for Habitat in Americus, Ga., where she is editorial manager for Habitat International.

2000 - Juanita Buschkoetter of Lawrence was speaker at the NPW fall convention in Kearney, telling her story of "being in the national spotlight." Buschkoetter, her husband and three daughters were taped over a three-year period by a Boston film producer for the acclaimed PBS series "The Farmer's Wife."

2001 - Seventeen NPW members won awards in the NFPW annual communications when results were announced at the annual convention in Indianapolis.

2002 - NPW members joined members from Iowa Press Women for a joint convention in Council Bluffs.

2003 - NPW placed third in the affiliate sweepstakes when results of the communications contest were announced at the NFPW convention in Wilmington, Del., in September. 2004 - Barb Micek of Fullerton place first and Carla Chance of Cedar Creek place first and third respectively in the sweepstakes awards in the annual National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest at the convention in Lexington, Ky., in September.

2004 - Barb Micek of Fullerton placed first and Carla Chance of Cedar Creek placed third in the sweepstakes awards in the National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest at the convention in Lexington, Ky., in September.

- The Writer's Network, a directory of freelance communications professionals, was posted on the NPW Web site. All NPW members who do freelance work were invited to provide information for the directory, formerly known as GrowthNet before it went online.

2006 - NPW celebrated its 60th anniversary at spring convention in Lincoln. Pulitzer Prize winner Martha Mendoza headlined fall convention in North Platte.

2007 - Spring convention held at Mahoney State Park; fall convention in Kearney with morning sessions at UNK, and afternoon/evening at Rowe Sanctuary. Lori Potter of Kearney elected second vice president of NFPW. Barb Micek of Fullerton appointed NFPW historian.

2008 - Lori Potter of the Kearney Hub moved up to first vice president of NFPW and also won the national sweepstakes award at the convention held in Idaho Springs, Idaho, delivering an impromptu motivational acceptance speech.

2009 - NFPW accepted the joint bid of Nebraska and Iowa Press Women to host the 2011 NFPW convention in Omaha/Council Bluffs. Marsha and Julie Hoffman of IPW along with Stephanie Geery-Zink, Sherry Thompson and Lori Potter of NPW are the steering committee. Lori Potter elected first vice president of NFPW; Barb Micek reappointed NFPW historian.

2010 - NPW approves guidelines for Nebraska Women Journalists' Hall of Fame; also awards first Marianne Beel Scholarship to a high school student interested in pursuing journalism.

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